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In praise of Pat Buchanan

As Barry Goldwater’s ill-fated 1964 campaign’s slogan had it: In your heart, you know he’s right.

America First: A Tribute to Pat Buchanan

Last Friday, Buchanan announced he is retiring the political column he has written since the days of Barry Goldwater. It is the final end of a public political career that has spanned a half century of decline in the country Buchanan loved so much and fought so hard to save. And if Buchanan can’t boast that he actually did save the country, he at least has the satisfaction of seeing ideas that once made him an outcast from his own party rise to become the dominant worldview within it. Without Buchanan, there would be no Trump. For that matter, without Buchanan, there would be no Revolver.

Of all the people who might be deemed a forerunner of Donald Trump and his political revolution, Pat Buchanan has by far the most worthy claim.

Consider this article from 2015, published just as Trump’s presidential campaign was taking off:

Mr. Trump revels in controversy. But as he assails illegal immigration as an “invasion” and refers to Mexicans en masse as “Jose,” his critics are accusing him of taking controversy a step too far. They say Mr. Trump is speaking in code, using xenophobic images like those or anti-Semitic references to excite bigots without alienating mainstream voters.

[Trump frequently offers] direct and sometimes harsh mockery of foreigners, using his derision to cultivate support for his immigration and trade policies. “I’ll build that security fence, and we’ll close it, and we’ll say, ‘Listen Jose, you’re not coming in this time!’ ” he shouted to applause from an almost entirely white audience at a rally in Waterloo, Iowa three weeks ago.

Okay, you probably already guessed the twist: That’s not Trump at all, but a write-up of Buchanan’s presidential campaign twenty-six years ago. All that’s missing is the promise to make Mexico pay for the fence. Buchanan didn’t just share Trump’s views, but his talent for colorful language that drove the regime berserk; a quarter-century before “Crooked Hillary,” China’s Deng Xiaoping was a “chain-smoking Communist dwarf.”

Donald Trump won the presidency by appealing to the Silent Majority, but Buchanan is the one who literally coined the term working as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon. And throughout his career, Buchanan tried his best to speak for that quiet mass of beleaguered American humanity.

Put up a fence, send illegals home, America-first trade policy, an end to foreign interventionism, no more wokeness: It was all there, 20 years ahead of Trump. But tragically, the message went unheeded. Buchanan was the intellectual son of accountant, not a billionaire real estate tycoon with three decades’ experience as a TV star. Buchanan had the ideas, but Trump had the money, the star power, the meme magic. Buchanan’s 1992 campaign was the last credible primary challenge to an incumbent president, but nothing more. His 1996 campaign might have worked against a more divided field, but against an establishment firmly united around Bob Dole, Buchanan won just four states and 20% of the primary vote.

But Buchanan never deviated or retooled his message just for the sake of popularity. Instead, he willingly endured more than a decade as the Republican Party’s Cassandra.

In the end, all of Buchanan’s warnings came true: Middle America became a hollowed-out, deindustrialized area wracked with blight and drug overdoses. America’s foreign adventures wasted trillions and achieved nothing. The tidal wave of foreign immigration resulted not in rainbow-like harmony but endless struggles between different identity groups. And all of this culminated in crushing defeat for the Bush-era Republican party that embraced all of these trends. It would only return to the White House in 2016 behind a candidate who finally did what Buchanan had begged the party to do a quarter-century before: Actually reach out to middle America and seek the support of America’s Silent Majority.

“My friends, these people are our people,” Buchanan said in 1992. “They don’t read Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, but they come from the same schoolyards and the same playgrounds and towns as we come from. They share our beliefs and convictions, our hopes and our dreams. They are the conservatives of the heart. They are our people. And we need to reconnect with them. We need to let them know we know how bad they’re hurting. They don’t expect miracles of us, but they need to know we care.”

Sadly, it took twenty-four years for the GOP to field a candidate who did.

Yep—dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way, and to this day they struggle desperately to smite him, and make damned sure he stays smote for the duration. Just as any debased, corrupted system or organization always will do, to any nonconformist, visionary outlaw who dares stand athwart them and their nefarious ambitions.


7 thoughts on “In praise of Pat Buchanan

  1. He and Ross Perot turned out to be way more correct than I gave them credit for at the time in 1992. I blame it in my relative youth. I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

    They were the ideological mentors at the time for Trump, who already had the foundations of his 2015 launched campaign built in 1992.

