Is America Still a Nation?

Is America Still a Nation?


This post was viewed 19,292 times.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars Votes: 4.75 Stars!
Loading...
Share Pat's Columns!

By Patrick J. Buchanan

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.

Have something to say about this column?
Visit Pat's FaceBook page and post your comments….

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.

Do You Appreciate Reading Our
Emails and Website?
Let us know how we are doing –
Send us a Thank You Via Paypal!

Share Pat's Columns!
Nicola Violante, Don Murphy, Chris Wade, Raymond Masterson, Scott Tapley, Joshua Hendrickson, Stephen Darling, Giacomo Piazzi, Nathan Schockman, Nathaniel Einarsen, David Russell, Chris Beyer, Dean Buvia, Sharon T. Cooper, Charles Thompson, Bailey Webb, Phillip Hudson, Bryan L. Walter, Steve Kaposi, Andrew Cox, Courtland Rawson, Mark Medzorian, Steven Hook, J.L. Van Dyke, Bernie Minor, Christopher Wooden, Mary Marty, David White, Elaine Callahan, Jeremy Hughes, Bill Tallent, Mitchell Kelly, Dana Mason, Tom Trotts, K.A. Badynski, Stevie Corleone, John Hartman, Jennifer Rodriguez Lopez, Tim Scott, Kathleen Contartesi Ryan, Christopher Tanner, Kevin Ryan, Josh Munro, Bill Haney, Yale O. Leftwich, Ralph Morelli, Kyle Everett, James Spielman, Linda Bowling, Daniel Andersen, Frank Cabanas, Michael O'Flynn, George Irving, Betty Clark Edwards, Javier Rubalcava, Steve Dudas, Mark Dankof, Christopher Bundros, Harry Stewart, Chris Eddy, Maria Vagianos, Tom Stedham, Andy Zenchak, Joe Brooks, Albert Kaye, Andrew Mauldin, Steve Anderson, Ignatius Bricker, Nikita Maksimov, Jeff Stowell, Fatima Godale, Kathleen O'Regan, Ken Guthrie, Edward Treder, Jeffrey Goodman, Robert Bears, Christopher England, Mike Goodman, Michael Hayes, Clay Glasgow, Christoffer Orméus, Terry Arthur, Charles Peters, John McKeown, Melinda Dubbs, Julie Nagel, Dennis M. Campbell, Hans Runar Bredal, Larry Rinaldo, John Dina DC, Goran Ravasi, Peter H Hoffman, Roger Duncan, David Russell, Craig FitzGerald, JJ Roman, Aleksandar Djuricic, George Beck, K Morgan Lindau, Sharon Rish King, Mark Hernandez, Ken Harb, Kelley McCune McElroy, Timothy Mahoney, Blaine Massey, Magpie Martele, Houston Middleton, Mike Fleharty, Adam Spivey, Ernst Heidegger, Bret Bellamy, Steve Swan, Scott Boyd, Cathy Smith McDonel, Kenny Tallant, Alex Carros, Jared Grace, Stumpzian Farber, Rich Mathis, Robby Rieger, Larry Miller, Corey Miller, Stephen J Healey, Tammy Tapley, Matthew Woodbury, Shawn West, Rich DiTeodoro, Bill Pulice, Kevin Brady, John Reiner, Bill Rodriguez, Will Peavy, Denton A. Skipper, Gene Thompson, Charley Sasser, Dmitry Zakordonsev, Quenton Cox, Kent Bartlett, Dexter Greene, John Somodi, Al Farelli, Yochanan Akiva, Jerzy Kalita, Jeffrey A. Ward, Demetrius Demopoulos, Andrew Ziemba, Frank Carlozzi, Guilherme Carinha, Bill Haft Jr., Cyril W. Koob, Bruce Pergament, Glen Asbury, Doug Niebergall, Ted Simpson, Mary Ann Settle, Carl McGhee, Valerie McEntee, Robb Redden, Eugene Girin, Jose Garcia, Peter Browning, Clay Dalton, Robert Fiore, Bill Pieper, Robert Starr, Jackie Mathley, Acrux Solus, Marshall McBride, Sergei Nemtsov, Mojgan Jan, Nebojša Đorđević, Roger Bennett, Chad Hamby, Icener Axel, Charles Parker, Tim Meshginpoosh, Mary Blumreich, David Buchanan, Natalie Swanson, Eric Fournier, Gale Barber, Mike Dinnocenzio, John Crowley, Peter Bosland, Matt Wills, Chris Merck, David Wall, Chris Weaver, Vincent Migliore, William Morrison, Darren Gowen, Keith Carlson, Carson Shaw, John Hirezy, Stephen Satkowski, James K. Bryson, Jimmy Smythe, Dorian Yarnelson, Dann Robbins, Christian Evans, Ted Del Guercio, Gary Boberg, Steve McHargue, David A. Crane, Allen Black, Ger Dil, Dennis Schiely, Heather-Drew Westphal, John Petzoldt, William McGimpsey, Jesse Marshall, William Guess, Dan MacLeod, Matthew C Sult, Matt Murphy, Aditya Kar, Steve Litteral, Luca Capri, Wingate Barraclough, Mark VanCleave, Luis Obispo, Cheryl Moone Martin, Dean Baadsgaard, Max W. Harrington, John Vansandt, Matthew Perry, Edward Voit, Linda Stone, Howard Beaudet, Darrell Dean, Travis White, Eliza Redmond, Benny Harris, Jim Lyons, Melora Nelson, Mitsuo Nakai, Brian J Bagi, Enoch Strife, Eileen V Robinson, Eddie Torralva, Erik O'Dalaigh, John M. Clark, Beau J. Palumbo, Cynthia J. Starks, Joy Smiley, Thomas Williamson, James McPherson, James Westerbeck, Chris Sotomayor, Ryan Cleveland liked this post