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Pat Buchanan’s not a racist, unless you ask Pat Buchanan, who thinks otherwise.

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Victor Davis Hanson should be celebrated for writing an entire post without mentioning that he taught Classics to poor people. But he shouldn’t be celebrated for writing what he wrote:

[W]e all must deplore that [Pat] Buchanan was booted from MSNBC, and recognize why it happened now.

Must we?  Buchanan begins the book with a lament that “[b]y 2020, deaths among white Americans will exceed births, while mass immigration is altering forever the face of America” (2).  He later opens a chapter entitled “The End of White America” with an analysis of Tom Buchanan—no blood relation, just the ideological one—discussing the novel’s fictional version of Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.

“Well, it’s a fine book and everybody ought to read it. The idea is that if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” (123)

Instead of dismissing his namesake’s approval of unscientific racism, Buchanan hems and haws about Margaret Sanger and eugenics as a liberal science and Stoddard being an Ivy League-educated racist who predicted

Japan’s rise to power, its war with the United States, a second European war, the fall of the Western empires, mass migration of peoples of color to the West, and the rise of Islam as a threat to Western civilization. (124)

He can’t decide whether to condemn Stoddard for being a typical academic liberal or praise him for being a prophet. So does neither. Or possibly both.

What Tom Buchanan and [Stoddard] feared [some clearly non-white academic writing in the Atlantic named] Professor Hsu welcomes: “The End of White America is a cultural and demographic inevitability.” (124)

Both Tom and Pat Buchanan align themselves with Stoddard and against Hsu, which is odd considering that Stoddard and Hsu are making essentially the same argument: white America is on the decline. The only difference between any of them is that the Buchanan boys share Stoddard’s “unashamedly racialist” assumption that the death of white America should be mourned. Did Buchanan forget he condemned Stoddard for being a racist when he joined him in mourning? Or does he simply not care about the contradiction? It’s genuinely difficult to tell. He’ll acknowledge that

The Tea Party and town hall protests of 2009 were almost wholly white affairs. (126)

But its impossible to parse that sentence. Is the attempt by white people to organize white affairs to defeat racial and cultural assaults on white America a good thing? Given his assessment of Stoddard, the answer would seem to be clear. But a few pages later he’ll be complaining about the very fact he just he conceded:

CNN, NPR, and USA Today all zeroes in on the racial composition of the crowd [at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally] as “predominantly,” “overwhelmingly,” or “almost all white.” The media’s unsubtle message: the Tea Party is a protest movement of, by, and for white people. (131)

You know who would agree with that assessment? The Pat Buchanan who admitted as much five pages previous. His argument is that the media accurately portrayed the Tea Party movement and should be condemned for doing so. Why? Because America is becoming more racially and culturally diverse and accurate portrayals of white anger about that fact should be avoided—despite the fact that according to Buchanan himself the demographic shift is inevitable and the white anger real. So let me modify my reply to Victor Davis Hanson:

Why exactly must we “deplore” the exit of an inconsistent and incoherent thinker like Buchanan from the ranks of professional political commentators? I’m having problems seeing what value his nostalgia for a whiter America brings to the table—especially when he only acknowledges the anger of white Americas when complaining about media coverage of them. Davis Hanson doesn’t say. Instead, he claims Buchanan had to be pushed out because

Now that there is no Bush to criticize, and given that Obama did not turn out to be a left-wing version of a Ron Paul isolationist, anything Buchanan might say about foreign policy will be critical of Obama—and he will probably say it well and often, given that he is better read, sincere in his convictions, and more informed than the other guests. The Obama agenda at home is the antithesis of everything Buchanan has ever said or written. In the network’s view, the days of Buchanan as a useful idiot are over; and now, in a changed climate, he offers no utility at all.

Let me see if I have this right: because Obama was elected nearly four years ago Buchanan had to be fired last week. I can see why Davis Hanson’s upset. It’s not like he can just change the channel and find a new brother-in-nonsense to embrace.

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