Romney's Weekly Immigration Opinion
Like many decisively opinionated topics, immigration is another issue that former Governor Mitt Romney has a hard time pinpointing an exact answer on his position in the matter. His tells the truth with lies. Throughout his campaign, Romney has been all positions and no positions. He is the heads and the tails of a coin. It’s really the most desperate you’ll ever see a wealthy man.
When Romney was asked if he supports Arizona's illegal immigration bill, SB1070, Romney's indirect response was that he "supports the right of states to craft laws that assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws." So does he or doesn't he? He then went on to applaud the SB1070 author, Kris Kobach, while campaigning in South Carolina.
Then things took a turn again for Romney during an interview in Arizona where he said Arizona is a model for immigration policy, but he was returning to Arizona's policy requiring all employers to use E-Verify to ensure an employees status to work in the United States. He backpedaled once again on the issue of illegal immigration, so we still don't know what his position is. Romney's opinion literally changes almost weekly.
In 2008, Democrats were pleading, "Anyone but Bush," and now the Republicans are saying, "Anyone but Obama" in 2012. You can call Mitt Romney whatever you like; a hypocrite, a liar, a wet noodle, but the bottom line he's terrible at forming an opinion and being confident with a decision. He's constantly being externally influenced in his decision-making from every angle, and has no concrete point of view. Do you really want some like that to be your president? Clearly, he is not cut out for this job.
Posted by obamaluv at May 29, 2012 1:52 PM
Romney has been all positions and no positions. He is the heads and the tails of a coin. It’s really the most desperate you’ll ever see a wealthy man.
This is why I’ve started calling him Myth Romney. From one moment to the next the man tries to be whatever a Republican audience expects him to be.
“supports the right of states to craft laws that assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws.”
This is a very mature response. It is exactly the same position, BTW, that Obama has on gay marriage.
There is a difference between having an opinion on something and trying to make others do what you want. It is past time that our leaders in Washington showed a little more restraint and respect for the different choices people around the country might make.
Romney is in a terrible position. Recent polls show Romney at 27% among latino voters. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Romney to win the presidency with only 27% of the latino vote. One state, NM, has transitioned from a swing state to a solidly blue state because of that latino vote. Somehow, Romney has to convince latinos he represents their interests.
Unfortunately, the Republican base will not allow Romney to make that appeal without undermining his message. It’s really tough to appeal to latinos when the base can find jokes about a lethally electrified fence at the border funny. Nice crowd. This GOP base is the party of borders, language, culture, as one conservative talk show host put it, and that means keeping Mexicans out, keeping latino culture out, and repressing the speaking of spanish as much as possible, even if it means making English the official language. This base- predominantly white, older males, including the Tea Party- thrives on xenophobia. The hatred and racism are rampant, and it is the same emotion that motivates both the hatred of illegal immigrants and the
Birthers. Same emotion.
Remember when Santorum went to Puerto Rico? In a hotly contested race with Romney, Santorum spent a crucial day going down to PR to campaign in person. He told an audience of conservative latinos that if they wanted statehood, they needed to speak English.
Santorum lost 89 -7.
Now Romney is in a pickle. The GOP base has alienated women, gays, blacks, and latinos to such an extent, it’s nearly impossible to win the general election. It will be interesting to see how Romney reacts. The GOP base senses- correctly, I think- that Romney doesn’t care one way or another about latinos, xenophobia, and racism. Romney will say whatever he thinks that day’s crowd wants to hear. Some people think this demonstrates Romney’s cowardice and inability to lead. Perhaps. More likely, it shows that Romney doesn’t really care about social issues and never did. He surrounds himself with yahoos and Neocons, and then does his best to avoid talking in a public place where the crazies can pipe up. What does Romney truly care about?He cares about the 1%, corporations (because they’re people, my friend!), and making the rich even wealthier, because if the rich are richer, everyone else will be better off too. At least it feels that way to Romney.
“if they wanted statehood, they needed to speak English.”
I used to speak 5 languages and can currently speak Portuguese with near native fluency, so I am not speaking as a monolingual xenophobe. But anybody who travels much outside the U.S. understands that English is by far the most crucial language in the world.
