A federal judge in Florida has decreed that 32 large county election officials must provide Spanish-language ballots, sample ballots and polling places with posted notices — a decision that will drive up the Democratic vote and perhaps provide the difference in close Midterms, including for Congress.
The order by Chief Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee is in response to the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida after Hurricane Maria last year. He wrote that not providing Spanish-language ballots to eligible voters would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
“Puerto Ricans are American citizens,” Walker wrote. “Unique among Americans, they are not educated primarily in English — and do not need to be. But, like all American citizens, they possess the fundamental right to vote.”
The ruling can be appealed, but not before the Midterms, so the state of Florida Division of Elections is complying and printing up the ballots.
The decision comes because several Hispanic groups sued Florida and the 32 Florida counties, using the 56,000 Puerto Ricans who have moved to the state as the leverage point to force the issue that has not been won before.
“Currently, many thousands of Puerto Rican and other Spanish-speaking Florida residents with limited English proficiency are being impeded from exercising their fundamental right to vote because elections in many parts of the state are conducted only in English,” LatinoJustice PRLDEF, one of the legal advocacy organizations involved in the action, wrote in a press release.
It’s not known how many Hispanic-speaking Florida voters will now show up at the polls — certainly more than the potential 56,000 Puerto Ricans — but two key points are known:
- Virtually all of the news and opinion (inasmuch as there is a difference) which will inform their vote comes from far left Spanish-only outlets such as Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America, Televisa and Miami Herald-owned El Nuevo Herald. They will have no Fox News or Washington Examiner or New York Post types of alternatives, no Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Mark Levin, CRTV types of alternative talkers.
- They will vote in very large percentages for Democrats, likely higher than the already high general Hispanic population, because of their lack of access to diversified or balanced information.
This is a small but short-term impactful victory for the Midterms and for the multicultural forces that are lower profile in the swarm of other nonsense going on right now, but still pushing America further into an anti-melting pot Balkanized country of strife and division.
Florida should appeal this decision for future elections, to allow the state and individual counties to decide — not a lone judge. Hopefully, they will continue to decide for one language for America.
The philosophical problem with this ruling is the same as it has always been, and what has been the driving force behind the English-only movement for 20 years: It drives the continued erosion of a single, unified national language and culture, created by the melting pot of immigrant cultures to create one big, beautiful American stew. Without one language, a common communication vehicle, it is impossible to maintain a common culture.
This diminishes America and American unity — as we have seen for decades with growing divisions by language and unmelted foreign cultures. But it is also negative for the Hispanic population in America.
Hispanics already have been ghetto-ized through multiculturalism into small Spanish-only communities where they can survive without learning English, but can never access the broad American dream. They may be better off than they were in the countries from which they have fled (or territory in the case of Puerto Rico) but they will miss magnificent opportunities. If they do not blend in as previous waves of immigrants melt, but merely important the culture from which they fled, who possibly wins?
So to those who unfortunately cannot actually read this: celebrate your holiday (and American holidays) enjoy your native sports, wear your native dress and eat your native foods. But speak English as the Germans, French, Italians, Russians, Japanese, Chinese, Cubans and others learned to do when they immigrated. Then participate and contribute to the American culture through a unified language that opens up education, arts, business, politics and more. Appreciate and partake in all that America has to offer.
That is the value for everyone of a common language.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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