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who blogs at Dirigo Blue and Kennebec Blues
and has been misrepresented by Senator Olympia Snowe for many years.

Rick Santorum took his campaign to Puerto Rico yesterday and in a move calculated to lose the upcoming Sunday caucuses went for broke, telling  Puerto Ricans who have a November referendum scheduled on statehood and a Governor who supports both statehood and Mitt Romney that they should make English their official language as a statehood condition according to Reuters:

Santorum said he did not support a state in which English was not the primary language.

"Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law," Santorum said. "And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language."

Of course this ignores the fact that the United States does not have an official language and there are no "compliance" provisions for English. Some states in xenophobic zeal have passed laws making English an official language. Puerto Rico does already have English and Spanish as its official languages.

The thrust of Santorum's remarks would appear to be to play to his right wing base back on the mainland if this was a purposefully calculated move. However that is not Rick's usual English approach since he usually spouts off in English without much English forethought whatsoever. This is one more reason that in a Fox poll of potential Latino voters President Obama is at 69% and Rick Santorum is at 14% along with all his GOP rivals.

Currently 27 out of 50 states have passed laws making English the official language. In 1978 Native Hawaiian was added as the second official state language of Hawaii in addition to English:

"The Hawaiian language is the native language of Hawaii and may be used on all emblems and symbols representative of the State, its departments, agencies and political subdivisions."

One further wonders that since Santorum sees Puerto Rico's establishment of two official languages as a barrier to statehood, if in his rigid ideological approach to most things, that he believes Hawaii ought to be stripped of statehood. Doing so of course might play well to the GOP/tea base, killing three birds with one stone. It would finally make President Obama a foreigner, remove a reliable Democratic piece of the Electoral College, and increase the influence of the right wing English-only language purists.

Far fetched? So is Rick Santorum as President. Adiós Rick!

Originally posted to Bruce Bourgoine on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 05:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge

    I didn't know about Native Hawaiian.  See, Kos is educational!

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 06:30:42 AM PDT

  •  I think the meaning of "principal language" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, murrayewv

    is the key. It sounds like he is saying that Puerto Rico can never become a state if English is not the primary language that they speak. So they'd all better stop speaking Spanish as a first language.

    Dumb@$$

  •  Ricky doesn't understand nuance (0+ / 0-)

    This was meant to be a dog whistle to the tea party (actually, only if Cuba becomes a state and all the Republican Cubans flock back to Havana to vote would uber-Dem Puerto Rico's admission be likely) but instead we all heard it.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 09:05:42 AM PDT

  •  Puerto Rico is a spanish speaking country (0+ / 0-)

    that is why the do not want statehood, they see how Hawaii lost its main language, how New Mexico speaks broken spanish or half spanish half english in the same sentence.
    spanish is the principal language of all puerto ricans in schools, media, government, business, churches etc...it has been like that for 5 centuries, the official language is Spanish even though former governor Pedro Rossello wrote down a law in the early 90's saying english was co official, it is a huge political joke, spanish is the language that rules 99.9%

  •  Puerto Ricans are US Citizens not by choice (0+ / 0-)

    as my high school Spanish teacher used to say.

    Louisiana, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, California, Alaska, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam also had all their residents made US Citizens without their consent and regardless of what languages they spoke.

    That said, I'm sure that were Puerto Rico vote for independence, it would be granted immediately.

DRo

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