If U.S. Liberals Share Same Values As Israel, Why Do You Applaud Pat Buchanan’s Ouster From MSNBC?
On Thursday, February 16th, MSNBC effectively dropped its go-to conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, after having suspended him four months earlier, due to the uproar caused by his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.
The controversy stemmed from one of the book’s premises that America’s identity will cease to exist as it loses its white Christian majority. Buchanan wrote, “America is being transformed into a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world.”
1. The Passing of a Superpower
2. The Death of Christian America
3. The Crisis of Catholicism
4. The End of White America
5. Demographic Winter
6. Equality or Freedom?
7. The Diversity Cult
8. The Triumph of Tribalism
9. “The White Party”
10. The Long Retreat
11. The Last Chance
To sell his book, Buchanan appeared on a white-nationalist radio program called The Political Cesspool, which describes itself as representing “a philosophy that is pro-White and … against political centralization.” It says, “We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races.”
Buchanan’s attempt to peddle his white Christian-supremacy message to the American public would not stand uncontested. Liberals coalesced around the controversy, arguing that a network that claims to “lean forward” has a responsibility to shun this sort of polarizing and destructive bigotry; not to continue to empower its advocates with a mainstream media platform.
Progressive groups CREDO Action and ColorOfChange.org quickly gathered 275,000 signatures on a petition, demanding that MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC News President Steve Capus fire Buchanan at once.
Last month Griffen consented that he didn’t believe Buchanan’s book “should be part of the national dialogue, much less part of the dialogue on MSNBC.” And so last Thursday, he fired Buchanan.
After his ouster, Buchanan was invited to appear on right-winger Sean Hannity’s TV program (on Fox News) to defend himself. Attempting to rationalize his beliefs, Buchanan said:
“The year 2042, people had talked about where the European majority in the country, the white majority, would be a minority. Now, there was a cover story in The Atlantic titled ‘The End of White America,’ and this fella who was a professor celebrated it. Bill Clinton went out to Portland State and said by 2050, there’s going to be no racial majority in the country, and everybody applauded.
“So I took up that issue and I said, ‘Wait a minute. This… it’s not known for sure that this is going to be beneficial because I don’t know a country in this day and age where there’s no ethnic majority that is not in danger of coming apart. And my question is, why can everybody else celebrate this and say it’s wonderful, and I can’t even write about it without being blacklisted?”
The Left’s reaction to Buchanan’s beliefs just exemplify how prominent the virtues of inclusiveness and equality are to liberal values. Any Buchanan-like ideology predicated on the belief that demographic shifts (in race, religion, or ethnicity) represents a ‘threat’ to the country, is considered so bigoted, so immoral, so un-American, that all responsible gatekeepers must denounced it, and expunged it from mainstream American discourse.
So why wasn’t there a similar display of outrage by these ‘principled’ liberals, including groups CREDO Action and ColorOfChange.org, when nearly every Democratic member of the U.S. House and Senate gave 29 exuberant standing ovations during Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech last year to a joint session of Congress? This adoration trumped the reception they displayed for our own Democratic U.S. President, who received 25 standing ovations at his State of the Union Address, earlier that year.
And Netanyahu’s and Buchanan’s bigoted views are virtually indistinguishable from one another’s. They each regularly cite potential demographic shifts away from their own religious/ethnic majorities as existential threats to their respective countries.
In fact, Netanyahu likens anything short of a lopsided Jewish-majority in Israel as the literal destruction of Israel. He considers Arab-Israelis to be an existential threat to Israel, in much the same way that Buchanan sees Mexican Americans, African Americans, and other minorities as existential threats to America.
As an example, while speaking at the Herzliya Conference on security, Netanyahu said:
“If there is a demographic problem, and there is, it is with the Israeli Arabs who will remain Israeli citizens,” he said. The Declaration of Independence said Israel should be a Jewish and democratic state, but to ensure the Jewish character was not engulfed by demography, it was necessary to ensure a Jewish majority, he said.
If Israel’s Arabs become well integrated and reach 35-40 percent of the population, there will no longer be a Jewish state but a bi-national one, he said. If Arabs remain at 20 percent but relations are tense and violent, this will also harm the state’s democratic fabric. “Therefore a policy is needed that will balance the two.”
Netanyahu said that the “separation fence” would … help to prevent a “demographic spillover” of Palestinians from the territories.
And yet this obscenely bigoted policy statement — built upon the same rationale used throughout history to incite ethnic cleansing and genocide — does not cause a stir in American liberal circles. In fact, liberal leaders line up enthusiastically to shake Netanyahu’s hand, to pledge their allegiance to Israel, and to repeat (almost mechanically) that Israel and the United States share common values, and that our countries’ interests are identical.
Our Democratic President, our Democratic Congresspeople, and some of our most popular ‘liberal’ political journalists and pundits either refuse to acknowledge or discuss Netanyahu’s bigoted beliefs and policies, or more often than not, subordinate their own progressive values on equality to his bigoted ones.
