Pat Buchanan’s “Conference”: Welcoming White-Racist Themes

Thinkprogress has a very interesting story on a conference just hosted by far-right, sometime advocate of white-nationalist thinking, Pat Buchanan. He is a former U.S. presidential candidate and now prominent mainstream (MSNBC) commentator, who has previously asserted that

our Judeo Christian values are going to be preserved and our Western heritage is going to be handed down to future generations and not dumped on some landfill called multiculturalism.

He has also in the past made clear his view of immigration:

If we had to take a million immigrants in, say, Zulus next year or Englishmen, and put them in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia? There is nothing wrong with us sitting down and arguing that issue that we are a European country, English speaking country. (Citations here)

The main topic at this recent conference was how to get a Republican majority back. At one of the panels, the commentators advocated

supporting English-only initiatives as a prime way of attracting “working class white Democrats.” The discussion ridiculed Judge Sotomayor for the fact that she studied children’s classics to improve her grammar while attending college. The panelists also suggested that, without English as the official language, President Obama would force Americans to speak Spanish.

In their apparently delusional world, President Obama is going force us to speak Spanish. And, of course, mocking Latinos will really help Republicans get more votes in the fastest growing segment of the voting age population. Interestingly, Sotomayor did this extra reading (of books like Huck Finn and Pride and Prejudice) during the summer, not while attending college. She did it to improve her English, and on her own. Odd that these work-ethic, anti-immigrant, English-only folks cannot even credit immigrants and their children for such aggressive hard work and strong self-improvement efforts in English.

One obvious irony of the conference was a big banner overhead that had quote marks out of place and the key word conference misspelled as “conferenece.” (Source: Thinkprogress) Perhaps the English-only folks should first focus themselves on learning English well.buchanan

Significantly, Buchanan invited the prominent white nationalist of Vdare fame, former Forbes editor Peter Brimelow, to participate. Brimelow came up with this juicy take on U.S. society. He recommends English-only language issues as key for Republicans to get back lost white voters:

I really do recommend the language issue because you know that polls better than immigration and affirmative action. Eighty-five percent of Americans say they would favor official language policy. The wonderful thing about this issue if you look at what’s going to actually happen here is you’re going to find that the Obama administration is going to gradually institute institutional bilingualism in the country.

Brimelow amplified his white-nationalist rant by pressing conference participants to

attack affirmative action in an effort to attract the votes of “young whites” and “yellow people.” After claiming it would be “suicidal” for any “white man” to vote for Obama, Brimelow contended that immigrants should not be eligible for affirmative action because “they weren’t slaves to this country, they’ve never been discriminated against.”

Apparently, many right-wing Republicans cannot count. Do they read demographic analyses of this country’s future? Republican attacks on immigrants and people of color mean that very few of them, or their children and grandchildren, will vote Republican. I think right-wing Republicans must all operate in the same networks where they only talk to people like themselves. They certainly do not pay much attention to the social science and Census data (see here and here) on immigration trends and population composition, or they would know that strong white-nationalist appeals mainly to conservative white (especially male) voters will not get them a majority vote ever again.

And how do these white nationalist thinkers get such major mainstream media participation and coverage these days? Why are they even considered mainstream media types?


  1. Buchanan, vile antisemite that he is, using the phrase “Judeo Christian” (first quote) just highlights how much I hate that phrase. It’s not an inclusive term in any way, but a denial of Jewish difference that folds Jewish experience into Christian experience.

  2. EricNguyen

    Why would attacking affirmative action gain the Pubs Asian-American votes, much less votes from white young adults, most of whom have worked and gone to school in diverse settings? “Yellow people” benefited from affirmative action, just like African-Americans, Latinos, Natives and White Women.

    Yes, I’m aware that Asians were disproportionately represented in colleges and universities (they made up something like 15 percent of enrollment at one time while only represented 3 percent of the population), and that Republicans blamed affirmative action for colleges letting in “less qualified blacks, Latinos, etc.” at the expense of “more qualified” Asians, but the real problem was the Legacy Clause, which everyone knows favors whites.

    “I think right-wing Republicans must all operate in the same networks where they only talk to people like themselves.”

    Lol. My very conservative friend and I were joking about this the other day; I’ll have to show him that banner overlooking Buchanan’s shoulder.

  3. EricNguyen

    Whoops, I skipped a thought in my comment.

    It should’ve read that once percentages of Asians at colleges got high enough that schools had to stop admitting Asians, and that was when Republicans started going after affirmative action on behalf of victimized “yellow people”

  4. Kimberly Jones

    I think the political party is way over their heads. The party needs to accept the fact that America is changing and whites will not forever be the superior race in this country. The right-wing Republican Party should be brainstorming on how to recruit citizens to their party instead decreasing in size. I agree that there should be an official language. This is not to exclude immigrants but to encourage them to learn the language in hopes of unity. It really doesn’t make the party appear any better by making extreme comments like, “without English as the official language, President Obama would force Americans to speak Spanish”. Humorous comments like this only show the ignorance of citizens in our country.

  5. Joe

    Greg, thanks for calling attention to Buchanan’s illiteracy on evolutionary science. That is a good post you link to. It is interesting how much money and power you can often get in this country for speaking out as an illiterate, uneducated white man and demonstrating illiteracy in both social and physical science. This shows really how backward parts of this country are, and often at the “top.”

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