We Speak American Here

More
2694048267_3e2a9043db_m.jpg

Patrick Ruffini slams the Obama campaign for using a foreign language in its promotional material for an event in Germany. Apparently it's now unpatriotic to so much as concede that they speak foreign languages in foreign countries. Or maybe American politicians should only be allowed to speak in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK.

Meanwhile, I understand that as a campaign tactic, contemporary conservatism's reliance on the national security issue and contemporary conservatism's embrace of xenophobia and insularity go together like a horse and carriage. But serious people ought to be able to understand that if you want the United States of America to play a global role, that the leading figures in shaping foreign policy shouldn't be infected by this sort of proud ignorance of the world beyond our borders. There's a coherent strain of conservatism out there that would combine dispositional insularity with advocacy of an actually insular foreign policy (read The American Conservative magazine or Pat Buchanan's books if you want to find it) but that's not where the mainstream GOP is and it's certainly not where John McCain is. But if you have these kind of grand aspirations for America on the world stage, then you need some internationally oriented people at the top. The kind of people who, you know, don't think it's crazy to use the German language in Germany.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Ghost Trains of America

Can a band of locomotive experts save vintage railcars from ruin?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In