What The Hell Are American Values, Anyhow?

President Bush

President Bush’s border control push rolls on, this time with a visit to Omaha, Nebraska, where he told his crowd that immigrants coming to America must adopt American “values” if they’re to be a part of our contry.

“One aspect of making sure we have an immigration system that works, that’s orderly and fair, is to actively reach out and help people assimilate into our country,” Bush said in a speech at a local community college. “That means to learn the values and history and language of America.”

The president may have undermined that message somewhat while at the Juan Diego Center, as he joined in a class preparing students for their U.S. citizenship tests. Though the instructor addressed students in English, Bush mostly chose their native Spanish to greet and quiz them. When the students couldn’t answer his question – how many father-son duos have served as president – Bush explained in Spanish that there have been two, the Bushes and “Juan Adams y su hijo Juan Q.”

Now what, exactly, constitutes an American “value?” The desire to be a movie star? The hope to own more property than you can live in, so you can rent it out at exhorbitant rates to the lower classes and profit off of them? The want to build a stock portfolio that amounts to lots of paper wealth when there are hundreds of homeless people without social services to turn to in your neighborhood? The dream to drive a car that’s individually responsible for contributing to global warming?

Come one, come all immigrants. The country that was built on the melding of cultural values now has an Excel spreadsheet listing all those you must adhere to.

Bush: Immigrants must adopt U.S. values [AP]