Is America Still A Nation?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of “one people.” The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, “We the people…”

And who were these “people”?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as “one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today’s elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: “The political polarization that is ripping this country apart” is about “identity … gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class.” He might have added — religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute: “If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion … then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite.”

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another — abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind’s most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really “God’s Country”? Or was Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of “God Bless America!” with the curse “God Damn America!”?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, “one nation, under God, indivisible.”

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put “God” back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them…”

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

“A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things … constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

 

“Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory … is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again.”

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were?

“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”

Are we passing on the house we inherited — or observing its demolition?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.

Comments

Erek knukles Tue, 07/04/2017 - 14:01 Permalink

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The more awake I become, the less I want to fit in.

In reply to by knukles

kochevnik SmackDaddy Tue, 07/04/2017 - 14:08 Permalink

Logically then you should support a nationalist Russian president.  Putin has strengths but he has bloodline ties to Israel, which is why Syrian war is not yet WWIII.  At historic time when Inner City of London globalists ready for Armageddon, Russian culture may suffer in preparations for war.  AgainTop challenge is to ban tribalism, which is incompatible with a functioning republic

In reply to by SmackDaddy

Chupacabra-322 knukles Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:54 Permalink

There is a term for this:

Balkanization.  

It is when a nation is broken down by various ethnicities residing within its borders.  Just a few generations ago, France was a unified nation of true "Frenchman".  Since the (((eternal destroyers))) victory in World War II, there has been a steady and unrelenting push for more open borders of ALL Western (white) nations to the third-world.  As an inevitable result, we now have our nations' original indigenous populations being diluted and dispossessed by these alien races and cultures.   If the French do nothing to end this process and deport those non-French people from its borders, their once mighty country will disintegrate or fragment into separate states.  Of course, the same it true for Germany, England, America, etc, etc... on down the list of ALL Western countries.  And all the while the tribe collectively wring their hands as to the success of their divide and conquer strategy.

In reply to by knukles

EddieLomax jm Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

The politics of the left exploits divisions, whether the colour of skin, culture, religion or wealth.Nationalism unites many people with different religions, different cultures or levels of wealth.  For proof of that look at Britain in 1910, there are many differences between the Scot's, Welsh English and Irish, but they were for a time happy to be ruled by each other.That is why the left hates nationalism, it relegates them to either be a small fringe agitating or to have to work for the good of the nation.  If the UK got rid of those who are incompatible with the nation state, Muslims and those who still fundementally feel they belong to another nation state then the UK would be a much more peaceful place.  Pat is right here, the main thing I disagreed with Reagan was his warm and fluffy feelings toward everyone being able to become American, it assumed that everyone shared or aspired to American values, one look at the middle east will show that is wrong.

In reply to by jm

xtremers9 (not verified) Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:25 Permalink

Wow. You do realise that America has never been homogeneous right? Even in the earliest days, we didn't have he same ancestors (came from all over Europe)

Jethro xtremers9 (not verified) Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:44 Permalink

In the sense that that the people that initially settled the US were genetically central and NW European, then yes it was.  There were different cultures, but they fell close to one another on the same spectrum of cultures.  Predominantly protestant, had a germanic common law background.  Money saved was kept to provide common infrastructure and not shipped off to the pope.

In reply to by xtremers9 (not verified)

Krungle xtremers9 (not verified) Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:58 Permalink

I think most of this notion of a homogeneous, united country was a myth created in the post-WWII years and that myth has stubbornly persisted even as the country has been circling the drain in recent decades. A united nation does not tear itself apart in Civil War. So even a hundred years into this American experiment it was hardly a united nation. And obviously as waves of immigrants arrived at Ellis Island they were not united by anything other than being "white." WWII served to unite those disparate groups into one nation. And even in the immediate aftermath of this post war unity it began to unravel because the unity never applied to large segments of the population even in the brief utopia of the 50s.

In reply to by xtremers9 (not verified)

Snípéir_Ag_Obair Krungle Tue, 07/04/2017 - 15:01 Permalink

Its not that they had white skin, a bizarre category mistake.. but they were Christian and ethnic cousins sharing Enlightenment values..

And who saw 'becoming American' as a goal - now immigrants expect to vote in their language and demand more 'representation' in tv/films

Korea was 5,000 years old and 99% Korean when it had a civil war... that Civil War quip is a non-starter as an argument.

And really the biggest difference is the sheer massive number of Mexican and other Spanish-speaking and Latino immigrants less and less interested in assimilating.

In fact, proof of pre 1965 Americans' relative unity is perhaps best illustrated by the disunity and ethnonationalism brought by post 65 Mexican/Latino immigrants (as a whole/group - *obviously* a great many Latinos have assimilated etc )

check out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEkDJ_JL1kk

its short.

In reply to by Krungle

Taffy Lewis Tue, 07/04/2017 - 13:29 Permalink

Very few Americans give a flying shit about those stupid social issues. It's the fraudulent news - including Drudge Report - that keeps bringing that up.Everything is looking great today here in flyover country (Kansas).

Taffy Lewis red1chief Tue, 07/04/2017 - 16:13 Permalink

For years, I've been saying the same thing: The illusion is that there is a difference between Dems & Repubs; social issues are created to support that illusion.Polls before national elections time and time again say that social issues are at about 8% of importance to people.

In reply to by red1chief