Politicians love slogans. Slogans are great for assigning import to things we have heard before, or for making something unpopular seem like a good idea. Not content with simple, catchy phrases like “Winning the Future,” President Obama’s staff has elevated sloganeering to an art. They have gifted us with one of the longest, most memorable political slogans in memory.
When Mr. Obama issued an executive order to establish an educational excellence initiative for Hispanics, he told us:
Our country was built on and continues to thrive on its diversity, and there is no doubt that the future of the United States is inextricably linked to the future of the Hispanic community. (emphasis added)1
The “inextricably linked” line was cloaked in a different guise for the White House and Department of Education Blogs, appearing in duplicate posts titled “Presidential “Latinos and Education” Town Hall – A Key to Winning the Future”:
The only way we can achieve these goals is to clearly understand that the future of America is inextricably linked to the future of the Latino community.2,3
For those whose preference is not English, Whitehouse.gov offered a Spanish translation:
La única manera de alcanzar estos objetivos es comprender claramente que el futuro de Estados Unidos está inseparablemente ligado al futuro de la comunidad latina.4
Good things catch on, so Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave it a try:
America’s ability to answer President Obama’s call to “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build” the rest of the world is inextricably linked to the future of the Latino community, said Secretary Duncan in a speech last week at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) National Capitol Forum in Washington, DC.5
“Inextricably linked” has a ring of prophetic finality that makes it memorable. It will be a whole lot more memorable if the worst happens and calls for immigration reform inextricably turn into an amnesty bill. Remember our “broken health care system?” We have owned a broken immigration system since the president took office. Taxpayers beware.
The president talked about bright young students clutching temporary visas during a stump speech in El Paso:
And reform will also help to make America more competitive in the global economy. Today, we provide students from around the world with visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities. (Applause.)
But then our laws discourage them from using those skills to start a business or a new industry here in the United States.6
Given El Paso’s proximity to the border, and Texas’ generosity with resident tuition rates for illegals, it is unlikely that expiring visas are a big problem for the gifted would-be Texans the president is worried about. Mr. Obama knows full well that most Americans are not overly concerned with reforming a glacially slow immigration process for legal immigrants. What we have a problem with is mass amnesty in exchange for Democratic support at the polls.
If the president really believes that he is going to get lucky and can finesse an immigration bill, he may want to back off on the whole “inextricably linked” campaign. No sense in giving new Americans a swollen head or a false sense of entitlement with their citizenship papers. They are going to feel entitled enough after listening to a few more of his speeches.