Newt Gingrich has a future as a headline writer for ESPN.com
Founding Father Ben Franklin groused about "swarthy" German immigrants who refused to learn English and who took away jobs from "white people." His terrible xenophobia was the only thing Franklin shared with Newt Gingrich. (Image from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BenjaminFranklin).
Like Newt Gingrich, an earlier generation of bigots feared that immigrants would destroy America. In this 19th century cartoon, an Irish and a Chinese immigrant threaten to "swallow" Uncle Sam. Image from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TuQ1GMhHYR4/TT3jBBRScJI/AAAAAAAAAME/GwouVv_xae8/s1600/Unclesamswallowed.jpg).
English is still such a powerful force in world culture and commerce because it has been so flexible and has so readily absorbed outside tongues. As The Story of English by Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil, and William Cran points out, the original inhabitants of the British Isles spoke Celtic and absorbed Latin from their Roman conquers, German from their Anglo, Saxon and Jute conquerors, and French from their Norman conquerors. As they colonized and enslaved much of the world, they filched words from Arabs, African slaves, from their colonial subjects in India and China, and from Native Americans. The other day I was listening to an ad for home physical fitness equipment on a Dallas radio station. The announcer said, “You probably don’t want to schlep to the gym,” using a Yiddish phrase for “drag yourself.” English itself is not “English-only.”