Pat Buchanan: Diversity is Our Weakness, Not Our Strength

Paleoconservative columnist and author Pat Buchanan published a column Tuesday that all but called diversity America’s weakness, not its strength.

“Where is the scientific, historical or empirical evidence for the proposition that the greater the religious, racial, tribal and ethnic diversity of a nation, the stronger it becomes?” he asks, perhaps rhetorically.

The cliche that “diversity is our strength” is unique to late 20th and early 21st century America. It is far from a “universally held belief,” Buchanan points out, citing examples from contemporary China, the breakup and eventual dissolution of the USSR, and current conflicts among Azeris and Armenians, Ethiopians and Tigrinyas, and the various ethnicities and religions of Lebanon.

He then comes to the United States itself, asking if we’re a “stronger, better, more united nation and people than we were under Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, when 90 percent of the U.S. population was of European descent, almost all spoke English, and African Americans were the largest and indeed virtually the only major minority.”

Buchanan writes that the issues dividing us the most are bound up with race, ethnicity, and immigration, including but not limited to George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, white privilege, so-called “voter suppression,” and the porous southern border with Mexico.

“The more diverse we have become, it seems, the less united we have become, even about public manifestations of patriotism—the American flag, the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance. Nor do our history, holidays and heroes unite us as they once did,” he laments.

And in answer to the question posed at the beginning of his article, Buchanan believes it’s very difficult to find the evidence to prove that diversity does make countries like the US stronger. Indeed, there’s a reason “why the UN General Assembly […] began with 51 nations [and] now has 193.”

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