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Sunday, April 01, 2007

How Low Can You Go

Borrowing a phrase oft associated with the West Indian limbo style of party dance, I steer humble readers towards this recent screed by America's most belligerent anti-Constitutionalist enemy, Georgia's own unsavory contribution to the PNAC NeoCon wallow, Newt Gingrich; wherein he states:
We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto," Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.
Gingrich Decries Bilingual Education

Wow, A crowd of more than 100.
How the mighty have fallen...

First, I have never cared for Newt. He was a popular, yet pretentious media-whore around the city in which I lived in the 80s - before his rise to national prominence. Much of his behavior and many of his supporters played out to be rather contemptible, sub-human entities.

With that said, however, I do agree that is it inefficient to provide multiple language government services. Foreign countries such as India and Japan heavily promote the teaching of English as a secondary language. There is a reason - it is the language of US markets. As well, laws, contracts and other rules and regulations are susceptible to subtle translation errors that make enforcement and comprehension more vague - even when the translator is skilled in both languages. Resultantly, I believe English should be the de facto language of the US government.

Being a cheapskate, my objection stems solely from the addition tax burden and personnel skill requirements mandated by multi-lingual employees. Have you read your average corporate inter-departmental email or report? Generally, we have barely managed to grasp one language, much less master two. I suppose this a bitter indictment of not only our faltering system of education, but our cultural arrogance as well. And yet, I do not see the logic in funding a self-energizing cycle of separatism.

The need for multi-lingualism may well be a reality in many parts of the country, but it nevertheless remains an inefficient, inequitable exigency. What is demanded as a requirement for taxpayer funded government services is at the same time the failure of a segment of non-English speakers to follow suit. It promotes cultural division and segregation while placing the requirements of a means of communication with a segment of the citizenry unfairly onto all taxpayers. Learn secondary languages as early as you please, but English should remain the vernacular of official discourse.

Truth be told, the official language should not be English, Spanish or French, but a Native American language. Unfortunately, there was little cohesion between tribes, and no existing national language which could adequately address the legal and scientific jargon of the invading Europeans - thus English became the de facto standard by default.

Yet I take extreme exception to Newt's use of the phrase "language of living in a ghetto." I'm sure the people of Spain and Mexico City, for instance, are enthralled to hear what ex-speaker Gingrich thinks of their society. Then again, I doubt they care one iota.

While the failed Orange County, California government and its bilingual schools may well be a conspicuous example of the inherent inefficiency of accommodating excesses in diversification, surely Newt's exemplary education at Atlanta's right-wing, pseudo-aristocrat brooding tank known as Emory University has failed to imbue his feeble, warped mind with the cultural appreciation, reasoning capacity or human empathy of an artichoke. Can this arrogant, pedantic man be any more offensive or clueless to the human condition? I sincerely hope not...

But that is the sad state of modern politics:
Just How Low Can You Go?

h/t - Ybor City Stogie


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