With the 4th of July came a new Gallup poll, showing that Americans from all cross-sections of society remain overwhelmingly patriotic—95 percent of respondents said they were proud of their country. That includes liberals, conservatives, the rich and poor – but to some on the Right, “patriotism” is just another word for the right-wing agenda.
For example, RightMarch.com, whose motto is “Patriotism In Action,” sent out an alert Monday celebrating the temporary defeat of reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:
Thanks to the efforts of thousands of patriotic Americans, the scheduled vote on H.R. 9, reauthorizing the VRA, was POSTPONED over this issue — enraging liberal activist organizations like People for the American Way, NOW and NARAL.
The provision RightMarch.com is attacking is the requirement that bilingual ballots be created in areas with substantial language minorities. Not surprisingly, RightMarch.com connects the anti-VRA campaign to the anti-immigration effort:
In light of the Senate recently passing a bill granting AMNESTY to 12 million illegal aliens and importing up to 66 million NEW legal immigrants, America needs linguistic unity more than ever. Offering foreign language ballots while at the same time emphasizing the importance of learning English sends mixed signals to those seeking to assimilate into American society.
A vote on the VRA has thankfully been postponed, but this is only a temporary reprieve — your Congressman needs to hear from you! [emphasis added]
Interestingly, even Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the co-sponsor of the severe House immigration bill, which would make an immigration status violation a felony, is pushing strongly for reauthorization of the VRA this year, including the bilingual-ballots provision.
“I have always said that English is the language of commerce and people who came from countries where English is not the first language, if they want to achieve the American dream, had better learn how to speak and function in English,” the Wisconsin lawmaker said Wednesday.
“But this deals with the right to vote, and these people are United States citizens,” Sensenbrenner said. “They aren’t illegal immigrants, but they’ve gone through the process and they have been naturalized and it seems to me these people should not be confused because they don’t have the proper instructions on how to vote (for) the candidates of their choice.”