I agree with pretty much everything you've said, Sixie.
One note (and not a dispute between us, just a note). A lot of non-Americans, more often Europeans, like to kid Americans about how most of them only speak English. There are a couple of logical reasons why that's often the case. The first is that the European continent is roughly 3.9 million square miles. If traveling 2,500 miles or so from one end of the continent (say Lisbon, Portugal) to the other (Moscow or Volgograd, Russia) the traveler would need to be fairly fluent in maybe four or five languages as he moves through country to country, each with its own language. On the other hand, the US (roughly 3.8 million square miles) requires only one language (English) while traveling 3,270 miles from one coast (Bangor, Maine or New York City) to the other (San Diego, California or Seattle, Washington), so historically there was no need to learn another language for travel or business. Europeans historically generally learned several languages out of necessity if they wanted to travel or do business with those in another European nation, sometimes even just a few miles/kilometers away, for example just between France and Spain.
This is changing, for example most Americans anywhere near the southern border and in most major cities have at least a working-knowledge of Spanish. In Canada I'm sure many English-speaking Canadians, especially in Eastern Ontario and Quebec have a working knowledge of Quebecois French. And of course all of this is changing with the availability of instant translation devices, etc. where the need to speak foreign languages fluently diminishes.
(Myself, I only speak English and Latin, which has grown quite rusty over the years.) (But you never know when you might run into an ancient Roman!)
(And enough Spanish to greet some of my neighbors. Or get myself in trouble in Laredo, Juarez or Tijuana! )