Buchanan’s Book, America and Immigration

What do you think of the idea that the United States of America is probably destined to disinegrate into clusters of independent states?

What is your opinion of the idea that America is divinely appointed as the world’s leader, now and forever?

How about America as the racially pure homeland of descendants of European immigrants?

Here’s what I think.

Back in late November Scot Mortier, a friend from Wisconsin, forwarded me the following press release touting a new book from Pat Buchanan for comment.

The press release is followed by my comments on a few of the issues raised.



Sun Nov 25 2007 20:40:15 ET


”America is coming apart, decomposing, and…the likelihood of her survival as one nation…is improbable — and impossible if America continues on her current course,” declares Pat Buchanan. “For we are on a path to national suicide.”

The best-selling author and former presidential candidate is on the eve of launching his new epic book: DAY OF RECKONING: HOW HUBRIS, IDEOLOGY AND GREED ARE TEARING AMERICA APART.

This time, Buchanan goes all the way:

* America is in an existential crisis from which the nation may not survive.
* The U.S. Army is breaking and is too small to meet America’s global commitments.
* The dollar has sunk to historic lows and is being abandoned by foreign governments.
* U.S. manufacturing is being hollowed out.
* The greatest invasion in history, from the Third World, is swamping the ethno-cultural core of the country, leading to Balkanization and the loss of the Southwest to Mexico.
* The culture is collapsing and the nation is being deconstructed along the lines of race and class.
* A fiscal crisis looms as the unfunded mandates of Social Security and Medicare remain unaddressed.
* All these crises are hitting America at once — a perfect storm of crises.

Specifically, Buchanan contends:

* Pax Americana, the era of U.S. global dominance, is over. A struggle for global hegemony has begun among the United States, China, a resurgent Russia and radical Islam
* Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a product of hubris and of ideology, a secular religion of “democratism,” to which Bush was converted in the days following 9/11
* Torn asunder by a culture war, America has now begun to break down along class, ethnic and racial lines.
* The greatest threat to U.S. sovereignty and independence is the scheme of a global elite to erase America’s borders and merge the USA, Mexico and Canada into a North American Union.
* Free trade is shipping jobs, factories and technology to China and plunging America into permanent dependency and unpayable debt. One of every six U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished under Bush
* “Sovereign Wealth Funds,” controlled by foreign regimes and stuffed with trillions of dollars from U.S. trade deficits, are buying up strategic corporate assets vital to America’s security
* As U.S. wages are stagnant, corporate CEOs are raking in rising pay and benefits 400 to 500 times that of their workers
* The Third World invasion through Mexico is a graver threat to our survival as one nation than anything happening in Afghanistan or Iraq
* European-Americans, 89% of the nation when JFK took the oath, are now 66% and sinking. Before 2050, America is a Third World nation
* By 2060, America will add 167 million people and 105 million immigrants will be here, triple the 37 million today.
* Hispanics will be over 100 million in 2050 and concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans believe belongs to them.

Buchanan’s Recommendations:

* A new foreign-defense policy that closes most of the 1000 bases overseas, reviews all alliances, and brings home U.S. troops
* A purge of neoconservative ideology and the “Cakewalk” crowd” from national power.
* To avert a second Cold War, the United States should “get out of Russia’s space and get out of Russia’s face,” and shut down all U.S.bases on the soil of the former Soviet Union
* To reach a cold peace in the culture war, Buchanan urges a return to federalism and the overthrow of our judicial dictatorship by Congressionally mandated restrictions on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
* To end the trade deficits and save the dollar, Buchanan urges a Hamiltonian solution: a 20% Border Equity Tax on imports, with the $500 billion raised to be used to end taxation on American producers
* To prevent America becoming “a tangle of squabbling nationalities” Buchanan urges: No amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal aliens; a border fence from San Diego to Brownsville; Congressional declarations that children born to illegal aliens are not citizens and English is the language of the United States; and a “timeout” on all immigration.


My comments of 26 November, 2007 follow [edited 20 December, 2007]:      

Overall, I think he’s late to the party on almost all of these issues, but it will serve to keep him in the public eye, which I guess is the goal, after all.


I agree that Balkanization is the most likely outcome for what is now the United States of America.

The division of the country is probably more apparent out here on the coasts than in the heartland. Unlike here, there is still a sense of America and Americans, and what constitutes those entities, where you are [in the midwest]. When we made our big loop through the country west of the Mississippi this year we could feel it there. It died out here a long time ago.

If you view the situation based on population centers and the partisanship that substitutes for governance, overall, like California, I think the country is probably ungovernable in its present form.

The reason it won’t hold together is that there is no reason to, no purpose, no common set of beliefs, goals and mission shared broadly among the population. 

The single biggest difference we observe between the U.S. and every other country we visit is that they all have a discernable sense of national purpose and America has none.

The only thing that even comes close to an American national purpose is materialism. That’s a pretty fragile sense of national purpose when you are staring a potential soul-testing set of economy-scale financial challenges in the face. If Americans can’t shop, what do they have left to do except turn on each other? Consequently, I don’t believe it will be possible to sustain the U.S. through what is at least reasonably likely to happen financially in the near to mid-term.

Take away materialism and there’s nothing even close to a common sense of national purpose. No national purpose – no nation. Pretty simple.

So, he’s probably right on the money on Balkanization.

