Monday, October 27, 2014

Joni Ernst Wants to Make English the Official Language: Note for a lecture, "E pluribus Unum? What Keeps America United."

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Joni Ernst Wants to Make English the Official Language - Mother Jones

"I think it's great when we can all communicate together."

| Fri Oct. 24, 2014 5:23 PM EDT
Joni Ernst has latched onto pretty much every idea favored by the tea party. On Thursday afternoon, while campaigning in western Iowa, Ernst endorsed another concept favored by the grassroots right: officially declaring the United States an English language country. "I think it's great when we can all communicate together," Ernst said when a would-be voter at a meet and greet in Guthrie Center, Iowa, asked if she'd back a bill making English the official national language. "I think that's a good idea, is to make sure everybody has a common language and is able to communicate with each other."
Ernst spent the day campaigning with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the main architects of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Democratic-run Senate, but not the GOP-run House, in 2013. Ernst has opposed Graham's bill to put some undocumented workers on a path to citizenship, andregularly attacks President Barack Obama's possible use of executive authority to allow immigrants to remain in the country as "amnesty."
Making English the official language is a longtime cause of Ernst's fellow Iowa Republican, Rep. Steve King (Guthrie Center is just outside King's congressional district). As a state senator in 2002, King pushed a law that made Iowa an English-only state. In 2007, King and Ernst, then a county auditor, sued Iowa's then-secretary of state, Democrat Mike Mauro, for offering voter forms in languages other than English.


joelhar said...

What are your thoughts?

The article seems almost neutral but there is a negative implication.

I can see this being a divisive issue, Republican versus Democrat, even, as you say, a Tea Party issue. The fact is, and I'm married to a Puerto-Rican from Spanish Harlem. I can walk into a bodega in New York City and have no idea what they are selling. When I speak with the shop owners they can't even converse in basic English and they make no attempts to speak English.

Personally, I feel a need to standardize a national language. I am waiting for an argument supporting no national language or to have other languages incorporated into our culture. If the argument is about avoiding discrimination, that may ostracize the vast majority of Americans who speak only English.

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