Drudge today links to a story from the Washington Times that recounts the recent Senate vote to make English the official language of the US. The headline is "Reid Calls Language Proposal Racist." Where to begin? Dear Senator Reid:

It should self-evident that a group of people cannot remain cohesive if they cannot communicate with one another. Since our nation's founding, English has provided that common means of communication.

Perhaps some nations, such as Switzerland with its four official languages, can function with multiple tongues. But for the US, which languages of the dozens spoken would we make official? And more to the point, in this electronic era of instant communication in business and politics, in how many languages can we expect a person to be fluent? English has served us well so far.

Why change the rules now? We have had large immigrant groups before who learned English--Germans, Italians, Poles, etc. Many of these continued using their "native tongues" for more than one generation in newspapers, worship, and theater. But, to participate in America, they learned English.

Most importantly, language is the carrier of culture. Many anthropologists regard language as the most significant marker between cultures, far more than race. If we are to continue as a nation, with some degree of cultural cohesion, then we must come to share a language. English, the language of the Declaration, the Constitution, Tom Sawyer, the speeches of Lincoln and of King and Kennedy, is the language of historic American culture. To insist on English as our official language is not to be racist; it is to be concerned that this nation shall not perish from the earth.

Finally, much of the world, including the developing world, is trying to learn English. It has become the international language, the Latin of the 21st century. Schools have limited time. Learning a foreign language is good. But, let's make sure that our children have the advantage of English fluency. Then they can learn another language.