America and the World

Most of what he’s struggling with, and America is just waking up to, is that the rest of the world has caught up, or is rapidly catching up, to us. We are not so far out in front, so radically more advanced, so much “it” anymore. For kids like Mr. Buchanan that grew up with the everyday reality of our dominance and an expectation that it would simply last forever, that is a tough row to hoe.

We are smaller in population and market size than the European Union. There are more people in the Indian middle class than there are Americans. There are more people with cell phones in China than there are Americans. We are not the only game in town any more, we are just one game among many. We are not the center of the world universe, and that is tough to take for people who don’t get out much or who just can’t face any reality other than the U.S. being the de facto arbiter of everything.

The rest of the people of the world have their own standards, their own norms, their own cultures and their own expectations. They are no longer looking to America as the only possible model of “how things should be.” We will never again dominate the planet like we did from 1945 to the turn of the century. We had our time and we mostly pissed it all away. What we have now is a huge pile of show-stopper class challenges and not even a distant glimmer of hope of effective national leadership to aid us.

It is truly up to us. We can’t delegate, subcontract or abdicate our way out of what lies immediately ahead. We can’t expect to do the same thing we’ve done for 50 years, kick the can down the road by delegating the task to the elites and the politicians. The political, ruling class of America has done nothing during our reign of world domination except demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt they are completely incapable of governing.

But more immediately, as it relates to Mr. Buchanan’s forthcoming book, I don’t see much that is new in terms of ideas, or that could be less than at least a possibility, depending on how sceptical you are, which political extreme you subscribe to or which side of the political ax you prefer to grind.


However, the one thing he is really off base on is immigration.

There are two reasons his position is fallacy, beyond the obvious reality that a fence accomplishes nothing but employing a bunch of Mexicans for the duration of its build phase.

If you are wondering why a fence is useless, come out here to San Diego and cross the Mexican border into Tijuana on the main highway down the Pacific coast. You’ll come to a stretch of the highway in Tijuana that parallels the U.S. border, which has a double fence backed by high tech motion, heat, etc. sensors. To your back will be Tijuana, in front of you, glowing, beckoning, will be the southern suburbs of San Diego. Stand in that spot and tell me that any fence in the world would keep you from getting over here and providing a path to advancement for you and your family. You would do the same thing they are doing, over and over and over again until you succeeded.

If you want to prevent Mexicans from coming here then help the Mexican middle class grow and displace the 3% of Mexicans that control 90% of the wealth in that country. Every Mexican immigrant I have ever known would prefer to be back home if they could earn even 60% of what they earn here.

Beyond his fence fantasy, immigration is the only thing that can prevent the U.S. from the demographic death spiral that all the other developed nations, from Japan to “Old Europe,” are all going down. As humans, when we get educated, successful and wealthy, when we live on the upper tiers of the hierarchy of needs, we stop reproducing. All the developed nations are in this crisis. They don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. If you take out the immigrant population of the U.S., the remaining population is not replacing themselves. The only hope we’ve got of having enough workers to pay taxes for our retirements is to keep immigrants coming. They tend to reproduce for the first two generations before they achieve success and stop like we have.

Lastly, his vision is a United States exclusively for European Americans. I guess he’d allow a few Latinos to stick around to play baseball, probably some African Americans for basketball and some music acts. Am I missing anybody here? Maybe some Asians so at least some American kids can do well in math in science.

His racial purity thinking is so pathetic I don’t even know where to start. Other than the native Americans, we are all immigrants. We all came from somewhere else. His vision of a racially pure society was tried back in the late 30s and early 40s by some Teutonic guys. It didn’t work out.

In our diversity lies our strength. It is the engine that drives the only unique thing America has: our melting pot of cultures and ideas. That is the only thing that differentiates this nation state from every other one on this planet.

Guess what? The rest of the world has figured out, or is figuring out, how to become consumers. They are figuring out, or have figured out, how to build freeways, have two cars, lots of televisions, and all the other things that have largely defined our existence and made us discernibly different from everybody else for the last 50 or 60 years. Even average Europeans, who had a 20-30% lower standard of living than us since WWII, have caught up, or are rapidly doing so.

The only thing that makes us unique on this planet is the fact we are all immigrants. We’ve been doing the assimilation thing for over 200 years.

There are no other countries that exist that know how to do this. Japan is dying, literally, because they have no clue how to assimilate immigrants. Europe has failed miserably to assimilate their immigrants, especially the Muslims from North Africa. We know how to do this and that is what sets us apart. Immigration and its accompanying lifeblood of fresh ideas and cultural mix is the secret fuel to our success.

If we’ve got even a slim chance to overcome the huge challenges that lie just around the corner and are a clear and present danger to overwhelm us we need everyone participating in order to do it. Not just the European Americans.

And, just a reminder, when my German ancestors came here they were reviled and scorned. They withdrew into small enclaves and isolated communities. My great grandparents attended a Lutheran church with services in German. When my wife’s Irish ancestors came here they were met with signs such as “No Dogs or Irish Allowed” and “Help wanted. Irish need not apply.”

The assimilation of immigrants into America has never been smooth or without pain. It has always been a struggle for the nation and for the immigrants. It probably always will be. But our America, our nation of immigrants, remains our one unique characteristic compared to every other nation in the world.

Mr. Buchanan has finally caught up with the rest of these rapidly approaching possibilities, probabilities or extant realities, but he’s completely, utterly wrong on immigration. He would do well to read some 18th and 19th century American history before he proclaims his racially pure European American republic.

In our diversity lies our strength.