One of the baffling issues to me has been the argument by Democrats against making English the official language of the United States. President Obama displayed his commitment to Hispanic Americans by appointing Justice Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. If he really cares about immigrants and the poor, he would make English our official language and assure that all people learn to speak it in the United States.
I have had the good fortune of travelling to a vast part of the world. The people we encounter almost everywhere we have traveled speak English. I’m not referring only to hotel and restaurant personnel. When you stop people on the street, they also have a working knowledge of English. With the exception of two locations, we have had little or no difficulty speaking English only.
The first place was Japan, which was actually surprising. All Japanese are required to learn English in school. It was quite surprising to experience so little ability from the populace to speak even a modicum of English.
The other place is France. The French are still under the delusion that France is a significant country in the world, thus making their language important. Other than in France, the only other people speaking French are some in Belgium, some in Quebec and some in certain parts of Africa. English transitioned to the world’s official language with the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I. While the treaty was issued in both English and French, it was nevertheless the end of the French era on the world stage.
Since the Elizabethan era and the defeat of the Spanish Armada, English has spread throughout the world. The English created their empire; including winning control of what would become the United States. Up until World War I, the “empire that never sleeps” spread the English language to all corners of the globe. After World War I, the United States was on the ascension. The climb was completed with the Second World War, and the United States has remained the dominant country in the world.
It is worth noting that in addition to the English language dominating since that time, so too has our culture. American movies and television are shown in all parts of the world. Most countries broadcast these shows just like we see them here in the United States – in English. Except of course in France, where you will see Jack McCoy speaking French. Most of the world can sit in their living rooms around the globe and learn to communicate in English.