Multiculturalism elected Obama, is now ravaging American politics

The ideology is dividing our country at a time when we should be united. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., December 5, 2013 — Why did President Obama defeat former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney? Let’s face it: His first term was less than stellar. 

This should be easy to admit, regardless of where one might stand on the political spectrum. Obama failed to be uniter and fell short of his promises to cut the deficit or reduce unemployment. 

From a lack of sustainable economic progress to ineffective national security policies to the role that special interests play in government, his original four years did anything but inspire hope.

Those on the left believe that most of these problems can be attributed to a recent groundswell of anti-progressive populism. Those on the right, meanwhile, say that big government and changing societal norms are to blame. 

There are factual elements to both arguments, yet each is critically flawed.

Despite all of the strife which has befallen the United States, Obama easily won a second term. Not so long ago an incumbent president with his record would have faced landslide loss.

It is not Obama’s public speaking skills that allowed him to defy historical trends, nor is it the hot-button social issues of yesteryear. 

No, it is something far more substantial. 

The answer is multiculturalism. While recognizing diversity is accepting the facts of reality, multiculturalism is something else entirely. As it attempts to unravel any given country’s macro-culture, smaller cultures are inevitably placed in competitive positions. This, of course, leads to serious problems. 

Shelby Steele is one of our time’s most well known social scientists. In 2012, he explained to TWTC that multiculturalism “is a lose set of ideas by which people in the West rationalize and explain” contemporary immigration patterns. 

In his opinion, “it is the movement of so many different groups of often unassimilated people that has been disruptive. Multiculturalism is essentially plain old relativism―an idea that seeks to see all cultures as equal. Relativism is the corruption inherent in multiculturalism because all cultures are in fact not equal (though of course all people deserve equal treatment and respect).”

Dr. Steele describes multiculturalism as “a hazy ideology that prevents people from talking frankly about the real tensions and conflicts that arise from these immigration patterns.” 

“It,” he continued, “is a banality and an avoidance that thrives because so many western societies―once colonialist oppressors in the Third World―feel they do not have the moral authority to speak frankly about immigration. It thrives because of the terror in the West of being seen as racist. Today even the word assimilation connotes racism.”

The ongoing struggle against macro-cultural assimilation is surely one of the most crucial challenges facing not only America, but all world powers which have seen high rates of immigration. It is not specific to a single culture, rather a common theme wherever people forget the old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

During the years ahead, America will have to accept the fact that multiculturalism simply is not a good idea. Last year’s presidential election shaped up to be the most demographically polarized in history. Group members vote on the basis of collective identity, not political positions. Obama appealed to enough groups’ core identity issues and won.

The fact that there is so little political cohesion between various groups indicates that our country’s social landscape is taking a negative turn. 

In the not too distant future, ethnic or — far worse — racial identity politics might trump even partisan affiliation. There are no words to describe how sad the day would be when candidates are judged on the basis of ancestry, and the sociocultural group adherence it broods, rather than personal merit and philosophy.

It would behoove the Republican Party to steer clear of ethnic or racial identity politics. The GOP must stress assimilation for new immigrants and strongly oppose illegal alien amnesty. Keeping tribalism from replacing intelligent discourse ought to be the Party’s priority bar none.

These are the necessary steps not just for electoral survival, but preserving the American Way. 


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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