Mark Krikorian described John McCain as a multiculturalist last week at NRO. This is true. McCain discounts culture as an element of American identity, asserting that we are founded only on an idea, liberty. At the same time, he declares that other cultures immigrating into the United States can only enrich us:
If there was ever such a thing as a noble cause, it is the one we are embarked on now. Anyone who is afraid that somehow our culture will be anything but enriched by fresh blood and culture, in my view, has a distorted view of history and has a pessimistic view of our future.
Note in the quotation above how he suddenly recovers “our culture,” not to assert its integrity, but only to be able to declare it “enriched” by other cultures coming here. Also, what if the other cultures are not equally committed to liberty as we are? I doubt McCain has thought very much about this. He is just spouting the cliches of today.
The truth is, it is McCain who has a distorted, multicultural picture of our history. The truth is, we are supposed to be taking in individuals from other cultures, not other cultures in their wholeness. That is what American openness is supposed to represent. But we are so far gone that the men who lead us, such as Bush and McCain, are not even aware of this.
But once again we see the continuum between universal values and multiculturalism. Since human beings can’t live without culture, multiculturalism — that is, to be taken over by other cultures — is the fate of any country unwilling to assert its own culture.
Some people are wary of talking of an American culture because they associate it with race. This is erroneous. Culture transcends race. It unites people of different backgrounds. Whether it be Louis Armstrong or Aaron Copland, they are both part of American culture.