I have been absent from this blog for too long. In part it’s because I am taking care of my two-year-old grand-daughter who quite deserves the time investment. I am watching how she is putting words together and discovering grammar in her own mind. I did not have the leisure to do this when my children were at the same stage. Listening to her, I believe more than ever that trying to add a different language to the mix while she is mastering one (English) would be a risky mistake. Register this: I do not believe it’s harmless to expose small children to two languages before they have gained a good command of one. Of course, this goes against tenacious common local belief. Local belief does not hold much water with me because I am bilingual and local belief is not. I mean by “bilingual” that I am able to do everything, including my old job, in both English and French. I don’t mean only that I can find my way to the bathroom. It takes about ten hours to learn to do this in ten languages. That’s a stupid way to spend one’s time. So, if you wish to argue with me about this, don’t tell me about your neighbors’ kids who are “perfectly bilingual,” or your uncle’s friend who “knows six languages.” How the hell would you know?
If you want to argue with me on this, you will have to do it bilingually, on this blog. And since Spanish and French are the most studied foreign languages in California, I expect you to use one of these two in addition to English. (Yes, I also know Spanish but I don’t claim that I could teach sociology in Spanish, for example.) Now, I feel better! I have been biting my tongue too long on this issue of foreign tongues.
Now on to the national political scene. I have said several times that I don’t think President Obama can move toward the political center because he has only one playbook, a liberal-socialist playbook. The current mano a mano between the president and the left of the Democratic Party may yet prove me wrong. It’s about the president yielding to the Republicans’ demand for the continuation of tax breaks for everyone in return for extending unemployment benefits (again). The left side of the Left insists on punishing the very rich, and damn unemployment!
Is this one of those times when I hope I have been wrong? Do I hope Barack Obama will do a Clinton and turn to the center of the spectrum? Not really. President Obama is such a clear, almost flamboyant symbol of the American Left that I want him politically destroyed. There is no one else who can take his unfortunate place on the burning pyre, from a signaling standpoint. For ordinary Americans to really believe that they have buried the statist, big government, invasive project of the Left, it is necessary that Barack Obama be a one-term president. I hope he will end ignominously, the better to demonstrate the termination of that particular view of the world. For similar reasons, the French beheaded a king in 1789. They couldn’t really feel they had a democracy until they had done it. And the French king was not even a bad guy. He was an accomplished lock-maker in his private life. Same here; again, I have no animosity against the Mr Obama. To tell the whole truth, I feel a little sympathy for him now that he is going down. I think he is a little guy with a good heart who walked way out of his depth to the wrong end of the swimming pool. By the way, whether the new Republican House house finishes him off or his own party makes little difference. I do have a slight preference toward his own party tearing him apart in broad daylight. But that’s because of something dark lurking in my heart of which I am not especially proud!