Multicultural America is the label applied to contemporary America by Michael Lind in his book The Next American Nation (1995), which has received wide attention because of its unconventional interpretation of American history. Subtitled The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution, Lind's book informs its readers that they are living in the Third American Republic, Multicultural America, which emerged around 1965. The first republic, Anglo-America, lasted until the Civil War, and was succeeded by the second republic, Euro-America.
Lind, a jouralist who has made the transition from conservatism to liberalism, claims to be an optimist, holding out the shining hope of a Fourth American Revolution, which will usher in the last great republic, Trans-America, a kind of advanced reincarnation of the old New Deal in which all groups and factions will melt down into a happy panmixia of social democracy. He admits that "the Third Republic has failed to gain legitimacy in the eyes of most Americans."
Whatever we may thank of Lind's neo-liberalism, we do recognize tht as he avers, multiculturalism is more than a matter of educational philosophy, that "it is the de facto orthodoxy of the present American regime: Multicultural America." Multiculturalism is, rather, "a worldview," which is imposed upon all Americans who live within the legal-political expression still known as the United States of America. This is a realization which is implicit in each of the papers which follow.
Explicit in each of the following papers is an awareness that the current regime lacks legitimacy. Each paper represents a conservative reaction to Multicultural America. The first three, written to be presented as speeches, are occasional papers in the truest sense of the word. In "Fallacies of Conservatives," we are confronted with a provocative critique of conservative reaction to multiculturalism which does not come from the left side of the political continuum. In "New American Nations," we are presented with a prescription for a new American republic which is markedly divergent from that of Lind and other neo-liberals. Finally, in "Why the Apathy?" the editor attempts to answer the question why the response to Multicultural America has been so inadequate.
None of the papers was commissioned by the editor. They were already written or largely written before the editor communicated with their authors about them. We hope, therefore, that our attribution of a common theme to these papers does not misrepresent the intentions of any of their authors. At the very least, this gathering of papers will provide stimulating reading for a select readership. Beyond that limited circle, they may find a few readers among future historians who will employ them as primary sources to determine how conservatives confronted the most significant change in American life in the past half-century. Optimistically, we dare to believe that more than a few readers will draw from these essays a greater understanding of what it means to be a European American looking to the twenty-first century.