Richard Reeves

Pat Buchanan and the Death of Western Civilization

WASHINGTON -- Welcome home, Pat, even if you don't think much of the old place anymore.

Patrick Buchanan lives in the spotlight, and he or it had moved away after his embarrassing run for president in the 2000 election. But now he's about to go on stage again, this time with a book well timed to be both a best seller and the center of an angry argument on television and other places where hyped controversy is king. "The Death of the West" is the name of the book, and the first advertisements by St. Martin's Press give you the general idea, saying:

"Can our America survive? ... Our Borders Opened. Our Country Invaded. Our Culture Destroyed. Our Heroes Defiled. Our Values Assaulted. Our God Dethroned."

Buchanan has been collecting his thoughts on the foreigners among us for more than 40 years, and now he seems to have distilled them down to this: Get rid of the foreigners and start having children, America. Christian children. Or else, get out, or prepare to be a slave to the races bred in Mongolia or someplace else in the Middle Ages.

I have tracked Buchanan's passion -- he is as consistent and honest as he is wrong -- since his days in the White House of Richard Nixon. Back then he kept the president apprised of the latest news on genetic determination, passing along the thoughts of Richard Herrnstein, a sociologist who argued in the late 1960s that the poverty of American blacks was a simple and inevitable result of God-given lower IQs than whites.

"Basically," Buchanan wrote then in private memos to Nixon, "it demonstrates that heredity, rather than environment, determines intelligence. ... The importance of this article (in the Atlantic Monthly of September 1971) is difficult to overstate. ... Every study we have shows blacks 15 IQ points below whites on average. ... If there is no refutation, then it seems to me that a lot of what we are doing in terms of integration of blacks and whites -- but, even more so, poor and well-to-do -- is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction."

(Nixon did not reject those ideas or Buchanan's analysis, but he thought his young assistant went too far. In 1982, the former president told me that he did indeed believe blacks were inferior to whites -- and whites inferior to Asians -- but that he believed American blacks had to be moved up economically regardless of qualification if that was required to maintain national harmony and reduce the risks of racial violence.)

Now, Buchanan is taking on the world -- and taking on the 30 million foreign-born people in the United States, along with perhaps 9 million illegal immigrants, saying they will destroy homegrown Christian culture. He is particularly agitated that there are now more Muslims than Roman Catholics in the world, and they are having more children than Europeans and old-stock Americans. His language is colorful: "Historians may one day call 'the pill' the suicide tablet of the West. ... Those celebrating diversity now will spend their golden years in a Third World America."

Buchanan, I know, is a true believer that these people will destroy Western civilization, just as some of my Anglo-Saxon Protestant forebears believed that large Irish-Catholic families with children named Patrick would be the death of America. Now it is his turn to fear foreigners and their ideas, as he said in an interview with Washington Post Online: "The Christian faith, which I believe is the immune system of the West, is rapidly dying in Europe and the United States, and it's an almost absolute correlation that when faith dies, people die ..."

Leaving aside the fact that his rhetoric is close to a mirror image of that of a certain Saudi Arabian we are hunting down right now, Buchanan backs up his ideas with United Nations statistics indicating that Westerners are not producing the 2.1 children per couple needed to maintain constant population -- the current Western child production is estimated at 1.4 per couple -- while the darker folks of Asia and Africa are producing as many as six to eight children per couple.

It all sounds a little dire to me -- intermarriage and assimilation are pretty strong social forces, too -- but if Pat is right this time, I guess we'll all just have to jump in bed and do or die for Christ and flag.

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