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5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative Prophesy of America's Future, October 18, 2011
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This review is from: Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? (Kindle Edition)
I have to say at the beginning of my review that while I don't always agree with Pat Buchanan's prescriptions, his descriptions of what's going on in America tend to be highly accurate and significant. Even if you disagree with Pat's assessment of the trends he chronicles in "Suicide of a Superpower," his passionate portrayal of these trends should be provocative and enlightening for both his critics and his allies.

What Pat presents are undeniable trends that are in the process of radically transforming America. It's up to us to debate whether these radical changes are good or bad, but we should thank Pat Buchanan for bringing so many of them together all in one place, and for helping to connect the dots to see how they all relate. We all know that these dramatic changes are provoking a series of crises: we'll all be better prepared to deal with these crises if we know what we're up against. What we'll all have to decide is if we want a Christian nation with the moral, economic, and social fruit of such a culture, or whether we want a more relativistic, socialistic, and atheistic nation.

Pat begins in his Introduction with a warning from Soviet Russia: that America is no longer truly a nation, which he defines as "a people of a common ancestry, culture, and language who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, [and] share the same music, poetry, art, literature." Pat's thesis is clear throughout the book: America is disintegrating before our eyes. "What happened to the country we grew up in?" It's a question that I, as someone born in 1960 and someone who shares Pat's Christian beliefs, can identify with.

Pat begins his argument in Chapter 1 with an economic argument. I heartily agree with his assessment that our debt is a huge problem and that we have, unfortunately, become a "food stamp nation." I also share his misgivings about the role of The Fed in leading to a weakening of the American economy. However, while I agree that China is an economic threat, I don't completely buy Pat's negative assessment of globalization. In "Suicide of a Superpower," because Pat covers so many topics, he doesn't have to make an extended argument, for example, for his view of globalization. The most important statement Pat makes in Chapter 1 is that "the failure of our system is rooted in a societal failure."

Pat turns to "The Death of Christian America" in Chapter 2. Like it or not, this is the root of all of the momentous changes in America in the past several decades. Whether you hate or love the loss of the Christian identity of America, this transformation is the cause of all the others: to a large degree religion creates culture. It's clear from what Pat writes here and what others have written elsewhere that America saw herself as a distinctly Christian nation until recent decades. In Chapter 2, Pat gives but some of the many measures of how we are now much less a Christian nation, from the prayers at Obama's inauguration to the relative collapse of evangelical Christianity to the disintegration of The Episcopal Church. Pat then gives some measure of how the "death of God has blown up our decent and civil society." The loss of a Christian American identity has not only created many social ills but has also precipitated what have been called the "culture wars." I teach a class on Worldviews, in which I try to help my students see precisely the kinds of connections Pat makes for us. Most Americans only deal with individual issues about which they have feelings and are unable to articulate the theology and philosophy that are the foundations of their beliefs. Once again, Pat leaves us with a powerful and succinct summary of the point he's making: "the cycle is inescapable: when the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people die."

Chapter 3 gives us a close up of the Crisis in Catholicism, as one particular measure of the increasing impotence of Christianity in America. This includes not only the disbelief of American Catholics and the decline in the numbers of priests, nuns, etc. but also the cultural bias so many have against Catholics. My sense is that this is because Roman Catholics are the biggest, most prominent church - and because abortion is such a high-order issue for many atheists and nominal Christians.

In Chapter 4, Pat deals with The End of White America. He presents some attention-getting statistics from the New York Times: "whites would become a minority in 2042 and would fall to 46 percent of the population by 2050, comprising only 38 percent of U.S. population under 18." I can see the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. as a potentially positive thing. After all, as Philip Jenkins points out in "The Next Christendom," Hispanics are often devout Roman Catholics. But some of the facts that Pat presents has made me have to reconsider what the growth of illegitimacy, the allegiance of many Hispanics to Mexico, and other factors means for America's future.

Read Chapters 5-10 for yourself: they are necessary ingredients for understanding why Pat Buchanan and others fear the ultimate disintegration of America as we've known it. The push for equality of outcome, the cult of diversity, a nation that doesn't replenish its population and other disintegrating forces all lend strong support to Pat's overall thesis.