People all over the world are scrambling to learn English, since it is the international language of business and science. You cannot be a serious scientist in most fields w/o at least being able to read English. Most Latios want to learn English and they want their kids to know English. I understand that the “English” club can be used unfairly on both sides, but anybody who has the chance to learn English and does not is nuts. This is true and everything else is a lie.
We Americans talk about learning “foreign languages”. This is a nice idea, but not as simple as it sounds. Which language? Spanish is good for HALF of South America. They don’t speak Spanish in the continent’s most important country In some places the national language is English, French or Dutch.
If you go to Europe, you really cannot use Spanish north of the Pyrenees, and if you use “Spanish” in Barcelona some people will give you are hard time.
Lots of people speak Chinese, but it is hard for us to learn and not widely spread or common as a second language. An international conference held in China itself will very often be offered in English, since it is the common-international language.
So if you are talking to a group of Latinos, it is a great sign of respect to speak to them in Spanish, but to pretend that English is not the key to success is cruel.
Certainly, I would encourage people to become bilingual- for people who speak English to learn Spanish, and vice versa. Today, the language of opportunity, technology, and wealth is English. And if there is anything that is certain, it is that, someday, that will change. Once upon a time, French was the language of diplomacy. Latin was the language of the Church.
Language changes. Culture changes. Borders change.
Morals change. The words of the Bible change with translations. The definition of a few of the words in the Constitution have changed. If there’s anything that justifies American Exceptionalism, it’s not the language of the Constitution, but its meaning. That’s the truth behind ‘original intent.’ Signs change. Signification remains immutable; or at any rate, lasts longer.
American culture has changed recognizably in just a few decades. Will English still be the language of the United States in two or three generations? Very possibly not. That doesn’t mean that what really makes the country worthwhile- its ideals- won’t be every bit as vibrant as they can be today.
Meanwhile, several news outlets are spending time on the latino issue for the GOP due to the election in TX. If the underlying hatred and xenophobia of the GOP base stays in public, TX may actually be in play for the Democrats in November, simply due to a big edge among latinos.
“You cannot be a serious scientist in most fields w/o at least being able to read English.”
The Puerto Ricans that want to become scientists already know English. They have an education, they are driven.
However, that said, the world is full of average Jose’s, and I am sure that they don’t want to hear that the main reason that Puerto Rico isn’t a state is that they don’t speak English.
Santorum may or may not be right, but he was a boob for pointing out the language difference, and then expecting the average person to vote for him.
The problem with being bilingual is that many English speakers should not choose Spanish as their second language. They may find Portuguese more useful in Latin America and can use Arabic, French etc depending on where they plan to travel or work.
English will remain the world’s most important language in your lifetime and that of your children. People are learning it all over the world.
Already second and third generation Hispanics are losing their language. I spoke to a Mexican educator yesterday. He told me re an interesting problem. Since the downturn in the U.S., many Mexicans have returned home. Often their kids are not proficient in Spanish enough for the schools. They have thousands of little Mexican-Americans who they are trying to integrate.
There is no way that English will not be the language of the U.S. The Spanish tide is subsiding. Birth rates in Mexico are dropping. When we have a diverse stream of immigrants, their languages swamp each other.
A century ago, some were worried about Germans taking over the U.S. Germans remain our largest ethnic group, with 58 million people claiming German ancestry on the 2000 census. Does anybody notice or care? Assimilation happens.
Re languages in general - it is very difficult for a person to maintain even two languages and very few people can do more than that. I know many people who say they speak several languages, some who think they do and even a few who can. Most people will not maintain even one extra language over time unless they have a constant need for it. The idea that being bilingual is a choice most people can make is mistaken.
We think Spanish is a key language because of our border with Mexico. It is indeed an important language, but certainly not on a par with English in world-wide usefulness.
BTW - a speaker of Portuguese can understand much Spanish, but a speaker of Spanish understands much less Portuguese because of particular sounds in Portuguese. This is not part of the general discussion, but an interesting fact. It leads to funny problems in Brazil, where Spanish speakers are generally, if imperfectly, understood, but cannot understand much of what is said to them.
Of course Puerto Ricans who want to be scientist speak English as do educated people the world over.
