Is America Still a Nation?

By Pat Buchanan

George Washington Founding Fathers One Nation USA
Is America Still a Nation?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(  In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of “one people.” The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, “We the people…”

And who were these “people“?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as “one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today's elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: “The political polarization that is ripping this country apart” is about “identity … gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class.” He might have added — religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute:

“If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion … then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite.”

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another — abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind's most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really “God's Country”? Or was Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of “God Bless America!” with the curse “God Damn America!”?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, “one nation, under God, indivisible.”

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put “God” back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this [past] July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them…”

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

“A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things … constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

“Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory … is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again.”

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were?

“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”

Are we passing on the house we inherited — or observing its demolition?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 40 thoughts on “Is America Still a Nation?

    1. Most everything good in our nation was built by Conservative Christian men. If you deny this fact you only lie to yourself. Are there other good things here that were bulit by Jews, Buddists, Muslims etc.? Yes but most was accomplished by Christian Conservatives. Were wrongs commited during our nations existsnce? Yes because people were involved. Are blacks enslaved today? No. Is there racism? Yes because humans are involved. It has always existed throughout history and will continue. Our nation has been called a great experiment. Many in the world want to destroy this nation because it had been growing stronger and more prosperous due to the great experiment. Will we Christian Conservatives allow a vain and jealous coalition of evil thinkers to ruin the best mankind has to offer? Are we willing to fight to continue the great experiment? I pray it is so for only through fighting tyyrany and evil was it ever begun. God Bless America!!!

      1. Yes sir – I am one who will put his life on the line again for this great Nation. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL ENEMIES foreign and DOMESTIC. That oath has no expiration date, so again I can do no less than my ancestors have done, put my life on the line to defend this – my beloved country.

        1. I forgot to add this.
          “For those that will fight for it…FREEDOM …has a flavor the protected shall never know.”

          Semper Fi!

          — L/Cpl Edwin L. “Tim” Craft, B Co 3rd AT’s, Khe Sanh Combat Base, February, 1968

          1. @VE Veteran OMC Thanks for your service to our country past and present. I for one am grateful to God, His Son and the true patriots such as yourself.

            1. It’s, “One nation under God……..there is NO COMMA my fellow patriots. ONE NATION UNDER GOD, indivisible

    2. This is a very important question, and, for once, I agree with some of Pat’s assertions. This country is at a massive crossroads and if we take the wrong turn that will be the end of America and there will be no going back. History has shown that all civilizations will come to and end. I hope this is not the beginning of that.

      The divisiveness and polarization between people, families and groups is ripping this country apart and we are all watching it as though we are spectators and not participants. We are all culpable and responsible, so before we start hand wringing, pointing fingers and crying into our beer we need to take responsibility and do something about it.

      Fundamentally, in order to be a stable country we must have some core values and expectations. The anything goes crowd can piss off to Sweden. English must be the first language. Pandering to newcomers is bs; Americans do need to come first. The law needs to protect all people in equal measure. Entitlement culture needs to go–nothing should be free. The borders must be controlled, and most importantly it should be recognized that there is such a thing as American culture and identity–without it anything goes and we will be lost in a sea of competing voices and ideals.

      The solution to reversing this predicament is simple, but not acceptable to many, and that is COMPROMISE. Unfortunately, this country is led by a very divisive President who shows no respect, is a weak diplomat and who charges ahead regardless of what anyone thinks. He is not a leader and his prime objective seems to be shoring up his own wealth. Many Republicans hated Obama, but at least he tried to reach across the aisle. Going further right will never be the answer, just as the far left has no solutions either.

      Also, we need to hold our local politicians accountable. Make them work for YOU. That is why you elected them. Hold them to high moral and ethical standards. Politics is full of stupid, conniving, shallow people who do not represent us.
      That has to change.

      1. President Trump was handed a Nation that the previous administration attempted to change into an European-style Socialist state.
        Trump may not be the greatest President that our Nation has had or is even in the running, but he’s not trying to destroy the country through unconstitutional actions and does not denigrate our Citizens and Constitution while in foreign countries.
        I do not agree with all of his policies, but am willing to give him a chance to carry them out as I did the previous occupier of the Office.

        1. Trump is in the right place at this moment in the history of the United States. God placed him there as He knew Hillary was totally unfit to lead this nation and her core beliefs were Communist garbage. He is the first President since a long time ago that is standing for We the People. Everyone else has been part of the corrupt money grubbing elitist politicians. Why do you think Trump has had so much opposition? Because if he succeeds their careers are finished, and their Globalist One World government will be relegated to the dust bin of history. True Americans need to support him, everyone else who proclaims that he is an enemy of the country, are in fact the domestic enemies of freedom and our Constitution. I believe it will take another civil war for America to remain free, this time it will be more brutal than the last.

      2. @XX You had me going until your fourth paragraph. I was ready to welcome you to the fold. Compromise and propaganda is what got us here quietly over the years. Had previous generations stood firm, paid attention to what our elected employees were doing and demanded stronger controls on government, the judiciary, and bureaucrats, we would not have this mess to sort out.

        1. Will Bill,

          We have been on a bit of a summer sabbatical, but we love ya’ from afar for holding the fort down. It is my belief that ‘possibly’ GFYG has become GFYXX in a new longer suck-you-in format. I too went for the 3rd or 4th para ride, until “..this country is being led by a very divisive President….” At which time I said to myself WTF DID HE? JUST SAY which by way, was also the end and read no more…

          We will continue to PRAY DAILY for the success and safety of our President Donald J. Trump during one of the most divisive times in the history of our country.

          Semper Fi, FNY….;)

      3. What is it they call that ” schizophrenic ” never saw any one switch sides that fast. Feller could strip some gears if he warnt careful. Have to say he tried but guess a cat just can’t change its stripes er spots.

