When I ordered my last group of remaindered books from Edward R. Hamilton, I included one called “Death of the West,” thinking it had to do with environmentalism. I hadn't noticed that the author was Pat Buchanan. So instead of another book on overgrazing, stream pollution or contamination of ground water, I discovered that the Death Buchanan is referring to is the death of civilization as he knows it — that is a Western world firmly in the control of Christian, ethnically European white men.
It seems America is at war. Not just in the Middle East, or against Global Terrorism, but right here in the homeland. A war between Christianity and Secular Humanism. Intrigued, I read on and found out that Buchanan’s book explained many of the attitudes expressed by the so-called Far Right.
While a book by Patrick Buchanan would seem an unlikely choice for the AVA, I thought it would be of interest to the readers of this newspaper. For although these are the views of Mr. Buchanan, I believe they echo those of about half the country's citizens (according to the polls) and reveal beliefs and attitudes that hover just below the surface of many of those who approve of the policies of the present administration.
The book is broken up into ten short chapters and much of the text is a series of out-of-context annotated quotes. The sources for these quotes are not particularly authoritative, and include excerpts from novels, broadcasts from CNN’s Larry King Live shows, political speeches and even other written works by Buchanan himself. But I assume the author felt that including 25 pages of end notes somehow gave his book more credibility. Also adding to its apparent legitimacy is an extensive index — all of which seem to represent the hard work of Kara Hopkins, remembered in the acknowledgments as “my intrepid researcher.”
Buchanan begins by claiming that our western civilization is an “endangered species,” and that the main reason for this is a falling birthrate in the US and Europe. He blames this on several factors: “The Pill” which he calls “the suicide tablet of the west”; the morning-after pill, RU-486, Roe vs. Wade; assisted suicide; abortion; single parenting; homosexuals; cohabitation without marriage; promiscuity; the women's movement, and liberal priests. He mentions the destructive influences of television programs such as Ally McBeal and Sex in the City, and claims that the EEOC is “a siege gun against the family wage,” as employers can no longer restrict jobs to men only. He believes that Feminism and homosexuality have led to the collapse of the family and the moral order.
I will try to state the rest of Buchanan’s opinions without further comment if humanly possible. When this proves impossible, I will identify my comments by using bracketed italics.
The following are Buchanan's explanations for the demise of the west:
Relativism and Darwinism without God offer no absolute values. The public schools indoctrinate our children with toleration, a diversity of cultures and races and environmentalism. These embody the new religion of Secular Humanism. The lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine”… “Imagine no countries, it isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill and die for and no religion too. Imagine all the people, living in peace…” exemplify this post-Christian heaven.
The devil in this new heaven is history. so it must be rewritten to instill guilt for genocide and slavery. [Well, duh, yeah!] “We must teach America First because if it’s equal or inferior to other countries, young people would have no motivation to go to war to defend out society.” Equality is an idea that came from the French Revolution, not the American Revolution.
The real intolerance today is towards conservative ideas. There is no such thing as “hate crimes.” “Hate crime is the cultural elite's way of racially profiling white males.”
Statistics (compiled by a Prof. William Wilbanks of the Department of Criminal Justice at Florida International University) show that in 1987 whites chose black victims in only 3% of violent crimes, while blacks chose white victims 50% of the time. Whites raped black women in zero percent of their assaults. Blacks raped white women in 28% of their assaults,, whites chose black victims in 2% of robberies, blacks robbed whites 73%.
The New Century Foundation [whoever they are] claims that blacks committed 90% of interracial crimes in 1994. These figures mean that blacks are 50 times as likely to commit crimes of interracial violence as whites. Blacks are 100 to 250 times more likely than whites to commit interracial gang rapes and gang assaults. Even in the “hate crime” category… “blacks are twice as likely to be the assailant.”
These statistics expose the Big Lie that claims blacks are at risk from the majority. The reason white crime is exaggerated is to affirm the infallible doctrine that America is a homophobic, bigoted nation.
It seems the Culture War was started by four former Marxists who noted the failure of Marxism to get the workers of the world to unite against their governments and refuse to fight for their countries in world war one. They decided that Christianity had to be uprooted from the culture of the West and middle class values like monogamy and the family had to be replaced with free love. These dissenters were George Lukacs, a Hungarian, Antonio Gramsci, an Italian, Max Horkheimer, a German, and Herbert Marcus. They started the Frankfurt School and American elites took to its teachings “like catnip.” Their aim was to enlist homosexuals, feminists, black radicals, and all the other “victims” of the West to embrace such subversive ideas as sensitivity training, education, political correctness and feminism. This led to the drugs, sex and rock-and-roll eruptions of the 60s. Even the American Psychiatric Association was bullied into delisting homosexuality as a disorder.
