Saturday, February 25, 2012

Multiculturalism As 21st Century McCarthyism

After ten years of being a regular commentator on MSNBC, Pat Buchanan was officially given the boot on Feb. 16. It marks a new low in the witch hunt against “racists” that marks “anti-racism” and multiculturalism as the resurgent McCarthyism in today’s political climate. The mass hysteria that once had the Wisconsin Senator looking under every rock for communists is now looking under every rock for racists.

I once liked MSNBC. While they have a definitely slanted point of view, they used to encourage dissenting opinion. Years ago liberal Ron Kuby and conservative Curtis Sliwa hosted a show together on the network and it was interesting to see two people with so diametrically opposing viewpoints discuss the news of the day. Buchanan was a once regular on the liberal Rachel Maddow show, where he and Maddow would debate the issues at hand with vigor but mutual respect. She even referred to Buchanan as “Uncle Pat.”

I don’t agree with many of Pat Buchanan’s views, but he’s always presented them in a logical way with an insightful knowledge of international affairs and the workings of the U.S. political system.

Thinking people of all political persuasions should make it a point to read and listen to people they strongly disagree with; you’re cheating yourself if you don’t do so. If you refuse to listen to opposing points of view, you risk turning your head into a useless echo chamber.

The mélange of groups that called for Buchanan’s head didn’t do so because he is a hatemonger, they did so because he isn’t. If he was a hateful blowhard, he would be easily discredited and his views would have no chance of catching on. (Observe the same smear tactics recently used on Presidential candidate Ron Paul).

And when MSNBC fired Pat Buchanan, they didn’t do so because they were offended by his views. His views have been public for more than 30 years. MSNBC fired Buchanan out of fear. They were afraid of being branded as racist or as giving harbor to racists. Many times in our political discourse, particularly in our discussions of race and multiculturalism, people are acting out of fear. Criticizing anything not in line with left-leaning policies risks being branded as a racist in today’s world, and people do not want to see their careers destroyed by being branded with the scarlet ‘R.’

When you have large groups of people acting or failing to act out of fear, our political discourse suffers and our democracy is diminished.

Joseph McCarthy started with a premise that most people could agree with: totalitarian Communism was bad and if there were agents of the Soviet Union infiltrating the U.S. government, they should be found out. But Joseph McCarthy’s name is on the same ash heap of history as Soviet Communism because he became a tyrant. His quest to destroy Communism blinded him to the very reason Americans ought to oppose Communism.

So it is today with issues of race and multiculturalism. Efforts to fight racism have blinded people to the very reasons they should oppose it. It has brought us mind-numbing fanatical nonsense such as the slogan “Hate speech is not free speech,” the branding of conservative critics as “white supremacists” or “white nationalists” and even physical assaults on critics of illegal immigration and affirmative action.

Self-appointed anti-racists have become every bit as dogmatic and intolerant as the “racists” they claim to be fighting. They have lost sight of the reasoning behind their cause and reason has left them, and it shows.

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