    3. The United States is based on a foundation of equality. Throughout our history, we, as a people, have made mistakes and have sought to rectify those errors albeit over a long period of time.
      That being said, I really don’t see many people lining up to leave this Nation as they do many others around the world. If we are so corrupt, so racist, so arrogant in our treatment of others, then why do we have so many people from other nations, other cultures wanting to come here legally and otherwise?
      Our Nation has made mistakes, we, as citizens have worked to fix them and, up until the last eight years, I thought we’d done a fairly good job of getting our priorities straight. Obviously, with all of the feigned, purchased hatred that I see today I was wrong.
      Mr. Buchanan makes some valid points in his article but it is up to others, each and every one of us, to put enough pressure on the politicians and citizens to make the United States a place that once more is the proud Beacon of Freedom and that “Shining City on the Hill” and not a piece of trash on the dust heap of history forgotten in some corner of a dark basement.

      1. Agrred Martin, but the pressure on said politicians in my view is wasted energy. We need as a Nation, a CoS. Provided we can muster 34 states to institute an article V convention. We the People once had the power, but We the People bacame oh so complacent, and weren’t paying attention as the government bloated itself. Diversity, I believe is what will rip ths once proud nation apart. Look at us now.

        As stated below…..As for my house we shall serve the Lord, and Mr’s S&W very handy!

        1. @mikeL, once a Constitutional convention is called, that convention is run by the current sitting Congress. Anything that the Congress does is not subject to review by anyone. A Constitutional convention is a good way to lose the Second Amendment.

          1. The original Constitutional convention was not run by We the People. The original Constitutional convention was called for the purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. The people sent their representatives, who promptly went beyond their authority, scrapped the Articles of Confederation based upon no consent from the people, and wrote up our current Constitution. I think that our current politicians, who are a lot more crooked and self serving than the founders, would also go beyond their authority, too!

          2. Wild Bill,
            The Convention of States is not a Constitutional Convention. It is a Convention run by the States to possibly add amendments to the Constitution. When 34 States agree to hold the Convention, they then tell Congress that the Convention must be called. Congress does not run the Convention. The States then build a list of 4 or 5 potential amendments to be sent back to the States for ratification. 38 States must agree upon the potential amendments for them to become law and binding upon both the Federal Government and the States and it only takes 13 States to bring the whole process to a halt.
            A couple of suggestions would be Term Limits for Congress and Federal Court Judges (including the Supreme Court; another would require the Federal Government to have a balanced budget as are the States and a third would be to cut the size of the Federal Bureaucracy in half.
            If you want to see a Constitutional Convention in action today, just look a the Federal Bureaucracy, the Courts and Congress. They make new laws every day that infringe upon your Liberties with impunity and exempt themselves.

            1. Our U.S. Constitution only provides two methods of amending our U.S. Constitution. See U.S. Constitution at Article V. The two methods are “…whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, …”
              This is known in the legal world as a Constitutional Convention. The only part the States play is ” …the Application of the Legislatures…” The application is designed by the current Congress. Once called, the schedule is determined by the current Congress. The agenda items to be considered are determined by the current Congress. Any votes taken are voted by the current Congress. Any amendments proposed by the several States are recognized or not recognized by the current Congress. Just to be clear, the states have no control, after making application. The people have no control, ever. There is no appeal for any thing that the current Congress might do (like repeal the First and Second Amendment or all of the Amendments).
              Would anyone trust our current Congress with out Civil Rights?

      2. Equality? Surely you jest. The goal of the American Revolution was having homegrown government rather than be part of an empire. Equality is more a 20th century and depending who’s using the term Conservatives are generally against equality if only because it’s a vague term.

          1. @Macofjack, GFYG confuses equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Equality of outcome is a 20th century concept. Equality of opportunity is the blessing that the Founding Fathers bestowed upon we Americans.

    4. Clearly GFYG needs to shut his pie hole and find something more constructive to do with his time … like go and make Play Doh figures in his/ her / it’s Mom’s basement. You can always count on him to be like a case of VD … just when you think its gone it shows back up again.

      That being said, the author makes a good point. Now we have all the Kumbayah catch phrases of our PC culture – “Inclusivity / Diversity/ Zero Tolerance/ Sensitivity” now its “give everybody a hug” no matter whether they are trying to eradicate you or not. Its like Charlton Heston said “Political Correctness is tyranny with a smiley face.” The leftist porkers have skewed our great republic away from individual sovereignty and freedom to the collective mass. It’s beginning to no longer be “Under God” but under our government. But if you were to ask the Founders what they meant by Freedom of Speech and expression – it meant “Grow a thicker skin, and you can associate with whom ever you choose. Other people have the right to do the same and not be forced to accept your beliefs if they choose not to.

      As for me and my house – we will serve the Lord.

      1. Yes the colored folks were expected to take insults from White folks with a smile. Then again Conservatives types don’t tale too kindly to being the butt of jokes.

      1. Gil’s response appears to be from those who want to suppress any thought other than theirs, especially if it is related to Christian, White and Conservative.. Buchanan has his view of America and feels it is being threaten by extremes on all sides. Gil seems to be happy where the country has ‘progressed’.

        I see America as a wonderful country, but with many problems and unresoved issues. Burden by divisive politics, oppressive extreme movements from many fronts, incompeten,and bias media, decaying infrastructure, too many people on entitlements driven by policies than encourage capable people to take rather than earn/conribute and the list goes on.

        Liberal and Conservative thought is good, free speech should be welcomed, differening opinions should be debated. America was founded on those principles, however I an witnessing the degradation of founding principles. Rather there is a transition towards a dogma that appears to states there is only way of thinking and “if you do not convert to my way of thinking there is no place for you”.

        Sounds fimilar?

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