"Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a 'diversitarian'; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right." - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
The same author also wrote elsewhere - and I paraphrase - that a traditional Christian order fosters religious unity and cultural diversity, while modern societies demand cultural uniformity and religious diversity. This is a picture in which we can understand culture as something which, although inseparable from religion, is not at all reduced to religion, incorporating myriad customs and folkways rooted in the encounters and experiences of diverse people and places. (And let's make no mistake about the cultural uniformity being imposed on America today, despite all the Orwellian "diversity" talk. Even the "religious diversity" of modern society is nothing but a useful fiction, a sham, which can only end in the suppression of all religion.)
The United States, with its federalist version of subsidiarity built into the Constitution, might have been a workable approximation of Kuehnelt-Leddihn's vision. With a broadly Christian moral consensus and a limited role for the state, civic life could be conducted reasonably well without infringing too much on regional and local customs. Unfortunately, slavery and the Mormon question pushed the limits of this consensus almost to the point of breaking. In retrospect we can see how these two issues fatally undermined what was already a fragile unity, leading indirectly to our present woes.
One can be forgiven for thinking the horses have left the barn and they aren't coming back. The 14th amendment, the "commerce clause", an irreducible mountain of jurisprudence and legislation, nearly a century of compulsory public education, the transportation revolution ("mechanical Jacobins", Kirk famously called the automobile), the reckless expansion of the franchise, the mass media, etc. - all have conspired to create what is arguably the first truly "mass culture" the world has ever known. Politically, it's impossible to imagine how the damage might be undone. The stakes are higher than ever. Political modernity demands that uniformity must be total in all but the most superficial things. The liberal alliance with Islam is not for the sake of diversity but is merely tactical, foolishly contracted in order to subdue old pockets of domestic resistance. Neo-conservatives long ago ceded the language of diversity to the multiculturalists; if they talk of culture at all, they only talk of marginally improving the mass, totalitarian culture that engulfs everyone. I suppose that's better than nothing, but it's still a surrender.
Is there a way out of the abyss short of some nightmarish calamity? Possibly, but it will require thinking, as the corporate trainers like to say, "outside of the box".