Selling Racism: Pat Buchanan's latest book is a white nationalist screed. But that hasn't stopped it from climbing the best-seller charts.
by Alexander Zaitchik
Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report
Since the start of his latest book tour, Patrick Buchanan has appeared on just about every major television and cable network in the country, often more than once. He's been on NBC's "Today" show, the three most watched news programs on FOX, CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," and countless radio programs. During one four-day period in late August, the author was welcomed on no less than five NBC-affiliated programs. Together, these appearances have made Buchanan's new book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, a runaway bestseller.
The three-time presidential candidate is no stranger to the major media, being personally acquainted with many of those who interviewed him. A veteran columnist with the Creators Syndicate and an analyst for MSNBC, Buchanan was a founding member of three prime-time network or cable channel talk shows and has written for many of the nation's major newspapers and magazines. That might explain the kid-gloves treatment he got from virtually all his interviewers, most of whom did not seem to have read or understood the book they were helping to publicize.
In fact, the book reflects racial views that have now veered to the extreme. White America is changing color, Buchanan argues -- "one of the greatest tragedies in human history." The Mexican government is involved in a plot to take over the Southwestern United States, and parts of this country already look like the "Third World." The segregated South wasn't all bad "culturally" -- blacks and whites were united, after all. America, despite what its founders wrote, was a nation formed not on the basis of creed but rather a homogenous ethnic culture. To put it plainly, State of Emergency is a white nationalist tract. The thesis is that America must retain a white majority to survive as a nation. It is rooted in a blood-and-soil nationalism more blood than soil. The echoes of Nazi ideology are clear and chilling. As Buchanan helpfully explained to John King, who was interviewing him in one of his several CNN appearances: "We gotta get into race and ethnic questions."
State of Emergency unapologetically reflects Buchanan's insistence on the centrality of race to the United States and its culture. "This idea of America as a creedal nation bound together not by 'blood or birth or soil' but by 'ideals' that must be taught and learned ... is demonstrably false," Buchanan writes in the book.
Simply put, America is not a nation of ideas. It is a nation of people -- white people. Buchanan is especially overt in making this case when he endorses the view of his late mentor and editor Sam Francis, that American and European civilizations could never have been created without the "genetic endowments" of whites. He goes on to describe discussions of race as "the Great Taboo"; to ignore the role of race, he adds, is "like not telling one's doctor of a recurring pain that could kill you."
None of this seems to bother Buchanan's cheerleaders.
"Congratulations on the response to your book," said Lou Dobbs, the CNN anchorman who has made a profession of attacking illegal immigration in story after story after story, as he introduced his old CNN colleague. Dobbs then offered up his own view that President Bush was carrying on an "outright war" against middle-class Americans by allowing illegal immigration. Wrapping up the interview, Dobbs concluded: "The book is State of Emergency. It's No. 3 on the best-selling list. ... I'm going to repeat it one more time. The book is State of Emergency. Pat Buchanan, always good to talk to you. ... [Y]ou've got a lot of readers, so keep it rolling."
Dobbs isn't the only one helping Buchanan keep his book rolling.
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Patrick Buchanan: In His Own Words