Pat Buchanan writes today that for centuries, America was one nation without any divisions…never mind those whole slavery, Native American genocide and gender oppression things.
“We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789,” Buchanan insists, which might be news to Native Americans. Only in the 1960s, he claims, did America begin to fall apart, adding that African Americans under Jim Crow “enjoyed freedom and prosperity.”
He laments that America is now experiencing Balkanization and de-Christianization — to the benefit of Islam and same-sex marriage supporters — and neglecting heroes like Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
“Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in,” he writes. Because nothing says “one nation” like attempting to secede from the union.
Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque in 2001, George W. Bush declared that, as Mexico was a friend and neighbor, “It’s so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the United States.”
Bush succeeded. And during his tenure, millions from Mexico exploited his magnanimity to violate our laws, trample upon our sovereignty, walk into our country and remain here.
In 2007, supported by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama, Bush backed amnesty for the 12 million people who had entered America illegally.
The nation thundered no. And Congress sustained the nation.
The real issue: Will America remain one nation, or are we are on the road to Balkanization and the breakup of America into ethnic enclaves? For, as Ronald Reagan said, a nation that cannot control its borders isn’t really a nation anymore.
We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789.
They came later. From 1845-1849, the Irish fleeing the famine. From 1890-1920, the Germans. Then the Italians, Poles, Jews and other Eastern Europeans. Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.
From 1925 to 1965, the children and grandchildren of those immigrants were assimilated, Americanized. In strong public schools, they were taught our language, literature and history, and celebrated our holidays and heroes. We endured together through the Depression and sacrificed together in World War II and the Cold War.
By 1960, we had become truly one nation and one people.
America was not perfect. No country is. But no country ever rivaled what America had become. She was proud, united, free, the first nation on earth. And though the civil rights movement had just begun, nowhere did black peoples enjoy the freedom and prosperity of African-Americans.
But we are no longer that “band of brethren.” We are no longer one unique people “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion.”
We are from every continent and country. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion and roots.
We no longer speak the same language, worship the same God, honor the same heroes or share the same holidays. Christmas and Easter have been privatized. Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in.
Our politics have become poisonous. Our political parties are at each other’s throats.
Christianity is in decline. Traditional churches are sundering over moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Islam is surging.