On Tuesday, May 2, Reason Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie appeared on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to debate the legislator's recent Senate resolution that the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem "should be recited or sung in English." Gillespie, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland and whose maternal grandparents emigrated from Italy, argued that Alexander's resolution was not only a waste of time but an affront to freedom of expression.
For a transcript of the show, go here.
And for a representative sampling of the emails Gillespie--a.k.a. "*&^%&&^% WOP"--received in response to his appearance, go here.
O'REILLY: Joining us from Washington, Nick Gillespie, the editor of "Reason" magazine and Senator Lamar Alexander, who wants to send a message about the anthem. So he has introduced a nonbinding resolution, a symbolic law to the floor of the Senate to say what? Senator?
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: Well to say that our national anthem, our oath of allegiance, our pledge of allegiance, ought to all be recited or said in our common language which is English.
O'REILLY: What about diversity?
ALEXANDER: Diversity is very important. But because we're a nation of immigrants, because of all of our diversity, we need something in common. Diversity is a great strength. But the greatest thing about our country is we molded into one -- into one nation. So we have our common history. We have the common principles that we debate here in the Senate. We have our common language, English. And we ought to encourage it, not undercut it. I mean we don't -- we don't salute the flag of our ancestors. And we don't -- we don't say the pledge after allegiance in Chinese and we don't sing the national anthem in Spanish. We're not the United Nations. We're the United States of America.
O'REILLY: I know.
ALEXANDER: . things we have in common.
O'REILLY: But, look, with the changing complexion, I mean that literally, of America, accepting now and I think it's going to happen between 12 and 30 million new citizens, many of whom speak Spanish, aren't you leaving them out if so don't let them speak -- sing the national anthem in their own language?
ALEXANDER: You're leaving them out if you don't encourage them to learn English. We created the public schools 150 years ago primarily to help immigrant children learn to read and write in English and learn what it means to be an American. In order to be a legal citizen in this country, it is the law that you have to know English to an eighth grade level. And the Senate last week just passed a law that said we'll give you $500 if you're legally here and want to become a citizen to help you learn English. We'll take all the amount of time you have (INAUDIBLE) to become a citizen.
O'REILLY: I don't know about your relatives, but I don't think my relatives from Ireland got $500 when they got off at Ellis Island. They already spoke English. They also spoke Gaelic and had a big brogue.
ALEXANDER?: We always worked on helping them learn English.
O'REILLY: OK, Mr. Gillespie, do you think this is a good thing that the Senate pass a symbolic law saying that you got to sing the national anthem in English?