The reason these subversive ideas took hold was because the Republicans abandoned their responsibilities and concentrated on making money.
Due to the low birth rate, Europe’s population is aging and this “age wave” is being replaced by immigrants. In Europe these immigrants are primarily Islamic-Arabs and Africans. Europe is now “a dead man walking.” In Israel the Palestinians are outbreeding the Israelis, as are the surrounding Arab states. Islam is rising. Like the United States, Israel is a rich nation surrounded by poor ones with historical grievances.
In the United States Mexicans are mounting “La Reconquesta.” The trouble with Mexicans is that they don't assimilate. “Mexicans not only come from another culture but millions are of another race.” [If they were all of white Spanish lineage they would be acceptable?] It's not true that Mexicans offer any economic advantages to the country- They constitute just more expenses for food stamps, Supplementary Social Security, health care, welfare, Social Security, school lunch programs and prisons. Most of them are poorly educated and they gravitate towards the “government party” looking for handouts. They also have a different language and different ancestors.
Our history is being sullied by the “cultural Marxists.” Our heroes are being denigrated. Instead of being a hero, Columbus is now being accused of slavery, genocide and exploitation. Our Founding Fathers are being criticized for being slave owners. The Confederate flag is now considered an evil symbol. The name of Custer National Battlefield has been changed to Little Big Horn Battlefield. [Buchanan cites many more examples of how American history is being changed from a history he feels is “marching from triumph to triumph.”] He thinks the new history books pervert the past and that we no longer look at our achievements with pride.)
Worse yet, we are de-Christianizing America. The First Amendment is “a preemptive strike on Christianity” by removing religion from schools. [Separation of religion and state.] The “faith” of Humanism is being imposed on us by the Supreme Court.
Modern Art is a weapon of revolution. “Art has become the purveyor of a destructive, degenerate, ugly, pornographic, Marxist, anti-American ideology.”
Homosexuality is being taught as a preference instead of a sin and those who treat gays and lesbians differently are called bigots. But to Christians, homosexuality is an unnatural and immoral pathology, not a lifestyle. But doctors who still consider homosexuality a pathological condition are silenced and their research rejected. “Virtue cannot exist in the absence of Faith.” This is clear from the present ills we now face. All are signs of a decadent society and a dying civilization.
Conservatives are an “intimidated majority.” They have lost many issues most Americans favor — such as having no women in combat, no abortion, no racial preferences, English as a national language, prayer in schools, reduced immigration, and the Ten Commandments posted. [He doesn’t specify where.]
Conservative jurists are “butchered,” [His examples are Bork and Clarence Thomas] forced to “run an Iroquois gauntlet.” The left subjects conservatives to racial McCarthyism, and reverse race-baiting. Demoralized Traditionalists are called racists, sexists, homophobes, and bigots and they are defeated and intimidated. They are called Nazis, fascists and Klansmen. Susan Sontag has called the white race “a cancer on humanity.”
Blacks bait us and demonize us just to keep the TV producers and the federal and foundation grants rolling in. Civil Rights is a racket.. Sure, we practiced slavery and segregation, but we also abolished it [after some encouragement from some of the Secular Humanists?] And even if we segregated blacks, they still had more freedom, opportunity and prosperity than in any other nation. Those with a vested interest in racial politics are trial lawyers, the federal bureaucracy, the United Nations and the Third World. Middle America doesn’t care about academics, feminists, journalists and blacks anyway.
It is white males who are the victims of quotas, affirmative action, set-asides and reverse discrimination. Buchanan's advice to Republican presidential candidates is to “go hunting where the ducks are,” and to “play to their base.” After all, whites cast 82% of the ballots and if they can raise their share of the vote from 54 to 60% of the votes cast, they won’t need any black votes to win anyway. The key is to offer no compromise on abortion, assisted suicide, or gay marriage. They’re yes or no issues.
[By the time Buchanan gets to his last chapter he is ready to outline clearly his solutions to our current divisions. Ironically, some of them go so far to the Right they come full circle and are shared by the left!]
