The American Way of Life that we so ardently embrace has been in existence for almost forty years, and it won’t survive another decade. This isn’t the first time that it has died, of course, and it won’t be the last. But it is time to write the obituary for this particular version.
In 1776, the American Way of Life had several aspects. In religion, it was strongly Protestant, and tirelessly anti-Catholic. Few people remember that the French alliance with American rebels forced marked changes in America’s way of life. George Washington, for instance, had to order his troops to stop celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Day by burning the pope in effigy. America’s French Catholic allies might take offense.
In Washington’s day, the American Way of Life was built on an economy that was both overwhelmingly agrarian and stridently opposed to the existence of the corporation. The Boston Tea Party, indeed, the entire Revolutionary War, was arguably a war meant to overthrow the shackles, not of the English king, but of the Dutch East India Company and its clones. The American Way of Life was built in no small part upon slavery and indentured servitude – New York had slave cemeteries and slave trading just as surely as Charleston did.
The American Way of Life was also built around the small – the very small – rural town, wherein everyone knew everyone and strangers were looked on askance. Education was the one-room school house in which the students, the teachers and the town’s school board were all related to one another: brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, all were generally one enormous extended family, as was the town it existed within.
The Early Fight
Andrew Jackson fought for the American Way of Life when he opposed a national bank and thereby opposed the creation of corporations. America’s South fought for the American Way of Life when it fought to maintain state’s rights and its “peculiar institution.” The rebels in mid-1800’s Massachusetts fought for the American Way of Life when they tried to keep their children from being marched off to compulsory school by armed troops. All of them ultimately lost.
After the Civil War, the American Way of Life continued to be virulently Protestant and anti-Catholic, but it became increasingly industrialized, which is to say, it began to be ruled by the corporation. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the small town was dying, the one-room schoolhouse was nearly dead and the corporation dominated the economy.
As Catholics streamed in from Europe, the reaction to protect the remaining aspect of the original American Way of Life was pronounced. The United States passed its first immigration quotas. After all, every country in the Western Hemisphere was Catholic, except for the United States. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the fight to preserve America’s “peculiar institution,” that is, Protestantism, was on.
The Protestants lost. In fact, they cut their own throats. During World War I, the notorious adulterer and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, authorized the distribution of condoms to sailors. The eugenics movement he promoted, along with religious acceptance of condoms permitted by the 1930 Anglican Lambeth Conference, led to nearly virulent promotion of condom usage during WW II. The pre-war myth of the condom, taken together with the underlying fact of mass-produced antibiotics, made the “safe sex” industry a real possibility by 1944.
And that killed the Protestants. From 1973 to 1993, the Protestant majority held steady at 65%. Then, as the first children raised in a predominantly contraceptive/abortive country came of age, the Protestant percentage began to drop rapidly.
Today, less than 50% of Americans are Protestant. The United States is no longer a Protestant country.
Hope Springs Anew
But, at the same time, America has been inundated by Catholics. By 2002, 10% of the United States population was immigrant, the vast majority Catholic Hispanic.
The Minuteman Project boasts over 1000 members. The march in Los Angeles alone was one half-million strong. Unlike demonstrations of Muslim violence in Europe, America’s demonstrations have been peaceful, enormous and Catholic. The Minutemen have lost.
America as we knew it in the 1980’s and 1990’s, is dead. It will not return anymore than the America of the 1780’s will return.
Now, we should be clear. The Catholics of the United States have largely contracepted and aborted themselves out of existence right along with their Protestant brethren, for there is no significant difference between American Catholics and American Protestants in this regard. So, just as Europe will be essentially Middle-Eastern Islamic within fifty years, America will be essentially Catholic Hispanic.
European America, like Europe itself, is dead. The demographics and the immigration patterns are clear. Given the economic realities, those patterns will not change any time soon. Requiem in pace.
But who will triumph? Muslim Europe or Hispanic America? The answer to that is clear as well. We are used to buying products labeled "Made in Mexico." When was the last time you bought a product labeled "Made in Saudi Arabia"?