Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Common Sense: Still Rare

While I normally avoid the subject of politics, mostly because I think there are already teams of people out there who labor long hours to cover the subject much better than I could, I have seen something this morning that has motivated me to speak out.

Yes, I believe I may have a point, though I must confess to feeling a bit like a circus clown holding a fine leather briefcase.

I rose from my sleeping pallet this morning, shoving aside my sleeping rifle and 80’s era boombox — I sleep best to the soundtrack of “Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo” — and began filtering through the mornings news reports from my team of spies. It was in said reports that I came upon this video:

Apparently Mr. Tim James is running for governor of my home state of Alabama. He wants to stop people from being able to take driver’s license tests in any language other than English.

“This is Alabama,” he says in the video, “We speak English here. If you want to live here, learn it.”

This comes as a shock to me especially because Alabama is where I learned to speak French. I took classes in it starting in fifth or sixth grade as I recall, and then took it all the way through my limited college career.

I then travelled to Paris, France, used my knowledge of the language to order a ticket to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, then came home and have had little reason to speak French since. C’est dommage. Still, I did learn a good bit of it, even if it has now faded nearly entirely from the feckless weasels who comprise my brain.

My home statemate Mr James also uses the phrase “Common Sense” to close his video, even though the original “Common Sense”, written by Thomas Paine, hails America as “composed of influences and peoples from all of Europe”. Are we not still, after all, a melting pot?

I wonder if Mr. James has ever been to another country, and if so, how long he studied their language before he went.

I’m told that English is among the hardest languages to learn. It seems to me that anyone new to Alabama might need to find a way to get around while they’re perfecting their second language skills. Isn’t it better to offer those people a license so that they can legally drive in the meantime?

What if they speak some English but still miss a few key points on the test, thus causing them to be a danger to themselves and others? I’m a native English speaker and I still found it difficult to understand some employees of the Alabama DMV.

Furthermore, I’m not convinced that there is a community of people in any state, let alone Alabama, who are maliciously refusing to learn to speak English. You can tell that I’m indignant about the very suggestion of such, as I’ve trotted out the English word “furthermore”.

I am a proud son of Alabama. Like any region in any part of the world, it has a population of morons and geniuses, of free thinkers and buffoons.

My family lives there even still, and they are good people who love me very much. They do everything they can to take care of me and keep me from being as big an idiot as I would certainly be if left to myself.

Mr. Tim James and his ridiculous video are an embarrassment to me, to my family, and to the state of Alabama as a whole.

He should be ashamed.

4 thoughts on “Common Sense: Still Rare”

  1. Kelly

    That video made me want to move to Alabama just for the opportunity to vote against this guy.

    People like him are a big part of the reason I avoid the south at all costs. I can’t say my native state of Ohio is *much* better… but I don’t think anyone would stand a chance running on the “Learn English You Ignorant Foreigners” platform here. I hope he doesn’t either.

    I’m not political either, but I will be checking your state’s election results and hoping that this moron didn’t get elected.

  2. jim

    Actually I think that by generalizing that the entire south feels the same way he does, you are kind of making the same mistake he is.

    The point I’m trying to make is that whatever problems my home state has, we need leaders who will lead in a good direction.

  3. Kelly

    Obviously I know that not all people from the south are like him – YOU’RE from the south, after all, and I think you’re pretty swell. And I’ve met many fine people from other southern states as well. It just seems like there’s a higher probability of running into people like this in the south. Or perhaps they’re just more vocal about it. However, I will not deny that stupidity seems to be pervasive no matter where one might venture…
    My profound apologies for my unintentional insinuation.

  4. jim

    Hey, I think you’re swell too!