The Left Needs To Get Over Multiculturalism

The Left Needs To Get Over Multiculturalism

It looks like the Left will have a big, dragged-out fight over what exactly constitutes their philosophy and agenda. I am a conservative, but if I can offer my liberal friends advice, it is this: drop your misguided pursuit of a multicultural society. It will continue to get you nothing but heartache.

Let me hasten to add that I don’t mean a multiethnic society, obviously. That exists, and in fact it has always existed in America. Only cranks would decry it.

No, I mean multiculturalism, the idea that several cultures and national identities should co-exist under one American roof and even be cultivated by our government and institutions. The bureaucracy creates multiple cultural groups out of thin air (Hispanics, Asians, soon to come: Middle-East and North-African Americans), and before you know it they acquire ascribed statuses and group rights, and even their own congressional districts.

America meanwhile drifts further in an ethnic proportional system akin to Lebanon’s. We have certainly had our problems recently, but this is not the model we want to follow.

The people promoting this view are blowing through the historical compromise that allowed America to remain united and have a strong national identity even as it took in immigrants. That was called assimilation.

Multiculturalism Is About Amassing Power for Elites

The opposite, victimhood-mongering, has taken its place. To maintain intra-group solidarity, group members must be told again and again that the nation represses them. Group dissenters are to be treated as sympathetically as Snowball in “Animal Farm” or Piggy in “Lord of the Flies.”

It doesn’t take too deep a study of how the multicultural raj in America has been erected and maintained to understand that its stated purpose is transferring power among groups. Antonio Gramsci’s cultural Marxism and Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” are the lodestars.

In the long term, their embrace of such a multicultural dystopia erodes the social solidarity that liberals used to cherish. In the medium term, it will continue to beget societal angst. In the short term, living by the multicultural handbook cost Hillary Clinton the election.

When the Left decides to hit the pause button on its current massive freak-out about how this election was a “whitelash” against the “browning” of America, it should ask itself some hard questions. Sound liberal minds may want to ask, for example, if the angst that roiled the country had to do with immigrants per se or with the balkanization our leaders have been promoting.

Identity Politics Is a Double-Edged Sword

Even if we can agree that adding millions of immigrants after a long lull would have created unease under the best of circumstances, we should also agree that reversing assimilation and forcing immigrants into subnational identities only stoked the normal anxieties of the people already here. People tend to care about national identity, and when you mess with it, you get the identity crisis that has hit the West like a tsunami.

Clinton and the Democrats’ inability to speak to millions of working-class white Americans is one consequence of the diversity mess they have created. If only they had read some of their own, they would have gotten the message. Thomas Edsall at The New York Times and former senator Jim Webb have been sounding the alarm for years on how the Democratic Party dropped blue-collar whites.

Clinton didn’t even get the “minority” groups on which the whole “majority-minority” architecture relies. African-American voters didn’t show up in high numbers, and 8 percent voted for Trump. When you live by the sword, you die by it. Cuban-Americans helped deliver Florida to Trump, as I demonstrate here.

So rather than riot, cry in a safe space, or move to Canada, the adults in the liberal room should raise the question of whether it was a good idea to abandon an economic-based analysis of social ills in favor of an ethnic-based view of the country that old-time liberals would have found repugnant. But if liberals don’t want to follow my advice, I can assure them we conservatives will be discussing this when we do our own self-assessment.

Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, spent close to 20 years as a journalist, 15 of them reporting from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He is the author of the new book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.”
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