Houston: The Charlottesville Rally, Part II
LET ME BEGIN with the disclaimer required to be accepted in polite company: I am not a Nazi. I am not a Klansman. I am not a White Supremacist. The most subversive organization I have ever belonged to is the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
Next, the confession: I am a civic nationalist, a traditionalist, a populist conservative and a Calvinist. My political purpose has always been to poke Lefties in the eye (rhetorically speaking, that is).
Now to my point, which is that there has never been a multicultural democracy that wasn’t either a basket case (Belgium) or an anomaly of settlement (Canada). The government of every successful multicultural society known to man has been authoritarian from the time of Alexander the Great through the Roman Empire of Augustus to the Romanoff and Habsburg empires of Russia and Austro-Hungary. The exemplar of the multicultural nation state in the 20th Century was the Soviet Union.
Multiculturalism as we know it is a post-World War II product of the Frankfurt School, a collaboration of mostly German, mostly Jewish, European intellectuals many of whom emigrated to the United States. Multiculturalism in its essence is a philosophy of negation; an assault on the Enlightenment and a rejection of Reason and the Scientific Method.
Multiculturalism is distinguishable in all its particulars from the philosophy of life and governance that has prevailed in the United States until quite recently. Ours has been a common culture with a unifying common language rooted in the shared historic experience of identifiable people living within defined national borders. Since the establishment of a government under the Constitution of 1787, these people have governed themselves in accordance with a written constitution, submitted to a rule of law, and undertaken to respect the rights of their fellows, which rights they believe derive, as Thomas Jefferson asserted, from “Nature and Nature’s God.”
The historic American nation was neither ethnic nor propositional. Its roots were in faith and reason (Jerusalem and Athens), its economic well-being rested on free markets, and its foreign ambitions were modest. Its peoples shared heroes and legends, myths and legacies, as well as the burdens of mistakes made and claims gone unrecognized. Prudence dictates disavowal of any claim to American exceptionalism, but the fact remains that the United States is the sole extant example of nationhood originating in settlement, choice, faith and reason.
Put simply (in order to satisfy my eye-poking purpose): multiculturalism is Un-American.
Why does that matter? It matters because multiculturalism is the knife that is cutting through the sinews of our national unity. The historic American nation welcomed new people from across the globe, but on condition: disclaim loyalty to your kings and emperors; become Americans. Immigrants weren’t expected to renounce their ethnic heritage or abandon their ethnic traditions, but they were expected to become part of the on-going, ever-changing American tradition. They could keep their language, but English was the language of government and commerce. The objective of assimilation — becoming what Theodore Roosevelt identified as “unhyphenated Americans” — was not to suppress ethnicity whether in its cultural or religious aspects, but to incorporate all the parts into the whole. E pluribus unum.
“Indentitarianism” is multiculturalism in action. “Intersectionalism” is how you prioritize the claims of self-identified victims. Perhaps as much as half of the nation now accepts the idea that politics is defined as the fight of one self-identified victim against all other victims on the one hand and the white/capitalist oppressor on the other. The objective in this game of politicized victimhood is to put together the largest coalition of victim groups with the claim of each group appropriately ranked according to the degree of victimization in order to justly distribute other people’s money.
It defies all we know about humans as political animals (which is quite a lot since Aristotle) to assume that those who since the inception of nationhood constituted a popular majority (never less than 80 percent of persons resident in the United States from the first census in 1790 through the census of 1990) is going to acquiesce meekly to minority status as a consequence of immigration when every other group self-defines on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference, national origin, ageism, ableism, and what other self-identified oppressions may be successfully asserted. Experience and reason should tell us that it is not going to happen without stiff resistance from the ranks of the Deplorables. There is no reason why whites in a minority-majority country cannot play the victim game as well as anyone else.
