To a question on whether English should be the official language in the United States, only former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel raised his hand in the affirmative.
But Obama protested the question itself, calling it “the kind of question that was designed precisely to divide us.” He said such questions “do a disservice to the American people.”
Actually it's the other way around. One of the fundamentals of a united society is a common language, and we don't have that everywhere in the country. Yes, this has been true with immigrant communities in the past, but those were times when America assimilated its population. We don't nearly so much anymore, having at times taken the admirable goal of diversity too far.
I've been surprised at how impressed I've been with Obama in this race. He's more than charismatic, intelligent, articulate and optimistic. He's also measured, nuanced and more centrist than advertised. But on this, I think he's missing the point.
Senator Dodd in the same debate said that we should be encouraging our children to learn other languages, not talking about English as being official. How are those two things mutually exclusive? Should we not be doing both?