Steyn And Tanton On Demographics

On February 4, I referred to Mark Steyn`s November, 2005 Daily Telegraph column, where he talked about biculturalism. He recently brought it up again, talking about demographics, with regard to the Bosnian war.

I`ve been resisting Steyn`s demographic concerns, figuring that after years of population growth, we could stand a little backward movement, but this paragraph about Bosnia is a little scary, whether you live in Europe or California:

“In the 30 years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43% to 31% of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26% to 44%. In a democratic age, you can`t buck demography – except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out–as, alas, other Europeans will in the years ahead.”

What struck me, however, is that in a sense, Steyn is making the same argument Dr. John Tanton was excoriated for making years ago, in private memo. Linda Chavez dragged up this old story in 2003, when she wrote that Dr. Tanton had

had once circulated a private memorandum that was both anti-Hispanic and anti-Catholic. The memo alleged that the influx of so many Catholic immigrants from Latin America and Asia was going to alter the demographics of the country because of their higher birthrates, so that, in his words, “For the first time in history those of us with our pants up will be caught by those with their pants down.”

The SPLC has included the text in their attack on Dr. Tanton, and he`s defended himself here. My point is that the (perfectly respectable) Steyn is making the same arguments in the (perfectly respectable) Telegraph, and for that matter, the Wall Street Journal, that caused some (overly respectable) “conservatives” to resign from the board of U.S. English , when Dr. Tanton made them.