RON UNZ IS NOT A ONE-NOTE CANDIDATE

Ralph E. Shaffer
Walter P. Coombs


Ron Unz's announcement that he will be a candidate for the Republican 
Senatorial nomination in 2000, seeking to replace Democrat Dianne Feinstein, 
has drawn scoffs and snickers from  within his own party and from his 
Democratic opposition.  Dismissing Unz as a fly-by-night whose only claim to 
fame is his successful management of Proposition 227, the anti-bilingual 
education initiative, they argue that Unz is so narrow-focused that he cannot 
conduct a campaign on the broad issues facing the U. S. Senate.

But Unz is not a one-dimensional candidate.  His brief but specific platform 
goes to the heart of what's wrong with America and appeals to many voters. Here 
is a preview of his agenda.

To demonstrate his belief that the people, not the media, own the air waves, 
Unz will propose federal legislation protecting that right from narrow 
corporate interests and from the vagaries of program managers.  Disturbed by 
the increasing number of foreign language stations operating within the U.S., 
Unz  will propose that all over-the-air radio and tv must be broadcast in 
English. Television re-runs originally aired in English will not be translated 
into other languages for rebroadcast in the U.S.  New cablecasts in foreign 
languages will have open-caption English translations to encourage immigrants 
to learn it.   

Heeding the warnings of the no-growth and environmental movements, Unz will be 
no friend to developers. His legislation will require English-only names for 
new roads, parks, subdivisions and tracts.  All streets currently carrying 
quaint, cute or euphonious foreign names will be changed to English, as was 
done in Los Angeles in 1849 when the city was first mapped by an American. Main 
Street is certainly a more wholesome and American-sounding name than Calle 
Principal.

Existing cities with foreign names translatable into English will be changed to 
that form immediately.  El Monte will become Thicket City; Los Angeles will 
officially  become the City of Angels.  (To avoid a church-state debate all 
cities named San or Santa will simply become Ana, Barbara, Monica, Marino, 
etc., using the Anglicized version without the saintly forerunner.)

Unz's commitment to freedom of the press is evident in his proposed 
clarification of the First Amendment.  To forward the rapid assimilation of 
immigrants, foreign language papers will be printed in English with occasional 
side bars in the native language, thus using the press as a form of (shall we 
say it?) bi-lingual education.

To protect consumers, all advertisements will be English-only, regardless of 
the media used.  Business signs in foreign languages will be banned, thereby 
guaranteeing that American citizens can easily find a store.   This also 
fosters his commitment to law enforcement by making it easier for police, fire 
and other emergency services to find the business they are directed to.  In an 
appeal to frustrated purchasers of new appliances, all instruction manuals must 
be printed in the U. S. and written by an American citizen whose native 
language is English.

The high cost of utilities has also drawn his attention.  That will be attacked 
by prohibiting publication of Spanish-language yellow pages by the phone 
companies, or the insertion of those multi-lingual announcements of gas and 
electricity rate increases that accompany each month's bills. 

In keeping with his belief in private enterprise, Unz will offer legislation to 
strengthen American business. Any foreign company or product using a name that 
can be translated into English must use the English version. Volkswagen will 
become People's Car.  He's already suggested that Saab and Volvo merge into 
Salvo.  Those BMWs built in South Carolina will become BSCs.

Recognizing that health care will be the major issue in 2000, Unz has his own  
patients' bill of rights. To assure the sick will not be kept in the dark about 
their medical treatment, all prescriptions will be in English.  For those 
diseases that now carry unpronounceable names, he'll substitute simple English.  
Disaster relief has a high priority.  To protect those plagued by the 
vicissitudes of nature the National Weather Service will reverse the creeping 
multi-culturalism of recent years and apply only traditional English names to 
hurricanes. No more Joses. 

Nor is Unz only concerned with domestic issues.  To safeguard American 
interests in foreign affairs, it is necessary to eliminate treaty ambiguities.  
To accomplish that, the U.S. will not ratify any treaty written in a language 
other than English.  If foreigners want it in their language they can translate 
it, but the only official version will be the English one.  English will 
replace French as the language of diplomacy.

Judged by this platform, Unz's critics are on dangerous ground if they attempt 
to dismiss his candidacy as that of a single issue politician.  Furthermore, 
unlike others, he is at least consistent.

                          - - -

(Ralph E. Shaffer and Walter P. Coombs are professors emeriti at Cal Poly 
Pomona.)