After 177 years of national existence, after building a vast (and brutal) African empire, after serving as a bloody battlefield in two world wars and after achieving a phenomenally privileged postwar standard of living, the nation of Belgium currently hovers on the verge of collapse and dissolution.
The painful inability to form a new government through much of 2007 highlights the desire of many – if not most-- Belgians to divide the country between its hostile Flemish and Walloon components. The French-speaking Walloons identify most viscerally with France, the Flemings prefer to cast their lot with the Netherlands, and neither side affirms the bland, synthetic Belgian identity. Many experts and leaders predict the ultimate break-up of the nation, perhaps in the style of 1993’s famous “Velvet Divorce” that saw the former nation of Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Like most other experiments in multi-culturalism (does anyone remember the unspeakably bloody breakup of Yugoslavia?) the Belgian experience of different and disconnected nationalities trying to share the same nation showed the folly and vacuity of the currently trendy mantra alleging that diversity is a blessing and a boon.
Despite this dismal and consistent record, the fervent fans of multi-culturalism insist on an odd extreme of American exceptionalism: characterizing the United States as the one nation in history that’s strengthened, rather than threatened, by simultaneously sustaining distinct, disconnected cultural identities within its borders. According to the politically correct orthodoxy, we’ve always been a diverse collection of numerous nationalities with no single, unifying American culture. This notion implicitly rejects our national motto: “E pluribus unum” --- “out of many, one” – suggesting that the famous melting-pot never functioned as advertised. In place of the old idea of immigrants from everywhere blending their disparate backgrounds into something new, united and definably American, we now trumpet the ideal of distinct races and nationalities that flourish in their separate glory. The multi-culturalists love to talk about the Untied States as a gorgeous, colorful, multi-faceted mosaic, comprised of thousands of different but still distinctive tiles, or a complex tapestry with diverse scenes and styles in which no particular threads manage to predominate.
This description arises from irresponsible lies about the origins and history of the nation—distortions that require clarity and correction.
1. AT THE TIME OF THE NATION’S FOUNDING IT WAS UNABASHEDLY UNI-CULTURAL.
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