“Deconstructing America” Summary
In the introduction, Patrick J. Buchanan notes that Queen Elizabeth II went to the settlement of Jamestown in 2007, the town’s 400th anniversary. The Queen had been there before, when Jamestown was founded and again in 1957. Buchanan uses the Queens visit to Jamestown as a firsthand experience of how much has changed in Jamestown since its founding. He quotes the Queen, “Since I visited Jamestown in 1957, my country has become a much more diverse society just as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the whole of the United States of America have also undergone a major social change.”
Buchanan mentions how different not only Jamestown was 400 years ago but also how different her citizens were. For example, the citizens massacred Native Americans and enslaved Africans. Jamestown was not yet built around the ideas of democracy and equality. The American Revolution was another key example; it was fought for freedom and distance from Britain and not for equality. The only persons of power at the time were rich white men. Buchanan makes the point that America 400 years ago was not based around democracy, equality and diversity, so why should we value that in the present?
In 1957 the Queen visited Jamestown, Virginia. The changes noted by the Queen were extreme. “Virginia has indeed become a radically changed society. No longer does Richmond proudly call herself the Capital of the Confederacy. Lee-Jackson Day is out. Martin Luther King Day is in. The Confederate flag flies nowhere.” This demonstrates how much can change in 350 years. Buchanan believes that 2007 Virginia is ashamed of 1957 Virginia, and the state should be proud of who she was in 1607. America in 1607 was did not celebrate diversity or multicultural beliefs, so why should they now?
Buchanan describes early American settlers as having an "us-or-them" sentiment. For example, the early settlers thought that their Christian faith made them superior beings and those who...
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