If Pat Buchanan did not exist, someone would have to try to invent him -- which would be a tall order. Although in some quarters he is depicted as a one-dimensional right-wing stereotype, somewhere between Archie Bunker and Adolf Hitler, anyone who reads his latest book, "The Death of the West," will discover a man of many dimensions and insights -- very knowledgeable about our times and about history, and an incredibly good writer on top of it all.
What sets Pat Buchanan apart from those conservatives who are happy if the Dow Jones is up and the tax rates are down is that he understands that we are in a culture war -- and that only one side is fighting all out. Meanwhile, all too many other Americans are unaware that this war is going on.
Buchanan also understands that the ultimate stakes in the culture war are the survival of American society and Western civilization. In "The Death of the West," he presents an overwhelming case that the key cultural institutions of American society -- the schools, the colleges, the arts, and the media, including Hollywood -- have been consciously and systematically undermining the foundation beliefs and traditions of American and Western civilization for years.
In addition to this widespread ideological assault against the values of the West by people in positions of trust that they have betrayed, this book shows demographic realities which threaten that civilization, whether in Europe, the United States, or Israel. The native-born populations in almost all Western countries are failing to have enough children to reproduce themselves.
These countries have also been importing large numbers of immigrants from other countries and other civilizations, people with values at cross purposes -- often dangerously so, as we learned last September 11th. Because these culturally different immigrants typically have a much higher fertility rate than the populations of the countries to which they are moving, the very composition of the Western world is changing in irreversible ways that threaten the survival of the existing culture.
Nor is this concern merely a matter of parochial loyalty to a familiar way of life. Despite an unceasing barrage of propaganda from many sources, proclaiming that all cultures are equal, the inescapable fact is that the actual behavior of peoples from virtually all the cultures in the world says the direct opposite of what the intelligentsia proclaim.