Even average Joes would be well served speaking good English
Speaking of insulting ethnic groups, maybe ones that matter less, Obama badly insulted Poles. I got this
“On a day that he honored Jan Karski, the Polish hero who tried to stop the Holocaust, President Barack Obama shocked the Poles present at the White House and those watching on C-SPAN by claiming that Karski had been smuggled into “a Polish death camp.” Karski would have cringed if he heard this. It was a German death camp in Nazi occupied Poland.”
Tu quoque, C&J. The problem with your argument is that it exonerates Romney of nothing even if true. Additionally, you have to bring up the Poland example, whereas many people remember the immigration kerfluffle off the top of their heads.
Romney’s problem is that he can’t come vigorously to the defense of the hispanic community without losing clout among the extremists in your party.
This is one of the disadvantages of relying on outrage against impure doctrinal positions as a way to resolidify the party. You’ve essentially sold your party’s soul to the same people who are angering that key demographic.
“We think Spanish is a key language because of our border with Mexico.”
Unfortunately the language that Mexicans speak is only
“Even average Joes would be well served speaking good English.”
Yeah, I get that. However I am also quite sure that they really don’t want to be told about it in a campaign speech.
Politically you are right. The Latino vote is important; the Polish vote not so much.
But it is monumentally ignorant to make the kind of mistake Obama did. Since he is “Mr. Cue Card” we know that it was a lack of research on the part of his team. It is part of the general sloppiness of this administrations that puts show before substance.
I understand that in campaign speeches candidates are supposed to pander and not tell the truth. You are right about that.
You have traveled widely. You know that I am right about English. Spanish is useful in parts of the Americas and in Spain itself. Other than that, it is not used much.
I think we overestimate the importance of Spanish because of our location. It makes sense. But if an American wants to learn a second language, Spanish is not the always the logical choice. On the other hand, English is the logical second language choice for most of humanity. Latinos know this. It is only the retrograde leadership and race-baiters who pretend not to understand.
“You have traveled widely. You know that I am right about English.”
When I was in high school the classes were divided into the brilliant, and the merely smart. Those who were brilliant took Latin, French, and Trig. The merely smart took Spanish, Social Studies, and idiot Math (Algebra 3).
French was the language of diplomacy, Latin the language of science, and the law.
Curiously, the Castilian Spanish we were taught is as different from the Spanish Mexicans speak, as English and “American” English.
You know as well as I that when traveling to a foreign country it was/is considered boorish to expect the “natives” to speak English in order to communicate.
In the countries I have traveled to it is important to learn English in order to compete with America in the global market.
Here in America we really don’t seem to care much about global competition. At least not in the languages we speak.
We still arrogantly expect “foreigners” to speak English, just as the French arrogantly expect foreigners to speak French.
To put things in perspective, there are probably hundreds of millions more people speaking some sort of Spanish as a first language than speak English first.
Yet we still expect them to communicate with us, instead of the other way around.
Everybody makes mistakes. Some of us make mountains out of molehills. How many times have Republicans criticized the President for bowing to foreign leaders, despite the fact that this is proper protocol for dealing with them in those cases, protocol unremarked upon when Presidents of their party carried them out?
Romney’s problems aren’t equivalent. This isn’t a slip of a tongue or a bad word choice (Mr. President, you should have said “German”) This is a deliberate decision to back a side of a political debate many hispanic consider hostile towards them. Romney has sided with those people in an pretty overt manner, and now he tries to sweep that under the rug.
There’s a difference between a thoughtless word and what is likely a deliberate policy position, both taken and walked back for political reasons.
Watch a group of foreigners from different countries and different native languages. Even if no Americans are present, they speak English. IT is the only common language.
It is indeed boorish NOT to speak the language of the country, but if you said that to a Hispanic audience, do you think it would be politically correct?
I learn some of the language of every place I go, but it is not enough to really speak and be understood.
But let’s be practical. It is hard to learn other languages well. It takes years of study. If you take ALL the Rosetta stone classes, you will score only 2 out of five on the tests I use. 3 is the minimum acceptable score.
If an American is going to invest those years of study in a foreign language, which language should it be?
I don’t hold it much against Obama. I think one of his research staff should be looking for a different job. This is a really big deal for Poles and to make such a mistake at a ceremony honoring a Polish hero is really stupid.
Re Hispanic - are you in favor of illegal immigration? Are you in favor of Spanish speakers in the U.S. not learning English?
