The Decline and Fall of American Nationhood
It’s a sad fact of man’s nature that we tend to operate based on emotion more than reason. This comes to mind when considering how illegal migration, a.k.a. invasion, has now again surged back to almost Obama-era levels. Some are theorizing why this is so, looking at the micro, but an important factor is minimized: not enough people care.
Oh, they care about some things: sports, entertainment, money, sex, bread and circuses. But the familial passion that should characterize a nation is largely absent.
Passion is the actuator. You don’t become a concert pianist because of a cold intellectual calculation that you may have some talent and, well, you could make some good money being on stage. It’s passion that motivates you to sink your teeth into practicing hours a day. Just consider the difference between a child forced to engage in an activity and one with self-motivating passion, or the difference between soldiers fighting simply because they must and those truly believing in their cause.
When hearing about invaders streaming across our border, often with a sense of entitlement, we should be filled with righteous anger motivating us to robustly defend the homeland. We’re not. Or not enough of us are. In fact, a good percentage of the country works against the common good, passionate about the wrong things and acting as traitors would. Too many of the rest are comfortably numb.
This is why invasion has been tolerated (and often encouraged), why we talk about amnesty for people who should be unceremoniously shipped south, and why there isn’t yet funding for a border wall despite a record Republican House majority.
The reason for this, sadly, is that we’re not a nation — properly understood. A nation is an extension of the tribe, which itself is an extension of the family; it’s defined by blood, faith, language and culture. For example, the Sioux Nation wasn’t a “country” or “state”; it was a very large family sharing the aforementioned elements.
This truth was once recognized and emphasized. It was mentioned among the Founding Fathers that we enjoyed the benefit of “consanguinity,” meaning, a relationship based on having the same remote ancestors. This became less of a reality after the waves of 19th-century immigration, yet emphasis was still placed on maintaining nationhood. For example, President Teddy Roosevelt said in 1907 that treating people with “equality” was not a given, but was “predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American.”
He went on to say, “Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.” Now consider how many people will describe themselves as a/an _________-American or, worse still, will say “I’m _________” (fill in, Polish, Irish, Greek, Italian, etc.). They may not be bad people; they may mean well. But they’re unwittingly strengthening the all-too-prevalent internationalist mentality and are acting contrary to the cause of nationhood.
Nationhood was defended legislatively in 1921 with the Emergency Quota Act and in 1924 with the enactment of the National Origins Act, which used immigration quotas to maintain our country’s demographic balance. This is called “racist” today, even though some Europeans had greater quotas than other Europeans (and they’re the same race), but demographic upheaval is precisely how you destroy a nation. Ask the Tibetans, American Indians or the Ainu in Japan (if you can find any) about that.
This brings us to the most significant and disruptive piece of legislation in American history: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Introduced by Rep. Emanuel Celler (D-NY), co-sponsored by Sen. Philip Hart (D-MI) and promoted by lady-killer Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), it should have earned them the designation (D-Demographic Destruction).
The act increased immigration levels from a historical annual norm of approximately 250,000 to more than one million; it also for the first time limited immigration from the Western Hemisphere. Since it took effect in ’68, 85 percent of immigrants have hailed from the Third World (70 to 90 percent of them vote Democrat upon being naturalized; this is the real reason leftists love immigration). America would never be the same again.
Not only did the rate of immigration exceed the rate of assimilation, but many newcomers are not easily assimilable. Moreover, assimilation is never a one-way street when at issue are large numbers of immigrants; for while they may change, they will also change the wider society. In addition, even a very basic level of assimilation isn’t a given, as the Amish, Hasidim and some other groups prove.
Couple this with the rise of multiculturalism and what underlies it, moral relativism/nihilism, where people are essentially told “Hey, it’s all perspective; whatever works for you (unless that happens to be authentic Americanism)” and it’s no surprise what we’ve become: a multitude of disparate peoples trying (not always too hard) to co-exist within the same porous borders. We’re not divided. We’re fractured — religiously, philosophically, politically, socially, ideologically and culturally. In fact, what unites us most today is sin.
Our unofficial motto, once E pluribus unum, has beome E pluribus plura — out of many, many more. This is why we fight over everything, from life’s origin to politics to football to baking cakes to marriage to, even, what boys and girls are. It’s why everything ends up in court.
As for the end game, people with badly conflicting values trying to co-exist under the same roof will eventually go their separate ways — unless, as with bickering children, an iron hand keeps them in line. The large groups of people known as countries are no different. Unless something radically alters our cultural trajectory, as a nuclear blast might alter an asteroid’s, our fate is either dissolution or despotism.
Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com