`The enemy is inside the gates'

Q&A// Pat Buchanan

September 17, 2006|By Tom Dunkel | Tom Dunkel,Sun Reporter

Patrick J. Buchanan -- former Nixon speechwriter, gadfly presidential candidate, and perpetual TV pundit -- knows how to stir a pot. This is, after all, a man who once described Earth Day as a great opportunity to "worship dirt" and Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory."

Now 67, Buchanan shows no signs of mellowing with age. His latest book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, tackles the hot-button topic of immigration. With 160,000 copies sold in three weeks, it has already made the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists.

Buchanan fans admire his blending of straight-talk populism with hard-nose conservatism. Critics regard him as a man perfectly in tune with the times: 1950's Disneyland America.

The thesis of State of Emergency is that immigration worldwide has spiraled out of control. However, the crisis is most acute in the United States, where illegal aliens pour across the Mexican border in such numbers that we're witnessing a de facto reannexation (or Reconquista) of the American Southwest.

Among other remedies, Buchanan prescribes a 10-year rollback of legal immigration to levels that then-Sen. John F. Kennedy proposed in 1958 (between 150,000 and 250,000 per year), construction of a "double-line" security fence along the Mexican border, a crackdown on companies hiring illegal aliens, and an end to dual citizenship.

The choice before us, he says, is either to take bold steps now or to watch the country degenerate into "a multicultural Tower of Babel." Buchanan spoke to The Sun by phone from his office in Washington.

The comedian Bill Maher says the title of your new book should be I Hate Brown People.

Some folks are going to take issue with the title and all the rest of it. I have no problem with that. I'll stand by what I wrote.

Can one take the long-lens, poetic view that this is the Colonial Age coming home to roost?

A: There's an element of truth in that. Western imperial powers dominated the world from around the 16th to the 20th centuries. Then the empires collapsed after World War I and World War II.

Basically, the children of the subject peoples of those Western empires are now coming to take over the mother countries.

The West built the bridges and now immigrants are crossing them en masse?

The Western peoples are not reproducing themselves. In those countries the populations are aging, shrinking and dying out. In my judgment that is the first cause of the crisis.

The second is that Americans and Europeans are failing to resist the peaceful invasions from the Third World.

Finally, because the melting pot is cracked and the Western elites no longer insist on assimilation, we run the risk of the Balkanization and breakup of Western countries.

Speaking specifically of Latino immigration, could this be assimilation that's delayed for a generation or two rather than an "invasion"? It's not like the Italians or Irish coming from Europe. Now there's just a common border to cross.

That possibility certainly exists if you had small groups of people. We're going to have 100 million Hispanics here by the middle of the century, according to our own Census Bureau. I think their Spanish culture and Spanish language are going to come to predominate as they already are in parts of Southern California.

What you will have is the de facto reannexation of the Southwest by Mexico. Not militarily and politically under the control of Mexico City. But basically linguistically, socially, culturally, and ethnically. That is the great danger. It is the southwestern border.

Do you draw any analogies to the Quebec separatist movement?

I do draw the possibility of a Quebec. If instead of 5 million French Quebecois there were 15 million, I think Canada would break apart.

But I see this more like what happened to Kosovo, where the Albanians and Muslims gradually moved in until they outnumbered the Serbians and the Serbians began to leave. Now they're down to 10 percent.

[Historian] Arthur Schlesinger wrote in 1990 that he believed the conflicts of race and ethnicity would replace the struggle of ideology that was the Cold War. I think history is bearing him out.

What did you learn in the process of researching this book?

A: To be candid, I knew a great deal about it. I tried to tease out all the forces - left, right, and center - which are in favor of erasing borders.

Mainly there's a great debate between those who believe we are simply a proposition nation: that what keeps us together is that we all believe in democracy, free markets and human rights. And there are those who believe we are a blood-and-soil, history-and-heritage, law-and-literature culture.

I believe when the culture goes, the country will go. Democracy is not enough. There are folks in India who believe in democracy. They're not Americans. This gets to the argument of "what is a nation?"

Do you consider California the canary in the coal mine? Is that the face of America in 50 years?

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