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Memo From Middle America (Formerly Known As Memo From Mexico) | It`s 2010, And U.S. Politicians Are Still Campaigning In Spanish
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October 28, 2010, 05:00 AM
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English is our national language. It`s the language of our government, our laws and courts, and our political discourse.

Why then have we allowed so much Spanish-language campaigning into our politics? Don`t all our voters speak English—isn`t that the law?

In 2007, during the Presidential primary season, this trend reached a new low when the subversive Univision network sponsored "Spanish debates".

Well, they weren`t exactly debates—more like candidate forums. And the candidates didn`t actually speak Spanish, but their words were translated and dubbed into a Spanish-language broadcast for the benefit of Univision`s growing audience.

The Democrats held theirs in September of 2007

[Univision`s Spanish language Panderfest—A Black Day for America] and the Republicans followed suit in December 2007

[The GOP`S Sell-out Seven have their own Univision Panderfest].

But one heroic candidate refused to participate. That was Tom Tancredo.

Yes, only one candidate understood that the Spanish forum was a bad idea.

As Tancredo explained the day before the forum:

"It is the law that to become a naturalized citizen of this country you must have knowledge and understanding of English, including a basic ability to read, write, and speak the language. So what may I ask are our presidential candidates doing participating in a Spanish speaking debate? Bilingualism is a great asset for any individual, but it has perilous consequences for a nation. As such, a Spanish debate has no place in a presidential campaign."

[Tancredo: GOP Candidates `Pandering` At Spanish-Language Debate The Denver Channel.Com, Dec. 8th, 2007]

That was a great statement. And it`s still true as when Tancredo made it three years ago.

I like the way he drew a distinction between individuals and a nation. It`s good for individual Americans to learn foreign languages. But for our nation, as Tancredo put it, "a Spanish debate has no place in a presidential campaign". (I speak here as a teacher of Spanish to American kids).

There`s a lot of romanticism about "bilingualism". Rarely is it noted that creeping bilingualism in our institutions means that unilingual English-speakers a.k.a. the vast majority of Americans will be at a disadvantage in hiring.

(Tancredo is currently running for governor of Colorado on the Constitution Party platform. The candidate is beating the Republican candidate by a wide margin, and apparently running almost neck and neck by the Democrat, and might actually win.)

Now, in the 2010 elections, once again there is a lot of Spanish campaigning going on.

In the Texas gubernatorial race, both Perry (the Republican) and White (the Democrat) are campaigning with ads in Spanish.

In the California gubernatorial race, both Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown are campaigning in Spanish. (As our own Brenda Walker pointed out, Whitman is even running ads in Mandarin and Cantonese).

And on October 2nd, Brown and Whitman were hosted by Univision in a debate that would seem almost comical if it were not for the fact that it`s another step in the balkanization of our nation. As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

"Saturday`s debate was filmed midday, with questions posed in Spanish and simultaneously translated for the candidates. It was aired later, online and on Univision stations, after Spanish voiceovers were added to the candidate responses. The meeting was plagued by technical difficulties. Immediately after the tense exchange about the housekeeper, the translation system stopped working, and both candidates were taken off stage for half an hour and placed in separate holding areas."[Brown, Whitman Heatedly Debate Illegal Immigration, Seema Mehta and Michael J. Mishak, LA Times, October 3, 2010]  

So is this what lies in our political future? Will every candidate in America be expected to participate in some sort of Spanish-language event?

Or is it just a transitional phase until Hispanics have completely taken over the country—in which case they can dispense with English and have the debates entirely in Spanish?

According to a report in Hispanically Speaking News, published on October 23rd,

"This week Democrats announced they are spending $1 million on Spanish language ads featuring President Barack Obama in this last critical week before mid-term elections. This Spanish language ad buy is the largest one made by the Democrats thus far. The ad buys would include Spanish language television, radio and online advertisements. The message will be simple and to the point: Stick With Us the other guy [sic] (Republics [sic]) are worse. Let`s not go back to what we had before `No Regresemos`.

The DNC chairman played up the importance of the Hispanic vote:

"The Democratic National Party Chairman Tim Kaine recognized that many key seats in Congress and Senate hinge on the Hispanic vote. ´Hispanic voters are not only critically important to Democrats` success this fall, but also to our country`s future.` "[based on Democrats to spend $1 million on ads in Spanish,  By Philip Elliott, The Associated Press, October 21, 2010]

We keep hearing rhetoric like this in the GOP as well.

But there`s a more basic question to be answered: Do Hispanic voters have the same interests as other Americans?

If the answer is yes, then what`s the big deal? Just treat them like other voters.

If the answer is no, then maybe we need to spell out the differences. Maybe, just maybe, the non-Hispanic majority of our country should have some kind of say over its future.

As Steve Sailer has pointed out repeatedly, the Hispanic vote is still not nearly as decisive as it`s made out to be. The real winning strategy would be for Republican candidates to go after the White vote.

Wait a second. Is it "racist" to talk about the "White Vote"?

If it is, then wouldn`t it be "racist" to talk about the "Black Vote", the "Asian Vote"—and the "Hispanic Vote"?

Isn`t it time for white Americans to really sort these things out—while they still form the majority population of the country?

Meanwhile, how about shutting down all this Spanish-language campaigning?

After all, politicians have been known to lie, and/or misrepresent their records and/or say different things to different demographic groups.

But at least if it`s all in English, lying politicians would be lying in only one language. That makes it easier for the voters—whatever their ethnicity.

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.