You’re asserting that Obama didn’t know who ran Auschwitz? That’s a stretch. I’m not certain everybody knows Auschwitz was in Poland, but what German political party gets mentioned in close proximity?
As for you not being bothered, well damn, you’ve wasted a lot of space complaining and arguing about it, haven’t you?
It is a mistake that should have been caught, but is there really a rational reason for it be blown this far out of proportion?
As far as immigration goes, I’ve always said legal is the way to go. I think we make it too hard, and too expensive. As far as the people in the country go, many of them are fairly immigrated already. Rather than attempt the impossible, and try to yank tens of millions of people out of our country at once, we should create a path to citizenship that ends their days as second class ghosts within the machine of American life, and separates those who want to stay and build lives from those just trying to exploit our country.
As for language? Here’s what I think: first generation immigrants ALWAYS will have problems with fluency. They’ll learn what they have to, but it will always be a big task for somebody with not a lot of leisure time.
However, naturally, their children will improve, be bilingual, and as statistic show, the third generation will tend to speak the native language.
The English-Only folks can’t speed up this process, just make it more painful.
“Watch a group of foreigners from different countries and different native languages. Even if no Americans are present, they speak English. IT is the only common language.”
It is the only common language of educated people.
Can you give us an approximate percentage of the uneducated people on this planet?
The percentage of people in America, where we spend a lot of money on education, with a high school diploma is about 87%. You could go to some places in America (and I have), where the people do speak English and not understand what these people trying to communicate.
Please, pick a group of random uneducated people from around this planet, put them in a room, and ask them to communicate with each other.
I would submit that, even if you could make them understand the question, you might hear four or five, maybe even ten, English words used repeatedly, and that’s not communication. If you were to try to have a conversation with this group of people they wouldn’t understand you either.
English is only the 3rd most common language spoken on this planet, after Mandarin, and Spanish, and while it has become the language of of diplomacy, and science and transportation etc, there are literally billions of people on this planet that will never speak English.
Uneducated people tend not to find themselves in situations where people speak several different languages and need a common one.
This doesn’t really change the equation about languages. If you plan to hang around with uneducated people, you will need to learn their language. If you plan to spend lots of time in Latin America, Spanish would be a good choice, although Portuguese might be better. Anyplace else in the world, it would largely be a waste of time.
Re English - it is third largest in terms of native speakers but first if you include non-natives. Spanish speakers make up less than 7% of the world population. Many estimate that around 33% of the world population is competent in basic English. Of course, it is much higher among educated people.
“Uneducated people tend not to find themselves in situations where people speak several different languages and need a common one.”
Gee ya think?
“…although Portuguese might be better.”
Portuguese is spoken in a mere handful of countries around the world.
“If you plan to hang around with uneducated people, you will need to learn their language.”
When I was going out of country I would learn as I went along, because often I was leaving one country just to go to another. The people I was working with was a mixture of collage educated, and common laborers.
In Mexico I already had a working knowledge of “Mexican” Spanish, as I had 6 years of Castilian in school, and worked in restaurants for 16 years early in my life.
In China, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan, I learned enough of the language to be polite, find out where the bathrooms were, and to order a beer.
We don’t need to totally immerse ourselves in a countries language to be able to communicate at a common level. The laborers I worked with had a great time teaching me their languages, and it created a bond between us.
“Re English - it is third largest in terms of native speakers but first if you include non-natives.”
Jack how many uneducated people live in India, China, and Indonesia? How many of those folks speak English even as a second language?
I am a Portuguese proponent. It is spoken in a handful of countries but with one really big one - Brazil, currently the world’s sixth largest economy and growing fast.
In India around 125 million people speak English; in China maybe 10 million but growing rapidly.
You also need to recall that most Western Europeans speak English, often at high levels. I don’t recall meeting anybody from Holland or Scandinavia who didn’t speak English and the Germans estimate that nearly 46 million of them speak English fluently, which is about the population of Spain, BTW.
Between China and India are nearly 37% of the worlds population.
Between your quoted; India’s 125 million (10%) and China’s 10 million (less than 1%) that’s not very many people speaking English in the worlds two most populus nations.
At any rate we have gotten off point.
While I do not, at this time, think I would vote for Obama, there is no way I would vote for a jello legged candidate like Romney. He doesn’t represent anything.
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