Take, for instance, President Obama speaking to the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial conference:
“We stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know Israel was born of values that we share. America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakable.”
“Israel was born of values that we share” might be true, if you are Pat Buchanan. Think about it, Buchanan’s cardinal sin, which got him tarred/feathered, and ultimately fired, was for insinuating that the U.S. should remain a state with a white Christian majority.
Obama’s commitment above, to Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state, could lead one to reasonably conclude that our President and Buchanan share identical anti-progressive values when it comes to racial, religious, and ethnic equality.
And Netanyahu is far more dangerous than political pundit Pat Buchanan ever was, or ever could be. Buchanan merely whines aloud, or on paper, about losing his idealistic ‘white Christian’ America. Netanyahu actually implements this line of bigotry as Israeli policy, and then states unapologetically that Israel’s very existence depends upon it.
And this bigotry didn’t just begin with Netanyahu. As he stated in his speech above, it goes back to the founding of Israel. It is the central tenet of Zionism, as a political ideology. The country was founded on this very goal of creating and then solidifying a Jewish majority in a country that was predominately inhabited by Arab non-Jews.
We see this Buchanan brand of bigotry implemented on the ground today in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank, as Palestinian homes continue to be demolished — entire families made homeless, for having had the audacity of being born as non-Jews. Their lands and their homes wiped clean from the map, and quickly supplanted by Jewish-only settlements, interconnected by Jewish-only roads.
This is ethnic cleansing.
And any so called ‘liberal’ who subscribes to, defends, or even acquiesces to an ideology that incites or rationalizes ethnic cleansing, has absolutely no ground to stand on when it comes to criticizing Pat Buchanan for merely writing similar extremist opinions down on paper.
‘Christian Right’ Is An Oxymoron
I cannot think of two ideologies more diametrically opposed to one another than Christianity and right-wing conservatism. Yet, in U.S. politics no two words get conjoined more than “Christian Right”.
How is it that people who claim to live according to the compassionate teachings of Jesus Christ — alleged champion of the poor and the meek — simultaneously, and with straight faces, attempt to impose sociopath Ayn Rand’s world vision of selfishness upon their fellow citizens?
In one hand conservatives cling to The Bible, proclaiming themselves to be morally-superior to the opposition. In the other hand they brandish that book’s antithesis, Atlas Shrugged, like a loaded revolver with which to thin the American ‘herd’.
Let’s break down the two ideologies to show the implausibility — if not the impossibility — of their co-existence within the same rational, logical mind:
Their political ideology is largely built upon their beloved Ayn Rand’s “anti-altruism” philosophy. She sums it up here in her 1959 Mike Wallace interview:
Rand: … [man’s] highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, and that he must not force other people, nor accept their right to force him, that each man must live as an end in himself, and follow his own rational self-interest.
Wallace: [In a Newsweek review, a critic writes] you are out to destroy almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government-regulated Capitalism, our rule by the majority will. Other reviews have said that you scorn Churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?
Rand: Yes … If I am challenging the base of all these institutions, I am challenging the moral code of altruism. The precept that it is man’s moral duty to live for others. That man must sacrifice himself to others, which is the present day morality.
Wallace: What is self-sacrifice? You say you do not like the altruism by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Randist selfishness. […] We’re taught to feel concerned for our fellow man, to feel responsible for his welfare, to feel that we are — as religious people might put it: “children under God and responsible, one for the other”. Now why do you rebel? What’s wrong with this philosophy?
Rand: But that is what in fact makes man a sacrificial animal. That man must work for others, concern himself with others, or be responsible for them. That is the role of a sacrificial object.
In the spirit of Ayn Rand, conservatives prioritize tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens and corporations, while imposing deep draconian spending cuts — and thereby pulling the rug out — from the poor, the elderly, and the most vulnerable amongst us.
Now contrast their conservative political ideals with what they claim to be their heart-felt religious ideals: Christianity (as quoted from the Bible):
Prov. 29:7. The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern.
1 John 3:17. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Acts 4:32-35. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.
Mt. 6:24. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.”
Prov. 19:17. He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.
Prov. 14:31. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
Obviously, the conservative right’s political and religious belief systems are steeped in GROTESQUE and INSURMOUNTABLE contradictions. One could logically conclude that you cannot be both ‘disciples’ of Jesus Christ AND Ayn Rand (who detested both religion and moral responsibility to others).
Considering the significant role the Evangelical community played in getting George W. Bush re-elected in 2004, the Left would be wise to drive a wedge between these ideological contradictions, and effectively split the conservative base, once and for all.
Because never before has Ayn Rand’s cruel “anti-altruistic” ideology been so close to becoming an American reality. And never before, in my lifetime, have conservatives been so eager to proclaim themselves to be Ayn Rand ‘disciples’.
UPDATE (June 6, 2011):
Many Christian voters are now taking these gross contradictions outlined above, and posing them directly to Republican politicians (including Paul Ryan). Judging from the Republican responses (or lack thereof), you can see this is a topic that terrifies them: (SEE THE VIDEOS).