I was disappointed by former V.P. Joe Biden’s op-ed in the NYT, Reclaiming America’s Values.” Biden basically said that there are only two American values worth reclaiming -- diversity and democracy. He said:
Reclaiming our values starts with standing up for them at home — inclusivity, tolerance, diversity, respect for the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. If these are the democratic principles we wish to see around the world, America must be the first to model them…..
You cannot define Americans by what they look like, where they come from, whom they love or how they worship. Only our democratic values define us. And if we lose sight of this in our conduct at home or abroad, we jeopardize the respect that has made the United States the greatest nation on earth.
So, Biden does not think a common language is important; English is no more important than Lao, Swahili or Spanish. It’s more important that people speak many different (diverse) languages than that they speak a common language. Any kind of a shared cultural heritage is bad. Children should renounce their parents as evil; this is something that usually occurs in teenagers anyway, although it violates the Fifth Commandment.
While democracy and the rule of law are important, I do not believe that diversity is a touchstone of American values. America was founded by men who looked alike and spoke the same language. Did they believe they were evil because of that? I don’t think so.