Saturday, January 17, 2009

At Least He’s Picking On New York For A Change

The Nashville Scene points us to Eric Crafton’s fear-mongering radio ad:
It begins with strains of "America the Beautiful."

"America. One nation, under God, indivisible-until now." The ad goes on to say that English is "under attack" It cites examples of government services in New York City being offered in multiple languages, and presents the amendment as a way of preventing the same thing from happening in Nashville.

English is "under attack"? Really? The--pardon the pun--lingua franca of global commerce is "under attack"? Is he nuts?

Am I the only one picking up a "War On Christmas" vibe here?

Personally, I don’t see what anyone loses by offering government services in multiple languages. But so what. That’s New York City. Again, I ask: of what relevance is it to us here in Nashville what they do in New York City?

New York is America’s most populous, diverse city. Walk down any street in New York and you will hear a variety of languages spoken all around you. It’s the home of the freaking United Nations. Maybe multi-lingual government services are needed in New York. Who cares? In case Eric Crafton hasn’t noticed, Nashville is not New York. Trust me, we aren’t even close.

If the whole language war thing were truly an issue for us here in Nashville, Crafton wouldn’t have to keep trotting out examples of how they do things in California and New York. He’d cite some examples right here at home. The fact that he can’t seem to find any that would muster the proper amount of outrage tells me this really is only an issue in Crafton’s mind.

Of course, by picking on coastal metropolitan areas like New York City and Oakland, this campaign hits some nice "coastal elite" hot buttons. He could easily pick on some small towns in Texas, which I suggested earlier, but that doesn't push the same social and cultural buttons. I'm sure that worked very well in some of the smaller communities where the English Only movement has found success.

But Nashville isn't Culpeper, Virginia. We're the "third coast." I question how well the big city-vs-small town message resonates here. Indeed, I question how well it works at all these days. It certainly seemed to cause a big push-back in the last election when the GOP tried to use it.

Anyway, as Crafton's campaign gets increasingly squirrelly, he's starting to remind me of Bill O'Reilly, picking up factually-flawed stories from WorldNet Daily and repeating the juicy bits, promoting the idea there is a "war" going on that only he and a handful of anti-immigrant crusaders can see.

It's all very strange.