I'm fast running out of room in my review, so let skip to a discussion of Chapter 11, in which Pat discusses our "Last Chance." While I think Pat wastes too much time at the beginning rehashing some of the problems we face, he finally gets down to a potential solution. He starts with putting the nation's finances back in order, and I agree. This is an issue that has broad-based support, and if we don't solve this problem soon we may not survive long enough to deal with some of the cultural issues. Next, Pat recommends dismantling the American empire. For most of my adult life, I've been in favor of most of America's wars, but more recently I've had to re-think my position. While it's scary to contemplate a world without American intervention, it may, in the end, make us stronger and not weaker. I heartily agree with his proposal to downsize the state, and I think others are starting to agree. But, unfortunately, I think we're all so addicted to government handouts that we'll never have representatives who will vote for smaller government. Instead, I'm afraid that an economic catastrophe will force our hand.

Pat's final note is a weak one. I agree with him that we should reclaim a Christian culture and traditional religion and morality. However, Pat offers no real advice on how we can do this! If he's right (and I think he is) that culture follows religion, then he should have offered more advice on precisely this point.

In spite of a number of limitations I've mentioned, "Suicide of a Superpower" is a provocative, important, and well-written prophesy of where America seems to be headed.

Buchanan presents his argument in the following 11 chapters:

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
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Showing 1-10 of 84 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 18, 2011 5:18:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2011 5:19:51 PM PDT
Actually, according to pew, the protestant churches are still the largest, by a small margin, and the gains in the catholic have been part of the problem (in that the Hart-Celler 1965 Catholic led open border Act to its people in South American (many ex slaves of the Portugeuse and Spanish) and the Catholic-led creation of Liberation Theology and anti-Angloism has led to a situation where the children of the founders do not reproduce or have families in the very land their families really settled. I like Mr. Buchanan, but he's informed by Catholic Natonalism and tends to believe "christianity" means the Roman Catholicsm and The southern european and irish connection to Rome is the "america" we should strive to have. The vilification of historical colonial american populations, especially Southerners, appalachians, etc. (wasps) and wasps generally cannot just be replaced by southern european catholics without the result we have. The America is very like Rome now, and is handling its problems liek Rome did. The bragging about "having no wasps" on the Supreme Court is telling. Can one really remove the founding population of a country (wasps---and of many kinds, they were hardly all puritans, like the Huegenots-- the scottish presbyterians who were such players in the colonies and revolution and civil war--- and not just turn the country into the Roman empire? The social marxist element is just one problem.

The disappearance of WASPs of all kinds---is genocide. Where did they go? What policies made them not reproduce? Why would the children of the founders (the ethnic group that founded the country) give away the Supreme Court to majority catholics? is that normal?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2011 5:34:27 PM PDT
As with any author, you have to read Pat Buchanan with a grain of salt. But clearly, by any standard, America has strayed from her roots.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2011 1:51:58 PM PDT
Hold on. You raise some good points, and as a Roman Catholic, I have to admit you are correct that the Church played a role in Third World Immigration to the US. But so did Jews, and so did WASPs. Even today the Lutheran Church is pushing for visas for Somalian Muslims, and were instrumental in the immigration of the Hmong people to the upper Midwest.Whether or not it is a good thing that the Catholic Church's pushing for Catholics from Peru, or the Phillipines to come here is debatable, but it makes sense on a certain level. Why would WASPs want to import troublesome Muslims? As for genocide against WASPs? Suicide is more like it, especially if by WASPs you mean Episcopalians. That group is the most liberal demographic in the US, and among the most affluent, and still powerful. They push for abortion, gay marriage and unfettered Third World immigration-all of which will only hasten their own decline. Episcopalian bishops are the most leftist of all and they will support every and any law that the vast majority of Americans would oppose that pertains to "criminal justice." A low birth among even traditional Episcopalians will seal their fate. Finally, no one "gave away" the Supreme Court to Catholics. Catholics probably dominate the law profession in terms of sheer numbers so lawyers and potential judges from every level will be drawn from that pool. The Catholics on the bench have been assembled over time by presidents of both parties and are of different political stripes. They don't "vote" as a block, and because it's not written in stone that all future appointments will be Catholics, the Supreme court may one day have more WASPs. Just like the good old days, right Jenna?

