Through the Glass Darkly…
It’s happened again. A daunted writer sitting in front of a blank screen facing a deadline.
Sometimes this gig is not difficult at all. Words and certainty roll from my fingers onto the computer screen. I have an answer, or, at least, a relevant thought to share. My goal is always to stimulate thought, and maybe even action.
There is so much to know about each subject, and that problem is in the forefront of my thoughts this week. I read a column by Frank Rich in The New York Times in which he discussed the presidential race. I hadn’t even thought of half of what he talked about.
My good friend and fellow columnist, Roy Meachum, inspired my actual writing career. I had written occasionally before, but never for publication until he encouraged me. I have now been published in both The Frederick News Post and on the TheTentacle.com, much to my delight.
Roy and I often disagree about issues. He’s a liberal Democrat, generally. I am a conservative Republican, generally. We have great discussions, as you can imagine. I occasionally threaten to fly across the room and wring his neck, which is probably amusing to watch, and certainly stimulating for me. I’ve managed to avoid a stroke so far, though.
There’s got to be a place, though, where opinion must be supported by logic and by facts, more than by the loudest and strongest assertion of same. The trouble is nailing those facts.
I am of the opinion that, if I must follow my government’s laws, then it should, too. Therefore, my government should either follow or change immigration laws.
It seems obvious to me that having more than one language in a society would divide the society. After all, isn’t communication necessary to understanding? Don’t the French and English-speaking Canadians have trouble getting along? And what about the Serbs and the Croatians? What if they had melted into the pot and gotten to understand each other? I just don’t have the facts to prove that language is a primary cause of their difficulties.
I think immigrants should follow the tradition and melt into the melting pot of America, learning the language. I think it’s wrong for citizens to have their taxes go to mandatory translation, or to printing government documents in more than one language. We don’t have any money to spare. I, therefore, applaud Walkersville’s attempt to make English their official language.
Our immigrants, and I welcome them, are volunteers. The onus is on them to get the translation they need until they can get along in the language of their chosen country.
Self interest – and what it justifies – is another thing. Is it okay that the British interfered with Turkey’s efforts to save Jews during World War II, even going so far as insisting that Turkey send an unarmed ship, with 700 Jews aboard, into the Baltic Sea where it was blown up by the Russians? They apparently did it out of self interest. They needed the Arabs on their side.
Was it okay for the United States to support unethical dictators such as Saddam Hussein and Ferdinand Marcos in the interest of stability in the world?
Should we allow the government of Myanmar to prevent foreign aid from getting to the cyclone victims? Or should we, on principle, drop food and supplies directly to the people, risking even more instability in the world?
I think I know the answers. I think we should act on principle from beginning to end – work for caring and fairness to all.
I just wish I could find proof.