To do so, I'm going to use this Pros and Cons list as a base. Right hand column, for reference.
"American unity never rested on unity of language."
This is what you call appeal to tradition. It's also completely wrong. American immigrants have historically learned the English language and assimilated. Even the early colonies, prior to the founding of the nation and dating back to Jamestown, was an English-speaking settlement. Our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Confederation, and the State Constitutions-- the cornerstones of our nation -- were all written in English.
You can make the argument that the Treaty of Paris wasn't written in English, but it'd be a losing argument. First of all, it was a document aimed abroad (hence the name), which only affirms the notion of national assimilation of language because it shows that those involved were conscious enough to know their target audience and base the language on such.
Moreover, read the God damn treaty:
"It has been agreed and determined, that the French language made use of in all the copies of the present treaty, shall not become an example which may be allegded, or made a precedent of, or prejudice, in any manner, any of the contracting powers; and that they shall conform themselves, for the future, to what has been observed, and ought to be observed, with regard to, and on the part of powers, who are used, and have a right, to give and to receive copies of like treaties in another language than French; the present treaty having still the same force and effect, as if the aforesaid custom had been therein observed."
In layman's terms: It wasn't written in French to set a precedent, but because it was the international language of diplomacy.
"Imposing official language often undermines national unity."
This is the second point made by the Linguistic Society of America. First of all, who the Hell joins a society about language? NERDS. This coming from the guy writing an article on a blog no one reads.
But that's besides the point. The LSA goes on to talk about how history shows that attempts to institute a national language have failed, but their examples?
• "English to impose the English language in Ireland"
• "Soviet efforts to impose the Russian language on non-Russian nationalities"
• "Franco's efforts to impose Spanish on the Basques and Catalans."
First of all, don't uh... many of the Irish kind of, y'know... speak English now? Second of all, why did they fail to cite examples where a nation has imposed a language on its own citizens? The examples they cite are examples of one nation attempting to impose its language elsewhere.
The closest you get to that is Spain, where even if I give you that one out of pity, that's one example out of... how many nations? So, is Spain the exception or the rule?
But I can't give you that one out of pity. Both Basque and Catalonia speak the Spanish language. Sure, they retain their own languages, but they do speak Spanish. The country of Spain has a 100% rate of Spanish speakers.
To make this point, you'd need to show that a majority of nations that impose a national language do not work. Thus far, three examples have been cited and not even one of them demonstrates that point.
The only realm these points are valid in is if the U.S. was attempting to force Mexico to adopt the English language. In which case, I'd agree with you, but that's simply not the argument being made here.
"Some countries do very well with many official languages."
And some countries do very well with only one.
What's your point?
The example cited is Switzerland, which supposedly has four languages that maintain equal status. But that's not true. The fourth language, Romansh does not maintain equal status as an official language at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation. But I suppose that's neither here nor there.
Also of note, Switzerland is more regional than most countries. In other words, the people of one language tend to congregate to specific areas of the country. And not all of the four languages are recognized in every region of Switzerland. So much for that.
And supposedly, Switzerland is a country of strong unity. But racism, sexism, xenophobia and anti-semitism are perpetually up in the air for discussion regarding the Swiss. Go ahead and google Switzerland and any of the above phrases.
Oh, hey. What's this here?
Note: I'm not saying all Swiss are racists, et al. I'm saying that it's not all sunshine and dancing lolipops in Switzerland.
Not that a peaceful, multilingual society makes this a good argument anyway. The whole correlation not implying causation thing comes to mind.
And really? Economic functionality? Switzerland has one of the most free market economies in the world and is deeply rooted in foreign investment, which will naturally drive a strong economy. What in God's creation does that have to do with the language(s) spoken? Again, correlation/causation.
In the words of Willy Wonka, "You LOSE. Good DAY, sir."
"Official English discriminates against non-English speakers."
By this inane logic, I'm discriminated against for being forced to learn Spanish in school.
But this isn't discrimination. Discrimination implies a double standard. For example, if I were to say that only people who speak Italian must learn English, but anyone who speaks German is exempt. Then that would be discrimination.
But such a national language would be applied to everyone. And it's not like anyone would be forced to unlearn their ethnic language. This is a stupid argument. Made by stupid people. I feel stupid just being forced to process such a stupid argument.
Sorry if it hurts your feelings, but if you don't want to be an American, then why are you here? Truly, if it impedes upon your culture so much to assimilate, then obviously, you'd be much happier elsewhere.
"Official English is driven by anti-immigrant and racist sentiments"
Why does it always come down to racism? No matter what argument is being made, someone is a racist.
Think abortion should be illlegalized? You're a racist.
Believe in a flat tax? You're a racist.
Gay marriage? Racist.
Farmer subsidies? Racist.
Robert Byrd? Well, this one kind of is racist, but yes.
The postal service? Racist.
Think mole men are going to conquer the Earth? Well, you'll probably get by with that one. Make of that what you will.
Jesus Christ. Is every argument going to come down to some gauche streak of turtle feces calling the other person racist because they can't refute their argument with logic?
It's almost like it's preconceived.
Seriously, grow the Hell up and drop the ad hominem. The national language would apply to all races -- yes, including immigrants from white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant nations.
And I don't see why asking someone to speak our language makes us 'anti-immigrant'. Last time I checked, essentially all Americans are descended from immigrants and recognize the country's deep kinship with legal immigration. Would we be xenophobic if we asked al-Qaeada members to kindly not blow up our buildings while they're in our country?
Because when coming into this country, we recognize that we are entering a melting pot. We recognize that by becoming American citizens, we become... Americans. What a concept.
Dropping names like John Tanton mean nothing to me. I suppose I should associate every fringe of a particular stance with whatever you believe?
"Official English offends idea of American diversity."
Except that immigrants that enrich the United States tend to be immigrants who assimilate and learn the language. It makes this presumption that a national language is somehow 'limiting' the American citizens. But really, you can make the inverse argument that all forcing multilingualism does is make people who are mediocre in multiple languages.
It's because we're diverse that we need a common denominator. Being able to understand each other certainly seems like a good way of doing that. Don't you think?
Pop quiz: Why has every country that has tried multiculturalism come out and said "multiculturalism does not work"?
"Official English degrades image of other languages."
So, only if America has its own national language is every other language devalued? So, I suppose Switzerland devalues all 6,500+ languages besides German, Romansh, Italian and French then, right?
Better yet, for your cultural relativists. Anyone who practices any culture is clearly degrading the image of all other cultures. Any nation with any kind of tradition should discard them immediately!
"US official language violates equal protection in court."
Quite the incentive to learn the language, huh? Even better incentive to uh... not break the law, huh?
"English is not under threat nor needing protection."
Then why am I forced to learn another language against my will?
I skipped the rest because either they weren't relevant to the case I'm making, I agree with them or they weren't really worth addressing. The only valid argument against English as a national language is Constitutional. In other words, it should be a state decision rather than a federal one.
But hey, you can probably just pass me off as a racist. That seems to be the trendy thing to do.