Tuesday, December 4, 2007

“An insular and isolated America doesn’t cut it.”

Due to the extensive and wonderfully heated conversation following my last political post, I thought I'd try my hand at another. The Democratic debates on NPR, today, left me thinking a lot of different thoughts.

1. If I have to hear one more discussion about immigration reform I am going to SCREAM. Am I missing something? Are Mexicans suddenly arming themselves and forming a secret militia set to overtake our country? Do any of you know someone who has lost their job to an immigrant willing to work for less? What is the big deal? Fortunately, the democratic debate didn't have the offensive (and may I say slightly racist) undercurrent that the republican debated did regarding immigration, but I'm just so sick of hearing about it at all. The title of this blog is a quote from the debate. Darned it if I can't remember who said it, and I'm too lazy to find out. But he said this in response to the "concern" posed in one of the questions about Spanish overshadowing English as the predominant language in our country. Which brings me to my second point.

2. What in the world would be so wrong with Americans learning other languages, or at least learning to communicate with people who (gasp :) ) don't speak English? We all know that countries all over the world are full of citizens who speak a wide array of languages. Are Americans particularly ill-equipped to handle Spanish? I certainly hope not. I have faith in our yet-untested language abilities.

3. I think politicians, as a whole, are a pretty amusing bunch. When I find my mind wandering during one of the debates I like to play a game called (yes I name the games I play in my head) "Guess the question." If I miss the original question I listen to responses of the various candidates to see if I can get a clue about what the question was. (make sure not to look at the TV while playing, the Networks know that the original question gets lost in all the politic-ing and so they occasionally flash the question in order to remind viewers.) Usually my guess is way off, as the answers are varied and seemingly unrelated enough to make me wonder if the candidates, themselves, have forgotten the question. It is a fun game. You should try it.

4. Finally, I must mention that my love for Obama grows stronger with each passing debate. My favorite thing about him is that I believe he really thinks about what he says. I don't ever get the "I have rehearsed these answers several times with my speech writer/campaign manager/whomever, and cannot deviate or I will get lost" feeling. Not saying, of course, that he doesn't play the political game, but I feel like he really believes and means most of what he says.

Well, the girls are up from their naps, and having them near me erases all the political ire I was previously feeling. I'd rather play with them than do just about anything else. Lucky for me, that's exactly what I have planned for the rest of the day.


Jana said...

I just enjoyed the political debate on your last post. I, myself, don't get too caught up in it all. Sometimes I wish I did, at times I feel traces of the passion I felt after finishing American Heritage, but mostly I just like to be amused by everyone else.

I have heard some discussion amongst the candidates, and also am, thus far, impressed by Obama. Although I am somewhat disturbed that one his campaign spokespeople said that he sometimes chooses not to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem. (I did a little research after receiving one of those hokey email forwards.) I know this is such a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it bothers me. Really, why not do it? It's patriotic, it shows love and loyalty for our country. I heard his interview with *ahem ahem* Jay Leno and he explained why he doesn't wear the flag pin. That doesn't bother me as much. Anyhow, besides that, I like him the best as well, but things could change...

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said...

The illegal immigration debate has pulled me in both directions. On one hand, I think about the legacy of immigration into our country and how our nation has been built upon foreigners seeking the American Dream. I often try to put myself in the shoes of an illegal immigrant and I realize that if I was born in a third-world country, I would do anything I could to come to the U.S. (legally or illegally) so I could better support my family and offer my children a better future.

(And I think the racist undercurrents to this debate are ridiculous. Hasn't the Civil Rights Movement taught us any tolerance? You'd think we're back in the 19th century and pasting fliers around town that say "Irish need not apply.")

But on the other hand, I do feel that illegal immigration will become a graver problem if it continues to persist. Having so many undocumented workers and children in our country has caused various social and economic problems, especially on our medical and education systems. And in the end, illegal immigrants are breaking American laws.

I'm not entirely sure what the solution to this problem should be, but I think it should include both securing our borders to stifle illegal immigration and providing a means to citizenship for those already in our country. I know offering citizenship--albeit after a very long waiting period--is controversial, but I don't know what else we can do. We can either

1.) let illegals remain illegal, (which doesn't solve anything)

2.) kick them out of the country, which doesn't seem feasible if there are over 10 million of them, or

3.) provide a (long) path to citizenship if they are hard-working and law-abiding people. This way they can be documented and taxed. :)

I know this option seems unfair to those who have already waited years and years to gain citizenship the long and legal way (which you know about firsthand, Jame)... Unfortunately I have no solutions to this particular dilemma.

Sorry this comment is so long...

amy said...

i have been characteristically uninvolved in the upcoming election, although, out of curiosity and because NPR told me to, yesterday i listened to mitt romney's mormon speech. i was just relieved to have someone with real signs of having a brain standing behind that podium.

did you listen to it?