During the course of the first 150 years of the Republic, the white population of the United States stated as a percentage varied from a low of 80.7 percent in 1790 to 88.3 percent in 1940. During this era, the United States expanded from 13 states to 48, acquired Alaska and Hawaii, fought wars with Great Britain, Mexico and Spain, and ensured the victory of the Allied Powers by entering World War I on their side. The U.S. population grew from approximately 4,000,000 in 1790 to 131.6 million in 1940. By the time Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his third term, the United States had the largest economy and the most broadly shared prosperity of any nation in the world, having persevered through depressions of varying intensity on the average of once a decade. This the American people did without the benefit of the wisdom of the New York intellectuals centered on City College and Columbia University or the advance agents of the Frankfurt School.
My liberal friends, of course, can sketch a different narrative of this period, one in which Native Americans are massacred, black people are first enslaved and thereafter segregated, Chinese are excluded from the country by law, Jews are herded into urban ghettos, workers are exploited, women and gays are oppressed, the mentally ill are institutionalized, the disabled have no accommodation, Mexicans are shuffled in and out of the country to meet the needs of agricultural profiteers, foreign countries are invaded and the rights of their nationals violated, and life for all but the one percent is “nasty, brutish and short.”
This liberal narrative is pretty much the common refrain of the multiculturalists, race hustlers, deadbeats and congenitally disaffected. The other narrative that I have sketched (which might once have been described as that of “Young America”) has virtually no support among the best educated, most prosperous segments of the population, whatever their politics might be. Those politics are, by the way, increasingly Democratic in no small reason because this class senses that there is an element of truth in this liberal narrative, the really smart people accept it as representing a fair summation of the American experience, and it is unseemly to signal your white privilege by accepting a grand narrative the stars of which are (in the main but certainly not in many critical aspects) white people.
For reasons that post-modern American culture virtually dictate, upper middle class white people tend to be discomfited by their whiteness. They cannot embrace the historic American nation as it actually developed over time because to do so might be offensive to groups that in large measure were either irrelevant to that development or marginalized by it. That does not include, let me insist, African-Americans. They have always been an important part of the American story. They came in chains and over the course of 400 years developed a separate, identifiable culture manifested in religion, language, song, literature and the fine art of survival. Though separate and distinguishable, this African-American culture is an integral part of the greater American culture, and there is no recognizable history of the American experience that does not place African-Americans at its heart.
Racial identity is the driving engine of multiculturalism. The Multiculturalists have not only exploited the black-white racial tensions that are a consistent thread in the constantly emerging fabric of American society, they have exacerbated the problem by providing the intellectual and political heft for mass immigration of non-white populations. Having invited these people to enjoy the rights and emoluments of our country, they then armed these conditional-Americans with the rhetoric of oppression and encouraged their claim to victimhood. There is a difference between being brought to this country in chains and having swum across the Rio Grande or flown in from Delhi or Shanghai at your own initiative. Among other distinctions, in the Civil War Amendments to the Constitution the American people made a written commitment to their African-American neighbors to remedy past wrongs and to pay special care to the protection of their rights. We have made no such commitment to the strangers in our midst.
I see nothing but pain ahead. The multiculturalist elite is in the saddle and there is no credible opposition to their aggression from the ranks of conservatives. The reaction of Conservatism, Inc., to the sundering of the bonds of nationhood is to first misdiagnosis the problem and then to prescribe slow-working cyanide as the solution. The leadership of the Republican Party pretends it is 1980 and that those five or six million uninvited guests who crossed the border illegally with the connivance of George W. Bush are potential family-values voters who will help pay for their pensions.
In the face of the displacement of the historic American nation by newcomers as a consequence of a flood of immigration unprecedented in American history, the Republican response is, “Free Trade and Open Borders.”
Let me clue you in. That is not going to cut it with the white kids now under 30 with at best a high school education, many the products of what a more sober society once referred to as a “broken” home. These young people, largely male, most often found in the Scots-Irish areas of settlement that extend from the Potomac at Harpers Ferry to Jackson, Mississippi, don’t see the way forward to their realization of the American Dream. Forget whether their cause is just or whether their distress is self-inflicted. It doesn’t matter. People, particularly Scots-Irish people, fight for kin and hearth. They are not deterred by an ideological proposition.