Oh the shame of being embarrassed in front of the Europeans. For some people they are the cool teens, and Americans are the mortifying parents.
It’s the old argument among the betters with well-stamped passports: fie on those foolish grunting hoi polloi who show up in Paris in loud shirts expecting people to speak English and calling everyone Pierre. In the context of English-as-a-national-tongue laws, it’s an interesting assertion: Apparently it is right to expect people who visit Paris to speak French the day they get there, but it is cultural chauvinism to expect people who want to live and work in America to understand English well enough to navigate a ballot.
Success equals English. Learn it. Snobbism equals French. Learn it if you absolutely must, dahling.
John Hawkins aptly establishes that Barack Obama is an out-of-touch snob about American kids learning Spanish. There is something more to all this, though. Obama ignores what makes a person a success in the world today. If there is any one factor that will contribute to a person’s success, no matter where he or she lives in the world, it is speaking, reading and effectively communicating in English.
At one time, an educated person intent on doing business and influencing thoughts and ideas had to speak French. Today, it is English. If Obama wants to name a problem in America, since he’s throwing pot-shots, it should be that American children are woefully ignorant in English fundamentals. Sure, they can speak it, yo, but in order to succeed, a person must speak it fluently, intelligibly and articulately. Why, in order to succeed, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to emulate Barack Obama himself when it comes to the use and expression of English.
As far as Americans being stupid. close-minded rubes with no world interest…. Well. Obama is just displaying his arrogant contempt for the average American once again. Many Americans know second and third languages. I’ve had five years of French myself. And guess what? Twenty years ago, when I was in Paris, I spoke French and the snooty French people said this,”I. Speak. English. Thank. You.” C’est la vie! I tried. The Frenchmen seemed determined to use the modern language of business and that’s English.
French is a beautiful language. Spanish is great to swear in. If a person wants to connect to the rest of the world, though, he needs to speak English. Obama needs to embrace the preeminence of America and her culture. America is still THE Superpower and English is this Superpower’s language….at least until Barack Obama is finished with it.
I should have known the Anchoress would have an incisive take about this latest Obama gaffe. Check what I said about speaking like Obama. A good grasp of English includes comprehension and the man is all form over substance. Sheesh! The Anchoress says:
Is America perfect? No, far from it, but I’m damned sure we are not so awful, so pathetic, so ignorant and backward that a presidential candidate needs to get up on stage and jeer at his country and countrymen for their lack of so-called sophistication to his “sophisticated” and self-hating supporters.
Sophistication is empty and insubstantial. It does not save lives. It does not free people. Sophistication simply dresses well and knows not to choose the chianti. All very important in these serious times, right?
It’s unreasonable and unfounded given the decades-long cultural decay on the Continent, but this cringing inferiority complex is widespread among leftists. They take it as a given that America isn’t all that much of a much, but then they have to find some other place to point to as ideal. Owing to a sad lack of options, continental Europe seems to be the leftists’ Platonic ideal of a society.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News