If we are to restore a sense of identity and belonging, there must be something which holds us together as a nation. For a long time we could at least rely upon the English language. Earlier generations of immigrants, including Tancredo’s Italian grandparents, wanted to learn English because they wanted to become Americans. By contrast, a Cuban professor at Florida State University told Time magazine a few years ago: “we like Miami because there is absolutely no pressure to become an American.”
On a visit to Florida Tancredo told a radio interviewer that “Miami is essentially a third world country.” The next day this remark is a national news story and Tancredo gets a letter from Jeb Bush: “How dare you say this! We celebrate diversity down here! etc., etc.” Not long afterwards he reads that a City Council in Florida has had to pass an ordinance requiring their employees to wear underwear and use deodorant.
Tancredo quoted the late Samuel Huntington as saying that throughout American history, people who were not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants have become American by adopting White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture and political values, with the rule of law being among the most important. Huntington’s argument, the Congressman emphasized, is for the importance of Anglo-Saxon culture, not necessarily Anglo-Saxon people.
(The Social Contract, Vol. XIX, No. 4, Summer 2009).