There’s an old saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
After all, if you find yourself living in a foreign country, common sense tells you that you should be aware of that nation’s laws and customs and yes, quickly familiarize yourself with its language.
Deliberate ignorance of these things defies rationality, and, of course, should never be rewarded.
Just imagine how an Italian moving to France, for example, would be viewed if he found official French government documents written in… French, and French workers who spoke…French.
What if, in disgust, he wrote to his friends back home, asking, "What is this? These application forms are in FRENCH! Who do these people think they are to have official government documents printed only in their own language? I am entitled — it is my right — to be able to read everything in MY language! What is the world coming to when racist governments ignore my individual wants and needs?"
And do you know what response he would — and should — receive?
"Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi." Translation: "In Rome, live in the Roman manner; if you are elsewhere, live as they do elsewhere."
So why is it that the whole world abides by that rule — except the United States?
The latest example occurred in Forty Fort last week. The borough council in that northeastern Pennsylvania town voted down a proposal to make English the official language for government business.
Not to be outdone as the center of attention, another northeast PA town also made news when Hazelton’s immigration ordinances requiring landlords to check renters’ immigration status were struck down by a federal appeals court. The misguided judges also decreed that Hazelton could not require businesses to use an electronic database to verify whether potential employees are authorized to work.
The court’s rationale? That the town was infringing on the federal government’s right to control immigration rules.
There’s only one small problem: The federal government hasn’t controlled the now-widespread illegal invader problem in decades, and cities such as Hazelton, reeling and on the verge of bankruptcy because of the fed’s abdication on this issue, are fighting back.
The court’s ruling is like telling citizens they can’t have guns to protect themselves because that’s the job of the police — where no police force exists.
It just doesn’t work.
As long as we’re on the topic of Rome, it’s important to remember why the Empire disintegrated. It wasn’t because of outside invasion, but from internal decay. Rome lost its way after abandoning its values; when that occurred, it was only a matter of time. Rome was doomed to fall.
Why then, after the benefit of seeing the mistakes of others, would we choose a path of self-destruction?
Ronald Reagan said it best when he stated, "A nation without borders isn’t a nation." He didn’t know how right he was, nor could he have seen how much his country inexplicably would run in the opposite direction of that philosophy.
When a nation voluntarily relinquishes its culture and language, bowing to the altar of appeasement in order not to "offend," it loses the very essence which makes it unique, and surrenders its identity.
And that’s exactly what’s happening here.
Rather than celebrate what makes our country the most desirable on Earth, the marshals of political correctness are relentlessly pushing to homogenize America, making it all things to all people.
The irony, of course, is that for hundreds of years, immigrants have risked their lives to come to this nation, for the simple reason that America was…America. There has never been a country like it before, and there never will be again. Those that made it kissed the ground in thanks, for they knew they were the lucky few.
And those people were, and are, the backbone of America.
But now, in an attempt to coddle minorities and illegal immigrants — for less than noble reasons — some government officials are hellbent on erasing all that made America great, choosing to turn our land into one without respect for the rule of law.
Is it any wonder why so many second and third generation Americans do not speak the native tongue of their ancestors? Because those who left everything behind to start a new life in America were happy to be here, and wanted their children to reap the rewards that this magnificent land had to offer. They instinctively knew that, at the risk of losing some of their Old World culture, their children could only achieve greatness if they viewed themselves as American. It was a branding they wanted to have.
What a pity that we have devolved so much.
Now, our government conveniently ignores the law — and the will of the people — to appease an obnoxiously loud but extremely small minority. But the bigger problem is that a majority of Americans are unwilling to take a stand, afraid of being labeled insensitive, reactionary — and, of course, racist.
Build a wall? That’s racist. And how dare you take away the dreams of people who just want the same opportunity as you — no matter that they break the law to get here.
Demand proper documentation when applying for a job? No way— that would be insulting and disenfranchising to those here illegally. And offending people is tantamount to harassment.
Affirm English as the official language? How bigoted and exclusionary! That would be like putting up a sign saying, "You’re not welcome!"
And of course, those who speak out against local, state and federal governments that aid and abet criminals — which is, by definition, the status of all illegal immigrants — are swiftly labeled as bigots who hate immigrants.
But don’t look to Washington for answers, since the politicians are as much to blame as anyone.
Under their watch, illegals receive official drivers licenses, jobs, free education and healthcare (for which we foot the bill), and documents in their own language, all while our wide-open border beckons more illegals.
Republicans and Democrats are equally at fault, since both have no motivation to change. Some in the GOP don’t want to offend the Hispanic vote (which doesn’t vote for them anyway) while others are in bed with Big Business wanting cheap labor. Too many Democrats put politics ahead of national security because they see illegals voting their way — which they do, and in ever-growing numbers, to the point where they are affecting congressional and even presidential elections.
America’s downward spiral can only be reversed if the majority of people take their head out of the sand.
If the battle for America’s heart and soul is to be won, rank-and-file citizens have to voice the ideas that made America great — and which have absolutely nothing to do with race—: protection of borders, protection of customs, protection of the English language.
If not, America will continue its plummet into obscurity, ceasing to be the Shining City on a hill.
And all of us — American and immigrant alike — will be far the worse for it.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com
Readers of his column, "Freindly Fire," hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller "Catastrophe."
Freind also serves as a weekly guest commentator on the Philadelphia-area talk radio show, Political Talk (WCHE 1520), and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX 29. He can be reached at [email protected]