What is the United States of America? Is it merely an accident of geography, or a job market for the world, or a multiethnic, multilingual lot of people who agreed (more or less, and probably temporarily) to live under a constitution? Those aren't goals to die for; yet many men for centuries have fought and died for America. Where did they get the courage, the stamina, and the perseverance to create and maintain America as an oasis of freedom and prosperity in a hostile world?
Patrick Buchanan believes that America is fundamentally a nation "held together by bonds of history and memory, tradition and custom, language and literature, birth and faith." Those bonds of brotherhood and ancestry existed before the U.S. Constitution was written, and sustained us through wars and economic depressions.
In his newest book, Buchanan challenges us to ponder our national identity, which already existed in the hearts of Americans when the Founding Fathers proclaimed the sovereignty of "we the people." Because we are now in critical danger of losing our identity, the apt title of his book is "State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America" (Thomas Dunne Books: $25).
Buchanan rejects the notion that American identity is merely "creedal," i.e., united only by a common commitment to the U.S. Constitution and a set of basic laws. Even if that were true, it clearly would exclude the illegal aliens who violate our laws every day.
Buchanan agrees with Harvard professor Samuel Huntington that the "central issue of our time" is the migration into America of millions of people who come from very different cultures and refuse to adapt to ours. Buchanan calls the unprecedented entry of legal and illegal foreign born during the last 10 years a tsunami, unlike any wave ever seen in the history of the world.
The melting pot metaphor is a thing of the past. Today the United States is admitting people who don't want to be part of the nation called the United States; they want a land that looks like the United Nations General Assembly.
The immigrants who came from Europe in previous centuries fully assimilated, but many of today's immigrants instead are "self-segregating, forming their own towns within our cities, maintaining their language and identifying with one another, not America." They maintain their loyalty to their native land.
Is Western Europe a picture of America's future? Buchanan says that continent can now be called Eurabia because the civilization of Western Europe is fast folding under the dramatic fall in the native birth rate and entry of 20 million unassimilated Muslims.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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