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 7:18:49 AM PDT
middleman says:
'''''In Chapter 4, Pat deals with The End of White America. He presents some attention-getting statistics from the New York Times: "whites would become a minority in 2042 and would fall to 46 percent of the population by 2050, comprising only 38 percent of U.S. population under 18." I can see the growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. as a potentially positive thing. After all, as Philip Jenkins points out in "The Next Christendom," Hispanics are often devout Roman Catholics. But some of the facts that Pat presents has made me have to reconsider what the growth of illegitimacy, the allegiance of many Hispanics to Mexico, and other factors means for America's future.''''

Don't see that as a positive thing. Many Hispanics refuse to speak English, they won't fly American flags, they bring gang/drug cartel problems here (as if we don't have enough problems with black gangs already!), they hate whites and want the Southwest to belong to them, they are taking jobs away from legal Americans of all races, they have bankrupted California and other places where they are a sizable number, etc. Not to mention, the Hispanics and Blacks are fighting over territory and will possibly unite together against whites. The Hispanics are only becoming more radicalized and marxist, thanks to the liberals and racial agitators and the fact many Latin countries are socialist and communistic. These are not good things!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 7:21:33 AM PDT
middleman says:
Exactly. Why did WASPs give up their power, pride and will to live? There was a time where we kicked out anyone who wasn't of Northern European stock, had no shame in doing so and many white women wanted to get married and have kids....not be career women. And many white men in the old days were rugged, hardworking, planned ahead and didn't care about 'getting in touch with their feminine side' either. The only men that are encouraged to be strong and militant are nonwhite and non-Christian. We have been brainwashed into being 'peaceful' and tolerant while others look out for their own and are militant. Who do you think will win with this type of thinking?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 8:21:27 AM PDT
I agree there are many Hispanics who present significant problems. I also believe there are many (a majority) who could possibly be assimilated into a Christian America.

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 2:06:32 PM PDT
F. Hollister says:
Fr.: You wrote -

"Pat begins in his Introduction with a warning from Soviet Russia: that America is no longer truly a nation, which he defines as 'a people of a common ancestry, culture, and language who worship the same God...'"

By that definition we never were a nation. We know that during the Colonial era, some Christians murdered others because they didn't approve of the way they worshipped.

But does the author, and you, honestly believe everyone in American always worshipped the same God?

Wow...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 2:25:56 PM PDT
The indisputable fact is that the vast majority of Americans through the colonial period and for a long time after were Christians. That indicates a very coherent cultural identity. One may choose to reject this identity but it's a fact of history. A very small minority that wasn't Christian isn't enough to undermine Pat's point here.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 8:10:38 AM PDT
Everyone is in denial about the ramifications of what has occurred in the last 40-50 years regarding birth control, abortion, and immigration, both legal and illegal. These are the key issues that have caused so many of the problems we face today, and they are all related. Birth control and abortion have kept the population of native stock (white and black) down, while allowing mostly middle class women-freed from the day-to day "drudgery" of child-rearing- to compete for jobs with men. This has allowed some families-now with two incomes- to prosper, while shutting out less educated married men with children, who now have to compete with for lower-paying jobs with immigrants. Third -world immigration has changed this country so fast and so profoundly that we haven't seen the full effects of it yet. Now, I believe that many immigrants are hard-working, and only want to better their families-that has always been the case with immigrants to the US-but today, immigrants are encouraged ,often by teachers, government agencies, and even retail outlets (like Best Buy and Home Depot with bi-lingual signage) to maintain their culture, custom, and languages. In short, they are discouraged from assimilating. Third-World immigrants are also having more children, so you combine that with a suppressed birth rate among established Americans, and this is the situation we have. As an aside, we are often told that immigrants do the jobs "that Americans don't want to." Many of the jobs they do are in landscaping and working in restaurants-jobs that American teenagers used to do. That says all you need to know about the effects of birth control, abortion and immigration. The worse part is these ideas are never discussed because they all touch on the hot button issues that this nation has torn itself apart over the last 50 odd years. Open your mouth, and you will be accused of wanting to "set back the clock" to a less enlightened time.

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 1:06:50 PM PDT
J. Coe says:
What I find so sad it how the US always gets presented as a "Christian nation". This not what our forefathers dreamed about other than the freedom to worship or not as one sees fit. Which we all get to do and continue to do. But then you have the religious right that wants to legislate their faith, their beliefs which is contrary to what this nation is about or what any of our forefathers wanted. I will admit that we live in an angry society that has lost a lot of it's moral compass but sadly this has and continues to come from the right and how they easily demonize anyone that sees and views life differently.
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