The Free Agent is in the mood for something a little more comedic than her columns of late. A coworker (who spent the first thirty years of her life in communist Poland) told her about the following situation and her assessment of it, and FA relayed the anecdote to a Democrat friend of hers. The Free Agent couldn’t have scripted more perfectly aligned reactions, given our three different political orientations.
The situation is this: Chinese parents of the coworker’s son’s “have been in this country over fifteen years and they haven’t even learned English yet. When I call there to talk to my son, they have to hand the phone to one of the children to interpret.” Can you correctly match our reactions?:
1) Well, we don’t make it very easy to learn English here.
2) It’s hard to acquire a language as an adult. For most of our history, people didn’t necessarily come here to make their own lives better, they came for their children (who in this case, are fully assimilated Americans, doing well in school, etc.).
3) They come here and don’t even bother to learn the language and are probably on food stamps, which I don’t qualify for.
Another way to look at it is to ask ‘who has a problem and who is responsible for the solution?’. The ex-communist sees the problem as society’s, that the individual should be made to solve; the Democrat sees a problem of the individual that society ought to solve; and the Libertarian says “Is there a problem? We don’t know these people are unhappy, or that they’re asking anything from me.”
The Free Agent always scratched her head at the expression, “the personal is political”, but perhaps, through her chuckles, she begins to understand!