Jan 13, 2012
When was it seen as a bad thing to speak another foreign language? When was speaking French seen as non cool? Any ad that is promoting the dumbing down of America is not cool.
In an attack ad released by the New Gingrich's campaign, millionaire businessman and former Chief Executive of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is criticized by fellow Republican Newt Gingrich for being able to read and speak French fluently.
The backers of these ad attacks seem to have forgotten that Newt Gingrich has a doctorate in European History. Back in 1971, he submitted a dissertation, Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960. The dissertation had a lot of French sources in its bibliography. How can those who prepared the ad miss such an important fact? Even Newt must have known some French to be able to conduct all his research for his dissertation. Otherwise, how else would he have made reference to all these French sources?
Speaking another language should be applauded by whoever has the means and intelligence to acquire it. Mitt Romney learned French when he was a Mormon missionary in Paris and Bordeaux in the 1960s. In business and in culture, the language has served Mitt Romney well. Releasing such a video attack ad will not encourage American students to learn a foreign language.
The ad attackers are linking Sen. John Kerry who speaks French fluently and lost to George Bush to Mitt Romney's French Connection. The message they are conveying is that French-speaking Romney will lose to President Obama just like Kerry lost to George Bush.
Let's not mingle politics with culture and intelligence. There is no reason to criticize somebody for knowing French. The attack ad may not sit well with the reality of the country. Most Americans like French. They would like to learn and speak French. French may be one of the languages that most of them would like to learn if they could.
Do not pay attention to the attack ad video that comes to discourage you and keep you away from meeting your linguistic goals. Speaking French is cool. Students should learn the language.