Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Better Learn Them Some English

The President Says:

OMAHA, Neb. - New arrivals to this country must adopt American values and learn English, President Bush said Wednesday, pushing anew for his proposal to overhaul immigration rules.

Yeah. Don't ya just wish today's immigrants assimilated and spoke our language, English, like immigrants did in the good old days? You know, like they did in 1860?

Many German immigrants were Protestant, and many lived in the country. They seemed willing to listen to the Republicans, who devoted great energy to wooing German voters. Franklin (County, PA) Republicans put in the field local speakers who spoke German, and Republican Congressman Edward McPherson requested lists of German men he might write for their support.

In their efforts to reach the Germans, the Republicans benefited enormously from the efforts of Carl Schurz, a famous writer and speaker...Schurz spoke in the afternoon in English, but that evening he was to 'speak in German, his native language, to the citizens of Chambersburg who can understand him. The german portion of our population , who do not fully comprehend the objects of Republicanism, are particularly invited to listen to this great expounder of our political faith; himself a german by birth'...Soon after his appearance a German Republican club formed in Franklin.

from Edward L. Ayers, 2003, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863, page 79

Can you imagine the demonic head-spinning that would result if there was such a thing as a Mexican Democratic club?

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