John Derbyshire writes of George Bush’s multiculti approach to nation-building: The reason for all the confusion is that the president is talking — or rather, like a good multiculturalist, tying himself in knots by trying desperately not to talk — about race. One of the central tenets of the multiculturalist dogma is that there is no such thing as race. Populations of different ancestry may differ from each other in superficial and easily visible ways — that is why it is O.K., just about, to mention “skin color” — but in no other ways at all. So what the president is asserting is, if you translate it out of multiculturalist code, something like this: While people from various regions of the world might differ in appearance, they do not differ innately in psychology or characteristic patterns of behavior. There is, therefore, no reason why any nation, anywhere, should not have constitutional government under representative democracy. To suggest otherwise is racist.
There is one way, only one way, to impose quasi-constitutional government and representative democracy in an Islamic culture. Hand a permanent veto to the army. Of course, lacking an army with generals uninterested in ruling power, as in Turkey, you’re going to have Pakistan at best and Iran at worst. Most likely, you’ll end up with a very ugly situation like Algeria, where canceled democracy has led to one of the most vicious civil wars in recent times.
As Derbyshire points out, “Everything George W. Bush has said and done indicates that on matters of race, ethnicity, “diversity,” and multiculturalism, he is as liberal as it is possible to be.” In other words, don’t expect his judgment in these matters to be better than any other left-liberal, and don’t expect the results to be any better either. People are not all the same. Culture does matter. I have lived in three distinctly different cultures, have moved in one of them far more successfully than most outsiders, and the experience has taught me that one does not change one’s culture like one changes clothes.
With 215 years of experience in the matter, we don’t abide constitutional government. Why we would expect people with no experience of it or taste for it to do so completely escapes me.