Eulogy For A Good Idea
by Jennifer Evans

Many Americans are unaware that the United States has no national language. Some assume we officially adopted English years ago. We probably should have, but we didn’t. Until recent years, it has never been a problem; everyone assumed that to be an American, one needed to know English. Today that idea is an invalid assumption.

On August 11, 2000, while aboard Air Force 1, former President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13166 which requires that “each Federal agency shall examine the services it provides and develop and implement a system by which LEP [limited English proficiency] persons can meaningfully access those services…” (quoted from the order itself, accessible through the internet.) Although surely his intentions were honorable, the implications of this order are terrifying and the potential results nationally disastrous.

The order, taken to its logical conclusion, requires that any agency receiving government funding – including medical facilities, government offices, departments of transportation, public utilities, social services, etc. – must provide access to any person requiring services in any language he or she speaks. Consider the cost to the taxpayers of such translators! Not only that, but also consider the potential for lawsuits because of poor interpretation and miscommunication.

This order also makes it easier for illegal aliens to live and work in this country. If one applies for a driver’s license in France or Germany, he would be expected to take the test in French or German. Why in the U.S. are illegal aliens allowed to acquire driver’s licenses without speaking English?

Is English proficiency no longer required for citizenship in this country? If one must prove English proficiency to become a citizen, why is it necessary to offer people bilingual ballots? In the past, only citizens of the United States were allowed to vote in American elections. Are we now polling the entire world to make our political choice instead of making a national decision?

Nations are united by language and culture. If we continue to pursue this nonsense of diversity to its core, we will no longer be a United States. We will be a fractured, divided country of nations within a nation, pulling itself apart at the seams. Common language unifies people. Countries younger than ours have seen the necessity of creating a national language (consider the Philippines, Papua and Indonesia.) Other nations have split through bloody civil wars because two or more language groups could not mingle. As far back as the Tower of Babel in the Biblical record, the evidence shows language proliferation scatters and divides people. Can we learn our lesson from the mistakes of others, or do we need to repeat them?

There is something more at stake here than just a language issue. Tangled into the equation is the vine of postmodernism. The buzz-word for that movement is “deconstruction,” meaning disintegration of established norms and traditional values. Postmoderns value fractionalism. They balk at the idea of an immovable, true, unchanging baseline. Postmodernism claims there are no absolutes (not admitting that their very statement negates that claim.) “Let everyone express his/her uniqueness and let’s all live in peace” with our own personal bottom lines. That kind of thinking pervades western society and is undermining nationalism at its core. People are considered “phobic” if they seek what will unify and bring homogeneity.

Naysayers attack “one nation under God” and are in the process of ferretting out and demolishing the very foundation on which this country was established. Deconstruction is doing its job. If we become a fatherland without a mother tongue, we can expect disintegration into a disparate feudalism. Pockets of separate nations within this country will stand for their own agendas and use their own languages. Far from the “tolerance” so glibly spouted by some, this diversity will foster suspicion, misunderstanding and hostility. We can depend on becoming a nation divided without a foundation of truth or justice for all on which we are currently still trying to stand.

English First is a watershed battle. Unity and commonality are considered old-fashioned values. People with plans to unify this country linguistically are considered narrow, and have difficulty getting into office. Those whose thin voices pierce the growing buzz-word are in jeopardy of being squelched. History is repeating itself; our country is digging her own grave with the shovel of postmodernism.




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