Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Fine Line: Requiring vs. Subsidizing English

Among other items in his Washington Times op-ed, Bob Barr has said: "It is not the government’s business what people speak at home. But government business should be transacted English. Congress should scrap bilingual ballots. American citizens should learn enough English to vote."

This part is not unreasonable.

Assimilation helps prevent the U.S. from breaking apart into tribal factions. Learning English should be encouraged, albeit not required.

While not making English "official," neither should the State subsidize other languages. The State should not make it easy to get by without English.

Govt business should be transacted in English. Multi-lingual ballots should go. So too multi-lingual state education.

My position on assimilation.

Open borders will only work if we encourage assimilation. Without assimilation, we become another Balkans, Beirut, or Northern Ireland.

Most humans are tribal. They are not philosopher-anarchists. If you want open borders and liberty, you must support assimilation. Without peaceful assimilation, we degenerate into tribal, socialist Balkanization.

We needn't make English "official," requiring everyone to learn it, but govt business (including ballots) should be in English.

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