Members of an outraged liberal group have called for MSNBC to fire Pat Buchanan for what they call "white supremacist" views. I'd rather leave Buchanan and his views free to discredit themselves.
Most Americans have pretty much abandoned the idea that racial, ethnic and religious diversity are something to fret about. Yet columnist Buchanan, my long-time colleague on the TV show "The McLaughlin Group," is still trying to pump hot air into that leaky balloon.
In his new book "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" Buchanan views with alarm how "people of European descent from the steppes of Russia to the coast of California have begun to die out, as the Third World treks north to claim the estate."
He sees our nation, "born a Western Christian republic," being "transformed into a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world."
"No successful precedent"? That's what people have been saying about our young democratic republic from its very beginning. Yet, despite some big bumps in the road, we have survived and mostly prospered.
Buchanan is back to retell us that the sky is falling, as if we didn't get his message 10 years ago. That was when, after his second unsuccessful presidential bid, he wrote "The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization."
Since then, a biracial liberal with an Arabic-sounding name has been elected president and a conservative black man has risen to the top of Republican preferential preference polls.
Indian-Asian Republicans have been elected governors of Louisiana and South Carolina, etc., etc., etc.
Despite some differences here and there, today's immigrants are assimilating into American society in ways not terribly different from previous generations. Instead of simply fretting over what we're trying to do with our unique diversity, I think we have a lot of good things to learn from what we've accomplished.
That's why I do not support the call from Color Of Change to have MSNBC fire Buchanan from his gig as an on-air analyst and in-house lightning rod. While I frequently disagree with everything Buchanan says after "Good morning," I also believe talk shows should air a range of views, not muzzle them. People can disagree, as the saying goes, without being disagreeable.
Yet, if Buchanan and I agree on anything, it is the need for immigrants, as well as our native-born children, to be encouraged to assimilate into the cultural mainstream.
If the younger generations tell us anything, it is how much racial consciousness has relaxed. Buchanan quotes, for example, the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who predicted in his 1991 book "The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society" that ethnic and racial conflict would replace the Cold War as "the explosive issue of our times."
Schlesinger stayed optimistic, however. In that same book, he wrote, "My impression is that the historic forces driving toward 'one people' have not lost their power." I share that impression. I hope Buchanan does, too.