Letter: Buchanan presents a false choice
Pat Buchanan recently remarked that America’s strength was bound up in its unity, in contrast to the “liberal” argument that we gain strength from our diversity (Monitor front page, Nov. 30).
He concludes these are contrary positions: Diversity is incompatible with unity. Buchanan “harkens back to an earlier era.”
What mythical era is Buchanan referring to? What unity did field slaves share with their white masters? Is he referring to the era when nativists waged gang wars against waves of immigrants, who in turn became pillars of our nation? Is he referring to the generations so unified that it fought its bloodiest war . . . against itself? Or the generation that was united fighting World War II, while at the same time segregating its military and interning its Japanese citizens?
The same nation that landed on the moon was roiling at home with protest, war and civil strife.
America has always been a nation of outsiders. We have always been a chaotic nation of immigrants and native born, of farmhands and factory workers, of men and women. Our skin is white, black and all hues in between. In that diversity there has been obvious strength. In that diversity there can also be unity. A nation so long diverse and tumultuous can be unified by that very fact, that shared complicated history.
I utterly reject the false dichotomy he presents: that being diverse means that we cannot be unified. E Pluribus Unum does not belong solely to the Pat Buchanans of our nation.