No Backtrack on Pat
I'm happy to report that I most certainly did not mischaracterize Buchanan's views. Time magazine features a brief interview with Pat that vindicates everything I said, and then some.
Buchanan starts off with a tip of the cap to the late Slobodon Milosevic, of whom he was inordinately fond, by claiming that the American Southwest "could become a part of Mexico in the way that Kosovo is now a part of Albania." I suppose he would have preferred it to be part of Serbia, and cleansed of all those awful Albanians, too.
But Buchanan waxes nostalgic about more than just a brutal dictator. He hearkens back to an idealized American past that never existed.
America will no longer be one nation but more like the Roman Empire—a conglomerate of races and cultures held together by a regime. The country I grew up in was culturally united, even if it was racially divided. We spoke the same language, had the same faith, laughed at the same comedians. We were one nationality.Sounds swell, but it's blatantly false. In fact, as recently as 1960, many in America were unsure whether they could support a Roman Catholic candidate for president on account of his supposed allegiance to the Pope. Surely, as a Roman Catholic himself, Buchanan can't have forgotten this.
When Buchanan was born, this country was certainly more culturally divided than it is today. Not only was there a gaping chasm between the north and the south, Jim Crow laws served to enforce a brutal cultural and racial divide in the south. That Buchanan would yearn for the days of his childhood—of Jim Crow and anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-communist witch hunts—tells you all you need to know about the man.
Clearly, Buchanan is worried about all those strange "races" bringing their alien "faiths" to America. There's no other way to look at it. But rather than make the assumption, let's allow Pat to say it himself. Here he is on how conservatives can win the culture wars:
I think you would need a reconversion of the country to a traditionalist, Christian point of view...Never mind, as I've mentioned before, that all those icky Hispanics he so fears are, in fact, Christians themselves. America is not a Christian country. Or a white country. It is a great country founded and nourished on the principle that it doesn't matter where you're from or who you pray to.
The greatest strength of America is that we aren't narrow-minded and xenophobic like much of the Europe Buchanan so clearly envies. We are, at our best, inclusive and welcoming and diverse and, yes, always changing. Nations and populations that can't change are doomed to ossify. Pat Buchanan is their spokesman.