Pat Buchanan recently appeared as a guest to plug his new book on NBC's "Today" show, and it went just swimmingly.
Pat Buchanan recently appeared as a guest to plug his new book on NBC's "Today" show, and it went just swimmingly. He told guest host David Gregory that part of President Bush's legacy will be to "lose the American Southwest to Mexico linguistically, ethnically and culturally." He likened undocumented Latino workers to "de facto scabs and strikebreakers." And he asserted that leaders of both major political parties, including Bush, had committed "economic treason."
"All right, we're going to have to leave it there," Gregory, the network's chief White House correspondent, replied. "This debate is obviously going to continue. Pat Buchanan, thanks as always."
It wasn't much different on the many other major television news shows where Buchanan, an MSNBC political analyst and one-time presidential candidate, appeared in late August. He told his audiences that Mexico wants to reconquer the Southwest, suggested that it was "cultural genocide" to not teach American literature in the early grades, and complained about Mexican Americans booing American soccer teams. "We gotta get into race and ethnic questions," Buchanan helpfully explained to CNN guest host and chief national correspondent John King.
Buchanan's book -- State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America -- got a significant bump from the publicity it was afforded by numerous news anchors, many of whom know Buchanan well from his years in the TV commentary business. But it didn't appear that many of them had actually read the book -- a tome that more than anything else he has written argues that America is being destroyed because it fails to recognize white, Western superiority.
Rejecting arguments by the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who declared that "Americanism is not ... a matter of race and ancestry," Buchanan says the opposite is true: "Nowhere on this earth can one find a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual nation that is not at risk. Democracy is not enough. Equality is not enough."
He claims that our forefathers' vision of America was one of "shared ties of blood, soil and memory" -- a phrase eerily reminiscent of Nazi ideas of "blood and soil." He approvingly quotes the late Sam Francis, chief ideologue of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, saying that Western civilization is superior to others and that only whites' "genetic endowments" could have produced it. And he cites people like Al Campanis of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who once said blacks "may not have the necessities" to be a baseball general manager.
While acknowledging the evils of slavery, Buchanan suggests that Europeans brought "immense benefits" to their colonies. "Was not Western civilization vastly superior to the indigenous civilizations it encountered and crushed?" he asks.
In the end, the book is all about immigration -- non-white immigration. If a complete moratorium on newcomers is not declared, Buchanan concludes, children born this year "will witness in their lifetimes the death of the West. ... We must stop the invasion. But do our leaders have the vision and the will to do it?"
Unfortunately, some leaders do seem to share Buchanan's vision. In Europe, where non-white immigration levels are also high, immigrant-bashing parties are increasingly gaining real power. This fall, for instance, Germany's neo-Nazi National Democratic Party elected deputies to the state parliament of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Radical-right parties now have deputies in three German states.
The United States has its own hard-line nativist leaders. The best known is U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who heads the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and has sung the praises of vigilante citizen border patrols.
In September, Tancredo gave an immigrant-bashing speech to a group in South Carolina while standing behind a Confederate battle flag-draped podium. The white supremacist League of the South had announced on its website that it was hosting the event, but when the Southern Poverty Law Center made that public, the congressman insisted that it had in fact been put on by a more mainstream outfit.
Whatever the truth, the fact remains: A number of American political and opinion leaders are popularizing arguments that fuel the continued growth of a record number of hate groups in this country. There is little doubt that we need a robust debate on immigration in America; what we do not need is a series of anti-democratic harangues and insults aimed at men and women with dark skin.