Our House Divided: Multiculturalism vs. America

Our House Divided: Multiculturalism vs. America, by Thomas Klingenstein of the Claremont Institute, in The American Mind.

Many conservatives did not see that Trump had framed the 2016 election as a choice between two mutually exclusive regimes: multiculturalism and America. What I call “multiculturalism” includes “identity politics” and “political correctness.” If multiculturalism continues to worm its way into the public mind, it will ultimately destroy America.

Consequently, the election should have been seen as a contest between a woman who, perhaps without quite intending it, was leading a movement to destroy America and a man who wanted to save America. The same contest is being played out in the upcoming midterm elections. …

Trump is a walking, talking rejection of multiculturalism and the post-modern ideas that support it. Trump believes there are such things as truth and history and his belief in these things is much more important than whether he always tells the truth himself or knows his history — which admittedly is sometimes doubtful.

His pungent assertion that there are “shithole” countries was an example of Trump asserting that there is truth. He was saying that some countries are better than others and America is one of the better ones, perhaps even the best. Multiculturalism says it is wrong to say this (as it was “wrong” for Reagan to call the Soviet Union “evil”). Trump is the only national political figure who does not care what multiculturalism thinks is wrong. He, and he alone, categorically and brazenly rejects the morality of multiculturalism. …

Clinton, in the other corner, was the great disdainer, a citizen not of America but of the world: a postmodern, entitled elitist who was just more of Obama, the man who contemptuously dismissed America’s claim to being exceptional. What she called the “deplorables” were the “anti-multiculturalists.” She was saying, in effect, that she did not recognize the “deplorables” as fellow citizens, and they were, as far as she was concerned, not part of the regime she proposed to lead.


Perhaps Trump’s most effective answer to Clinton’s and the Democrats’ multiculturalism was his attacks on political correctness, both before and after the election.

Trump scolded Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail. He pointed out that on 9/11 some Muslims cheered the collapse of the twin towers. He said Mexico was sending us its dregs, suggested a boycott of Starbucks after employees were told to stop saying “Merry Xmas,” told NFL owners they should fire players who did not respect the flag, expressed the view that people from what he called “shitholes” (Haiti and African countries being his examples) should not be allowed to immigrate, exposed the danger of selecting judges based on ethnicity, and said Black Lives Matter should stop blaming others.

The core idea of each of these anti-P.C. blasts, when taken in aggregate, represent a commitment to America’s bourgeois culture, which is culturally “Judeo-Christian,” insists on having but one language and one set of laws, and values: among other things, loyalty, practical experience, self-reliance, and hard work. Trump was affirming the goodness of our culture. Odd as it may sound, he was telling us how to live a worthy life.

Trump is hardly the ideal preacher, but in a society where people are thirsting for public confirmation of the values they hold dear, they do not require pure spring water. Even Trump’s crass statements objectifying women did not seem to rattle Trump women voters, perhaps because it did not come as news to them that men objectify women. In other words, Trump was being a man, albeit not the model man, but what mattered was that he was not the multicultural sexless man. A similar rejection of androgyny may have been at work in the Kavanaugh hearings. …

Trump understands that “diversity is our greatest strength,” which is multiculturalism boiled down to an aphorism, is exactly backwards. America’s greatest strength is having transcended race, and the one major exception was very nearly our undoing. In light of this history, the history of the world (one “tribal” war after another), and the multicultural car wreck that is Europe today, to manufacture cultural diversity is nothing less than self-immolating idiocy. …

Multicultural rules flow from multiculturalism’s understanding of justice, which is based not on the equality of individuals (the American understanding) but on the equality of identity groups oppressed by white males. In the Kavanaugh hearings, the multiculturalists did not see a contest between two individuals but rather between all women who are all oppressed and all white men who are all oppressors. Americans claimed the multiculturalists violated due process and conventional rules of evidence, but from the multiculturalists’ perspective what Americans saw as violations were actually multiculturalism’s understanding of due process and rules of evidence. Americans were seeing a revolution in action.

Read it all. One more excerpt:

The lesson is this: get right with Lincoln. He made slavery the non-negotiable center of the Republican party, and he was prepared to compromise on all else. Conservatives should do likewise with multiculturalism. We should make our opposition to it the center of our movement. Multiculturalism should guide our rhetorical strategy, provide a conceptual frame for interpreting events, and tie together the domestic dangers we face. We must understand all these dangers as part of one overarching thing.

Anti-PC above all. The PC fantasy world of cultural Marxists is not sustainable. It’s ruining our society, reversing the Enlightenment and our political achievements, and bringing down Western civilization.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, via Tip of the Spear