Op Ed

Takedown: Press 1 for English

This week’s crapdate is a sleeper hit. I have seen the sentiment floating around for, well, probably for as long as there have been Internet memes. It’s the ol’ “I hate pressing buttons” problem.

Press 1
NOOO! I don’t WANT to press a button!

It’s a button. It takes less than one second to push it. America is the LAND OF THE FREE! and the HOME OF THE BRAVE! and I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING AMERICAN!, USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! But we are so lazy that pushing a button offends us to the core?

Well, no. It’s what it symbolizes, as this crapdate clearly shows. There are people who don’t speak English in this country, which is, it apparently goes without saying, terrible. Even though America doesn’t have an official language. Even though America is a country built on immigration and we could have borrowed French or German from Europe, but we borrowed English instead. Even though we all should really be speaking Cree or Cherokee, if it comes down to it.

The thing I love about this particular image is how unbelievably stupid it is. The designer of the image is trying to say that instead of having to go through the incredibly rigorous exercise of pressing a button on a phone, they will instead choose AMERICA. You know, capitalism. America = capitalism and capitalism = America, so I will post this status to show that if you are okay with immigration, you hate America.

But capitalism is more than a buzz word. One of capitalism’s main tenets is the belief in competition and the free market, which is touted by those on the right as the solution to all of America’s problems. Get rid of regulation! Let the market decide! Obama is a socialist so he is evil! Any government intervention is bad government intervention!

Anybody who believes that the government should be as small as possible, should intervene as infrequently as possible, and should encourage competition on all levels must be in favor of immigration. Unchecked, unregulated, free border immigration.


Because if you look at the world at large, there are only a certain number of resources, and capitalism suggests that people should duke it out over these resources, compete so that the best products can be created the most efficiently, everybody looking towards profit as the main goal. America has a large amount of the world’s resources (money, infrastructure, military, etc.), and people, as is human nature, respond to this global allocation of resources and want to move to get a bigger piece of the pie. Our entire American system is built on the idea that people need resources and will be most productive when in competition for said resources–a true capitalist would say that we must open the borders completely so that competition can be king. It might be painful for people who currently benefit from government regulations on residency documentation, just as dismantling social services sucks for those who rely on medicaid to stay healthy. But it’s all in the name of progress, right? Capitalism! Prosperity!

How is it that the GOP loves the free market and hates regulation, but gets so bent out of shape when people talk about deregulating immigration?

When it comes down to it, the right supports deregulation and capitalism when it is beneficial for them. Get rid of social services (government intervention!) because I am not on social services and therefore feel like it is money that is being stolen from me, but build a wall between us and Mexico (government intervention!), because I don’t want to have to compete with Mexicans for jobs. It is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

On a smaller level, capitalism is the reason why we have to push those language-deciding buttons in the first place. Companies have a Spanish menu because it makes them money. America has great customer service because it encourages profit, and having different language options is part of great customer service. In other words, the crapdate poster is saying “Capitalism is great when it benefits me, but if it doesn’t protect my interests, PROTEST!”

I am consistently surprised at the Republican platform. It is supposed to be the party of Christianity (“We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools”), and yet, it doesn’t believe in supporting the poor or the sick (“If we hand over to the next generation a legacy of growth and prosperity, rather than entitlements and indebtedness”). It is supposed to be the party of the free market and deregulation (“We are the party of maximum economic freedom and the prosperity freedom makes possible”), and yet, we can never have enough regulation of the borders (“Our highest priority, therefore, is to secure the rule of law both at our borders and at ports of entry”). It is supposed to be the party of the average Joe, and yet, its policies benefit mainly the extremely wealthy.

I understand, and even sometimes agree with those who consider themselves to be “fiscal conservatives,” but crapdates like this remind me that there are a lot of people out there who vote the party line, spout off buzzwords and phrases that make them feel good, but don’t stop to think about the blatant hypocrisy that defines the Republican party today.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

21 replies on “Takedown: Press 1 for English”

Yup, most people do not have a good enough level of the first official language to read the Constitution in it.

Also, deep, icky historical problems with monolingualism make me seriously suspicious of people who push English as The One True Official Language in the USA.

I don’t even really understand what’s going on in this image. It looks like either you press 1, because you are an English-speaking American and all is right in the world with you, or… you press 2, because you’re an immigrant or something, and then capitalism gets explained to you in “Mexican”? What? I can’t make that logical jump. And why is Uncle Sam pointing his button-pressing finger at me?

You want a button, pal, I gots ya a button.

This is kinda where I am with this one too. Unclear message is unclear. Where are they going with this? If you don’t speak English, you must need capitalism? Yes? No? Spanish is a scary language and it bothers me that my bank offers the menu in it? I do not follow.

(and right click save that gif thank you)

Loved this article.  I agree on so many levels.

I remember in the run up to the 2008 election I was talking to an economist friend and he mentioned that as much as Canadians were fawning over Obama, it’s actually better for Canada when a Republican is in because of trade / economics.  Despite thinking that everyone in “Murica should speak English, the uneducated masses (obviously not all of their votes) who do vote Republican seemingly don’t realize how open GOP policies are towards trade.  American protectionism and closing borders is a Democratic thing, not the GOP.

I would also add that most Americans don’t realize that on the scale of “the Democrats are socialists and Obama is a Muslim” to the other end of “The GOP are baby killing fascists” that in relative terms, the Democrats are incredibly right wing and sit right of where most Conservative parties sit around the world.  I remember being shocked when I watched Obama in a debate in 2008 look into the camera and declare that marriage is for a man and a woman – not exactly liberal policy.  By then Canada had settled it a number of years ago and the Conservative government isn’t going to touch it.  It’s settled.  Gay people have openly served in the military in Canada since the last 20 years (1992).

Now in New Zealand I watched the National Party Prime Minister, John Key, (National is the “right wing” party here) state that he believed in making it legal for same sex couples to adopt and the important thing was for a child to be loved and not their parent’s sexual orientation.  I couldn’t believe it!  I cannot imagine those words coming out of a right wing politician’s mouth in Canada.

I’m certainly not advocating that there aren’t major issues in any country, just that I really notice the difference between what is “left” and “right” really depends on where you are.

Call me crazy, but I kind of respect Obama for “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage. He admitted to his prejudice and grew out of it, which I think endeared him to some conservatives in the Democratic party.

And you’re absolutely right. Our idea of liberalism is conservative in a lot of developed nations. If I could have a career in entertainment in Europe (and I understood currency conversion beyond pound > dollar) I’d pack up and relocate =D

I kind of respect Obama for “evolving” on the issue of gay marriage

I have a sneaking suspicion that he never felt any other way about it, and merely said he was for the Christian definition of marriage so that he could get elected in 2008. Make of that what you will.

Susan, have you ever read “The Shock Doctrine.”. You’d love it. immigration is rhetoric to gin up the base. They sighed NAFTA and CAFTA both had extensive immigration reform in it.  And the Pan Pacific Treaty being negotiated also addresses the free movementoff labor.Immigration is bi line rendered meaningless by these treaties, but used as a talking point for the illiterate.

Wow, this is the epitome of WAH WAH. It’s A BUTTON and I DO NOT CARE where you think it stands for. USE IT and DO NOT COMPLAIN or get yourself OUT OF THE EQUATION AND STUFF YOUR GOB.

I’m sorry. I pushed a button. It’s called caps lock and it shows feelings. In every language.

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