Globalism and transnational corporations are to blame for American decline in patriotism. In order to win the culture war, “traditionalists” [Buchanan’s preferred name for Conservatives] must rebel. The biggest problem is still the “Population Crisis” and to solve it, we must produce more babies.
Buchanan then sets his agenda in 14 main steps:
1. We should institute a living wage so that more women can stay home and raise bigger families.
2. We need to offer higher tax credits for children.
3. Parents should be paid more than single or childless couples.
4. We should lower the taxes on family farms and businesses and raise them on international corporations.
5. Abolish the death tax.
6. We should institute a consumption tax and put duty on imports.
7. Roll back immigration.
8. End welfare for immigrants.
9. Suspend the H-1B Visa program.
10. Oppose amnesty and deport aliens.
11. Abolish bilingual education.
12. Deny statehood to Puerto Rico.
13. Punish any businesses that hire illegals.
14. Oppose any expansion of NAFTA.
[Buchanan now drops all restraint and vividly articulates the view of the Christian Right.]
World Government [The United Nations] is “a Christian Heresy.” Refugees from all over the world are fleeing to the West. “A world government in which all nations have an equal voice in determining the destiny of man is absurd.”
We should withdraw all our troops from Europe and the Middle East.
AIDS is caused by homosexuals. Homosexuality is addictive and against the laws of God.
When women live like men [whatever that means] there are calamitous repercussions on society.
There is no such thing as equality. “Have all cultures produced equally great works of poetry, prose, painting, sculpture, music, and architecture? Does anyone believe that, or is that just polite prattle at the Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art?” [A rhetorical question I personally would answer in the affirmative.]
Moral people must be intolerant. The culture war is a religious war. We should remember to honor God .and Country. Liberal culture is decadent if not demonic.
Bigots are victims and should secede from the culture. Watch no TV or movies. Home school our children. Protest abortion clinics. Move to less polluted environments [Idaho?] Establish Christian schools, TV and music. [On page 250 Buchanan lists the books and movies of which he approves, including “Lord of the Flies” and Kipling’s “Kim” and “Gladiator” and “Singing in the Rain.”]
The Supreme Court has become dictatorial and the time has come to defy it. [He approves of Judge Roy Moore’s stand when refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courthouse.]
Forget any reparations for slavery. Blacks owe much more to America than America owes to them.
Institute a federal ban on abortion. “Should passions be subdued when a million babies are yearly butchered, when infanticide is legal, when Catholic schools are desecrated, when children are taught the pleasures of perversion in our public schools, when our culture is poisoned and our heroes are dragged through the mud?”
Traditionalists should use the initiative process to fight back as Mississippi did to retain their Confederate flag, when “the call of tradition defeated the command of money.”
All federal funds should be withdrawn from the NAACP and P1anned Parenthood.
Close down the Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, the Department of Education and the Civil Rights Commission. Abolish Affirmative Action.
Let local school boards determine what subjects to teach, what books to use and which holidays to observe.
We shouldn't be too timid to censor . [He quotes Robert Bork:) “Must we tolerate filth in the name of the First Amendment? Detoxification of America's culture is far more important than any absolutist interpretation of the First Amendment.”
Democracy is not enough. If America is to survive it needs faith. To defeat the faith (of Secular Humanism) you must have a faith. What other than Christianity is the West’s alternative faith?”
[This book frightened me, although I knew these were the views of many American citizens. It sounds too reminiscent of other calls to national action like “the Sun never sets on the British empire,” the Communist Manifesto, the German cry of Deutschland Über Alles, and even America’s Manifest Destiny. In each of these a sense of innate superiority combined with an overreaching doctrine of quasi-divine authority is invoked to justify the indefensible. I wonder if any progressive or liberal opposition can withstand its appeal? But at least Buchanan’s views are open and clearly stated, unlike the hypocritical political statements that too often conceal similar beliefs of the Republican, and Democratic parties.]
From the dust jacket: “Patrick J. Buchanan is a senior adviser to three American presidents, ran twice for the Republican nomination for president in 1992 and 1996, and was the Reform Party’s presidential candidate in 2000. The author of five other books, including the bestsellers Right from the Beginning and A Republic, Not an Empire, he is a syndicated columnist and a founding member of three of America’s foremost public affairs shows, NBC’s “The McLaughlin Group” and CNN’s “The Capital Gang” and “Crossfire.”
The Death of the West is published by St. Martin’s Press, $25.95.