Gutknecht: Culture Has Consequences


“We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” — Ayn Rand

Congressman Steve King tweeted an unpardonable comment the other day. “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” Unpardonable to the Left. But in reality, he raised an uncomfortable question. Even uncomfortable facts must and will be confronted…eventually.

President Obama and his Attorney General famously told us we needed to have a “conversation about race.” From my perspective, it quickly turned into an accusatory lecture that was targeted primarily at white people. Many of us believe that race relations in the United States actually got worse.

However misunderstood, my good friend Congressman Steve King has raised the issue of culture. In many respects, culture, its impact on societies and on human development are unassailable. It is time that we have an honest conversation about culture.

Why is it that Asian students, for example, do so much better in schools than students from some other cultural backgrounds? Are Asian children just genetically superior? Or could it be that they grow up in a culture that elevates the importance of studying hard and getting a good education?

If a young man grows up in a culture of violence, experts (see Handbook of Children, Culture, and Violence by Dowd, Singer and Wilson) tell us they are far more likely to grow up to commit violence. Those who are abused as kids are far more likely to become abusers as adults. Even without studies, we accept these as settled facts.

So why is it that when someone raises the spectacle of the long-term consequences of cultural clashes, they must be immediately banished from polite society? Can Western European culture coexist, much less survive with large numbers of transplants whose cultural values are antithetical to Western Democracies? This is not a ridiculous question. Now the politically correct thought police don’t want this question asked much less discussed. But, many in the unwashed masses of Europe are asking questions like these and they aren’t happy with the answers.

Perhaps we need to ask a few more questions. Questions like, why was Pakistan created in 1947? Why is it that it seems like a disproportionate share of war and violence originates in just one area of the world? Or why should we be surprised when young men who are raised in a culture of violence and male dominance of women create so many problems in countries like Sweden? And finally back to the central question, can European culture survive while importing large numbers of transplants who show no interest in assimilation and many of whom are openly hostile to the values of the hosts?

Culture does matter. Branding someone with a slur that ends in “phobic” is no substitute for honest debate. Pretending that culture is irrelevant is ridiculous.  Europeans and Americans will have this conversation, with or without the approval of the establishment thought police. And don’t be surprised if a majority come down on the side of our friend. Realities can be ignored, but they will surely have consequences.

Gil Gutknecht is a former six-term Republican Congressman from Minnesota. He is a good friend and hunting buddy of Steve King and Tom Tancredo.