Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crafton Calls English Only Opponents "Elites" with Vision of "Shadow Government"

Perhaps I've been deceiving myself. I've been opposing Eric Crafton's English Only since 2006 and I had no idea that all this time I have been advocating a conspiracy for Nashville's "liberal elites" to enact their vision of "a shadow government and a shadow community" to keep immigrants from having a voice. That is how Eric Crafton described his opponents of this month's English Only referendum to Lou Dobbs and a national audience yesterday. He claims guys like me are not among the regular folks who are more likely to support him.

I've documented how Eric Crafton's justifications for English Only have changed over and over again to suit the tactical goals he has at any particular time. His latest reasoning is a twisted embrace of democracy as an advocate to help immigrants protect themselves against a tiered system where people are kept from having tools of their own uplift. He's fashioned himself lately into some sort of weird caricature of a progressive. He argued in the past that English Only is not about illegal immigration, but he did not object one bit when Lou Dobbs tied the two issues together even as he posed as a champion of democracy.

After watching Eric Crafton manuever English Only around Metro Council in 2006-07, abandoning some promises (language education programs) and adding others (exceptions for emergent conditions), I do not believe that he is honest in claiming to be interested in immigrant uplift. It appeared to me that his shift from "English Only" to "English First" (he has used both labels to describe his interests) was motivated purely by his self-interest in getting enough votes to pass legislation to crack down on immigrants (and he did motivate 23 other council members to follow him). Very little about that vote suggested democracy to me.

There is no anti-democratic conspiracy to kill English Only from my perspective; there is suspicion of Eric Crafton's true motives. An appearance in Lou Dobb's national vacuum will not change my mind about that.

1 comment:

  1. Have you read Albert Hirschman's The Rhetoric of Reaction? This is a classic example of the argument of perversity, which states that reform efforts will backfire and result in effects opposite those desired.

    It's a great read, and reading Hirschman attunes your ear to the kinds of intellectually vacuous rhetorical techniques the right uses.