Pat Buchanan: Is America Still A Nation?

Vdare

In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of “one people.” The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, “We the people…”

And who were these “people”?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as “one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today’s elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: “The political polarization that is ripping this country apart” is about “identity … gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class.” He might have added–religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute: “If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion … then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite.”

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another–abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind’s most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really “God’s Country”? Or was Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of “God Bless America!” with the curse “God Damn America!”?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, “one nation, under God, indivisible.”

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put “God” back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them…”

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

“A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things … constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

“Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory … is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again.”

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were?

“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”

Are we passing on the house we inherited–or observing its demolition?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.

15 thoughts on “Pat Buchanan: Is America Still A Nation?

  1. No, it’s no longer a nation. It’s what we are fighting for, a time when we lived John Jay’s and Ernest Renan’s definition of a nation.

  2. It’s been a Federalist empire for quite sometime now. We are finally getting to the point that regional differences, due to the huge influx of foreigners and the growth of large cities, are finally getting where we have very different needs/wants and it is showing. From Gun control to water rights and wood burning stoves the regulations the cities attempt to set down go against the very needs of the rural areas. The only thing keeping all of it together has been cheap energy and unlimited debt/FIAT cash creation. No state of regional area can fight against the Federalist Empire as long as they can print up all the cash they want. Once that falls, and it will, the US will shatter.

      • Except Libertarians are for open borders and pretty much zero foreign policy. Limited government, as you say, IS the answer but with a strong Federal government in the places it was meant to be strong and no Federal Government where it is not suppose to be.

        Like I said though that will not happen until the FED goes broke. Their money gives them too much power.

      • City people have the numbers to crush the rural areas which feed them – by using powers vested in democracy. Just as in theory poor people should dominate rich people via the ballot box – which almost never happens. However there is a balance in the USA and Australia between big cities and rural areas. The rural areas are huge so they get some geographic advantages. For example some entire States and Regions vote in line with rural policies. Country politicians pork barrel successfully for their constituents, as do all marginal seat holders. As a result, most rural towns and small cities vote with the country folk. It is in their interests. Miners and farmers are often opposed to each other, but they all hate the lazy bludgers in big cities, shiny arsed bums. (The shine is on some mens pants from long periods sitting down as against actually working).
        In Australia country people even have their own party, the National Party, which is to the right of the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party need these allies to run a coalition Govt. (Liberals are Conservatives with strange party name).

        On a tiny sideline, many fishermen, commercial and recreational, these days agree with some Green policies (Greens are a heavily urban and lefty group). The fishermen have woken up to the fact that chemicals and other issues are causing a massive loss of fish. In the past fisherpeople tended to be rednecks, violently opposed to any and all Green ideas. Now they support retaining mangrove swamps for example. In the same way, hunters and Greens have some common interests. If wildlife dies out, there is nothing alive left to shoot legally.

    • “the regulations the cities attempt to set down go against the very needs of the rural areas.”

      Yes well the deluded, suicidal, cultural Marxist mentality on this is that the needs of the many (urban parasites) outweighs the needs of the few (rural producers).

      It’s quickly becoming reality. At this point, denial is insanity.

  3. In my dissenting opinion, the US, French and Russian revolutions were all an error. The French and Russian revolutions massacred most of the best people, a few escaped by leaving for ever. In France, even tall fair haired men were killed just in case they might be aristocrats. The Soviets killed tens of millions including skilled decorative bricklayers simply because they were no longer needed in a shithole, which was (((Lenin’s))) plan for Russia. Lenin and Stalin were worse than Pol Pot.
    The Soviet Union also destroyed almost all statues erected before 1917. Probably the French did the same, maybe not quite so many. Presumably, the US patriots destroyed all the British statues in the 13 Colonies – so history repeats, you sow what you reap. Revolutions always destroy their own, or some such quote.
    The US revolution opened the flood gates to mass immigration of non British people, which did not happen in Canada, Australia or New Zealand until after 1965, a magic year for the West. Ground Zero Year, where scum were henceforth welcome, in all white countries. The British started this national murder/suicide by about 1950. White skilled workers went to Australia and were welcomed. The British replaced them with black pirates from the Caribbean.

    The Jews took control of the US by about the end of the 19th Century. Then by misusing US power, they have destroyed the entire West by non-white Immigration, feminism and abortion. Not one white nation has dared to oppose a power so great that Pat Buchanan fears to even name them, even aged 77 or so. He calls them “beltway elites” in fear for his life. When he is very old he may come out. Two Australian senior political figures did so after retirement. A Prime Minister and another senior man on the opposite side of politics. Malcolm Fraser and Bob Carr. Both referred to the Jew control of Australia’s foreign policy, and also the USS Liberty attempted sinking by Israel. Jew spokesmen said these men had ”gone mad” and were “anti-Semitic”.

  4. “Does this sound at all like us today?”

    Come on Pat you know it doesn’t. And you know WHY it doesn’t as well.

    I really do appreciate Pat’s contributions. I really believe he has an ability to make people think. But sometimes I get impatient.

  5. I should have mentioned that Australia starting importing a large number of wogs during the 1950s. These were Italians and Greeks. Almost all the Italians were from the South, Reggio Calabria and Sicily. Just as the Africans taken today are from the worst regions in Africa.
    Why take the best, when you can have the worst?

    • “the wretched refuse of your teeming shores!”

      How appropriate that a Jewess declared for all the world that we should become the garbage can of the planet.

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