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    Buchanan's Big Score

    by David Weigel

    A Drudge plug, a few controversial passages, and boom - Pat Buchanan's newest book (with his oldest cover) hits #1 on Amazon. Josh Marshall calls it a "xenophobic hairball," but really it's not too different from what Buchanan has been shouting into the dark for years, or what Peter Brimelow made a splash saying a decade ago (before boarding himself up into the VDARE.com sanitarium).

    America faces an existential crisis. If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built. No nation has ever undergone so radical a demographic transformation and survived.

    This really is no different than the old Brimelow spiel, although PB always personalized it by noting he didn't want his young son to grow up in this scary, swarthy future Mexamerica.

    I'm sympathetic to Buchanan's arguments. It makes no sense to ignore, as our midterm-fearing Congress would like to, the bad law and worse economics that have created the border crisis with Mexico. It makes even less sense to introduce de jure bilingualism in communities surfeited with Mexican immigrants. But this idea that Mexican immigration will topple the nationhood and traditions of European-Americans is nine parts alarmism and one part B.S.

    Can anyone point me to the border towns where democracy has collapsed, supplanted by Latin American-style caudillos? Have Arizona, California, and the rest of the Southwest become less American or less loyal? Restrictionists are too quick to compare America's immigration with that of Europe or of collapsed empires of the past. But it's a false comparison between, say, Muslim immigrants who settle in Rotterdam and refuse to integrate with Dutch society, and Mexican immigrants who go to Catholic mass and long to become American citizens. The former pose a real challenge to a society's stability, but the latter can be sucessfully assimiliated if policymakers want to assimilate them. (Yes, controlling the immigration flow would be the keystone of any successful assimilation.) Reason's August/September 2006 issue is a good springboard for any discussion on the topic.

    I sense some cognitive dissonance at the Wall Street Journal op-ed desk about this, though. Liberal and conservative politics can apparently be transmitted genetically. But culture can't. Anyone able to crack that logic?

    (Cross-posted at Hit and Run.)