Really terrible news
I was so stunned and disheartened by this news when I read about it a week ago that I relegated it to my subconscious and put off writing about it. But there’s no silver lining emerging here, and I can’t put off acknowledging it forever. On November 9, the Miami Herald reported:
Three leading GOP presidential candidates have agreed to participate in a Spanish-language debate previously canceled because only two other candidates signed up.Moreover, according to the November 10 Washington Times, it was Thompson, the only top-tier candidate who has taken meaningful positions on reducing legal immigration, who initiated the candidates’ turnabout:
The top Republican presidential candidates reversed course and have agreed to take part in a Spanish-language debate next month aimed at Hispanic voters, setting up an acrimonious clash over illegal aliens, an issue roiling the Republican primary.The only candidate to refuse to participate is Tom Tancredo.
Normally I expect a lot of bad things to happen, as modern liberalism keeps building toward its ugly climax and, I believe, its ultimate demise. For the Republican candidates to agree to be in such a forum is something I would not have anticipated. Previously it was Jorge W. Busheron who had adopted Spanish—in Spanish-language political ads, in the Spanish version of his website, in Spanish-text versions of his speeches and so on. Busheron has always seemed unique in the degree of his Hispanophilia, which went hand-in-glove with his pronounced lack of love for the United States of America as a historic country. But the fact that Thompson, Romney, Hunter, McCain, and Paul and have all consented to be in this Spanish language debate is shocking. By participating in it they are declaring that people can participate fully in American politics and American society without recourse to the English language. They are saying that Spanish is a legitimate language for the conduct of our nation’s business They are saying that it is not necessary for immigrants and their descendants to learn English. They are really saying that there is no country here, there is only a collection of immigrant groups, and that whichever immigrant group is the most numerous, their culture and language shall become the language and culture of the United States.
In short, by agreeing to appear in this Spanish language debate, the candidates show a complete lack of national understanding and national values. How can we believe that any of these men, when faced with a choice between internationalism and America, will choose the latter?
We should write and call the candidates’ campaigns and urge them to withdraw from the program. But where’s the comfort? Even if we persuaded them to pull out, the fact would remain that they saw nothing wrong with this. Which means that from the point of view of standing for the American nation and culture, these men are lost. That one candidate in particular, who recently took a strong stand to stop the illegal immigration invasion and reduce legal immigration, now turns around and publicly legitimizes the language of the invaders, strongly suggests that his immigration reduction position is not something he really believes in, but is a ploy to appeal to a certain constituency.
Allan Wall, who told me about this news last week, writes at Vdare: “Good for Tom. At least one candidate understands what’s going on.” I would alter Mr. Wall’s wording: Only one candidate understands what’s going on.
Steven Warshawsky writes:
I completely agree that this Spanish language debate is a travesty. But not a surprise. This is a perfect illustration of the idea, most recently popularized by Mark Steyn, that demography is destiny. A nation full of millions of Spanish speakers, inevitably, will become a Spanish-speaking nation. The amount of bilingualism in this country, both public (e.g., ballots and schools) and private (e.g., corporate America), has noticeably increased in the past twenty years, in lock-step with the booming increase in the size of the Hispanic population, legal and illegal. There is only one way to stop and reverse this trend: to shut off immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Is this going to happen any time soon? Highly unlikely. Especially if Tom Tancredo (whom I truly respect) is the best candidate that the traditionalist right has to offer on the national political stage. Tancredo does not have a snowball’s chance in hell to win the Republican nomination, let alone defeat Hillary in the general election. Where are the traditionalist candidates with intellect, charisma, and political muscle? If there remains a popular constituency for traditionalist policies in this country (and there appears to be one, based on the the immigration debate last spring), why have no leaders—or third parties—emerged to shape this constituency into a political force?Roy Beck writes:
I saw your well-written and strongly argued post on this. You make a good case for how troubling this is.LA replies:
That’s a good reply. It doesn’t alter my own feelings, but it’s as good an answer as could be made.Clem P. writes:
I agree this is NOT good news. It is antithetical to fighting PC and gives credence to the proposition nation idea. It helps to undermine unity and shows that “votes” no matter where they come from are the main attraction not principals.LA replies:
“Double-mindedness”—that conveys very well the state of a Thompson.Kevin V. writes:
You write: “Normally I expect a lot of bad things to happen, as modern liberalism keeps building toward its ugly climax and, I believe, its ultimate demise. For the Republican candidates to agree to be in such a forum is something I would not have anticipated.”LA replies:
I’m surprised because they haven’t done this before, and the reason they haven’t done it before was that it would appear to be and would be an act of pure minority pandering surpassing any previous boundary in this area, and would offend many Republicans and make the candidates look bad. For Democrats to appear at such a forum is normal for them, as it’s a forum openly designed to downgrade the American culture and nation. For Republican candidates, who in various ways favor “assimilation” and “defending our common language,” to appear at an all-Spanish language forum is deeply shocking and surprising.Allan Wall writes:
A few more comments on that Republican Spanish debate.Mark Jaws writes:
As a hard-line fellow who is a proponent for a traditionalist enclave nation, I like the idea of the Republican presidential candidates hablando en espanol during their debate, and being put on the spot to tell la gente latina WHETHER they, the candidates, are for open borders and shamnesty OR re-instating American principles and rule of law. It will provide us, the hard core traditionalist base of the Republican party, with an opportunity to separate the wheat (Tancredo) from the chaff (McCain and the rest), and realize how silly it is for us traditionalists to continue to support the GOP.Matt Bracken writes:
Great post, even if it is so disheartening.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 16, 2007 09:16 AM | Send