“I want my country back” is the sometimes plaintive, occasionally frustrated and frequently angry cry of a fringe section of the Republican party. I never fully understood what these people meant until I read a couple of Patrick Buchanan’s columns

Pat Buchanan has decidedly right wing views but he is one a handful of conservative columnists I enjoying reading. Although Buchanan is very conservative on many issues he sometimes blazes his own path eg he was outspoken in his opposition to the war in Iraq which he felt was a war being waged by the neo-cons for their own reasons. He is also critical of Israel’s expansionist policies in Palestine which in turn has caused him to be labeled as anti-Semitic by many Jews.

Pat Buchanan worked for Richard Nixon and he openly and proudly states that he advised Nixon to burn the tapes which were to result in his downfall over the Watergate scandal. In later years he sought the presidency of the US and was viewed by some as responsible for Papa Bush’s defeat by Clinton in 1992.

He was also unintentionally responsible for Al Gore’s loss of Florida in the 2000 presidential election which resulted in George W Bush winning the presidency. He won a lot of votes in a predominantly Jewish district of Florida. It turned out that many of the Jewish voters who voted for Buchanan inadvertently voted for him because of confusion over the design of the ballot – they thought they were voting for Gore even as they voted for Buchanan. Even Buchanan admitted that the number of votes he won in that district did not make sense given the demographics of that district.

Buchanan has been accused of being a racist – a charge that those who know him well say is unfounded. But he makes no bones about his concern about the changing face of the US. As he puts it:

“Without the assent of her people, America is being converted from a Christian country, nine in 10 of whose people traced their roots to Europe as late as the time of JFK, into a multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, multicultural Tower of Babel not seen since the late Roman Empire.”

Shades of Enoch Powell who expressed similar views about the flood of non-white immigrants into the United Kingdom in the 60s’.

Buchanan recently wrote a column entitled “Is America Coming Apart” which is provocative and offers insight into some of the extreme reaction of the fringe groups to Obama and the Democrats. He comments on the acute polarization of views which has manifested itself in increasingly nasty exchanges between the right and left wings. I am going to quote several excerpts from his article because it articulates what many of the fringe right-wingers mean when they express their opposition to President Obama and say “I want my country back”.

Buchanan in the column says about the hysterical and irrational right-wing opposition to Obama addressing school kids:

“Obama’s actual speech proved about as controversial as a Nancy Reagan appeal to eighth-graders to “Just say no!” to drugs.

“Yet, the episode reveals the poisoned character of our politics.

“We saw it earlier on display in August, when the crowds that came out for town hall meetings to oppose Obama’s health care plans were called “thugs,” “fascists,” “racists” and “evil-mongers” by national Democrats.

“We see it as Rep. Joe Wilson shouts, “You lie!” at the president during his address to a joint session of Congress.

“We seem not only to disagree with each other more than ever, but to have come almost to detest one another. Politically, culturally, racially, we seem ever ready to go for each others’ throats.”

He continues:

“The question invites itself. In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?

“Yet, today, Mexican-Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a skirmish in a French-Mexican war about which most Americans know nothing, which took place the same year as two of the bloodiest battles of our own Civil War: Antietam and Fredericksburg.

“Christmas and Easter, the great holidays of Christendom, once united Americans in joy. Now we fight over whether they should even be mentioned, let alone celebrated, in our public schools.”

“Consider but a few issues on which Americans have lately been bitterly divided: school prayer, the Ten Commandments, evolution, the death penalty, abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, affirmative action, busing, the Confederate battle flag, the Duke rape case, Terri Schiavo, Iraq, amnesty, torture.

“Now it is death panels, global warming, “birthers” and socialism. If a married couple disagreed as broadly and deeply as Americans do on such basic issues, they would have divorced and gone their separate ways long ago. What is it that still holds us together?

“The European-Christian core of the country that once defined us is shrinking, as Christianity fades, the birth rate falls and Third World immigration surges. Globalism dissolves the economic bonds, while the cacophony of multiculturalism displaces the old American culture.”

Buchanan concludes:

“E pluribus unum” — out of many, one — was the national motto the men of ‘76 settled upon. One sees the pluribus. But where is the unum? One sees the diversity. But where is the unity?

Is America, too, breaking up?”

What the “I want my country back” crowd have not come to grips with is that Buchanan’s description of the America of yester-year is history – it is a ship that has sailed!

Link to Buchanan’s article

One Response to ““I want my country back””

  1. Mona says:

    “Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind… “

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