    It is hard to believe too. They’re so different, at least on the surface. Trump is a brash New Yorker and a Boomer. Buchanan a product of the generation before that, more buttoned down but hardly shy in his opinions, but his delivery was different. He came across as a wise old man. To Perot’s detriment he came across as a drawling Texan caricature more akin to a Johnson from Blazing Saddles than a serious contender for POTUS.

    Back then though, that’s what the Media could do. Take shallow, superficial aspects of a candidate and twist them into a Narrative. CNN had barely begun (and was already driving left) and there was no internet. Despite Talk Radio finally becoming an alternative news source, the Three Networks and the NY Times/WaPo stranglehold on “The News” was still very strong.

    I should have been more skeptical about the GOPe back then, given what they did to Reagan, and what they were doing to his legacy (Read My Lips).

    Ah well, at least I got schooled in the meantime.

    1. I’m with you there for the most part. I always liked Buchanan though, thought he had it right for the most part. Perot, I was and still am skeptical of. I still think his running was a personal vendetta against Bush. Now, perhaps it was a deserved one… In any event, Perot took as much or more support from Clinton IMO, such that Bush lost of his own accord.

      I go back to Eisenhower’s words. He was right and everything since including Reagan has been freedom lost. Trump was, and is, trying to fix that. Sadly, that fact goes unrecognized by way too many people who just jump on the bandwagon of the next great savior. After all Trump “failed” to build the wall*. He made bad personnel choices**. He failed to win re-election***. And on and on.

      So. if you feel the least bit guilty about not seeing the truth when you were younger, congratulate yourself for seeing it now because way too many experienced are blind to the fucking truth. I’m starting to think they have all sold out.

      *Pathetic. Trump didn’t fail, the GOP failed. Both houses, just appropriate the $$$ and the wall gets built. Trump isn’t a dictator. But Trump found a way to cut the illegal flow to the lowest it’s been since the 60’s, and he got Mexico to pay for it. The Mexicans put their Nat Guard on the border and stopped the flow cold, “remain in Mexico”. It worked. Credit Trump.
      Let’s be clear, a wall doesn’t stop anything if you do not man it. Had a physical barrier been built from Sea to Shining Sea, the corrupt dems and republicans would just knock holes in it and let them through. Like they are doing now.

      **Most of what are considered bad personnel choices are ones he was forced into by McConnell and gang. Most of his choices that didn’t approval were damn good ones. A few were bad of course, just as happens to every president. I wonder what makes anyone think that GOPe/Bush/Rove/McConnell approved DeSantis is going to make better choices? Stupidity, that’s what. Or they sold out.

      ***The election was stolen, clearly. Trump actually did something significant in increasing his vote total substantially from the first election. Biden didn’t get 81 million votes, period. Trump’s take was probably even higher. But morons blame Trump for the stolen election. They need to look in the GD mirror to see who the responsible party is. We allow the election theft and we allowed it again two years later.

      *&**&*** are why I’m about fed up with the bullshit coming from many of the “bloggers”. Legal Insurrection is a fucking joke. Not one article about election theft/integrity. Mostly just antiTrump people left there. Quick, nothing but a hollowed out corpse with a small cheering crowd of mini me’s. it’s pathetic. I just about can’t stand to even read there anymore. These fuckers can’t even recognize the one person since Ike that had success, that was putting us back on the right path, not just slowing down the left a bit like Reagan. Faults, failures, of course. But the success is so much greater than any of that and is so soon forgotten/ignored that something else appears to be in play.

      I’ll get off the damn soapbox for now. I may need medication before the day is over.

      1. DeSantis is doing good things in FL. But so did W in TX and Jeb in FL. They turned out to be as Swampy as their Dad, The CIA Guy.

        Now RDS MIGHT be the Real Deal or he might be Swamp. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.

        If he’s Swamp he either will roll over and Lose or even if he wins he’ll just go Left like W and leave the Country worse off than when he began.

        If he’s the Real Deal he will not have the funding in 2024 to run against Trump and that means he will OWE the Swamp. Then even if he wins, and even if he then double crosses them, they will simply do to him what they did to Trump. He has no Plan to stop them.

        Frankly, I don’t think Trump does either but if anybody can, Trump can.

        1. Trump is the ONLY choice if you want to TRY and stop the marxist left.

          I don’t know what is in the heart of DeSantis. Maybe he’ll take the money, get elected then tell the money men to take a hike. Right, and I’m Superman.

          The facts are quite clear. DeSantis is owned by the GOP which is owned by China. If you are not going to stop the chinese, something Trump was doing quite well without upsetting the entire system, then you’re worthless. DeSantis has no plan to do that, none. He throws out a plan to stop the chinaman from buying Florida farmland for only one reason, appearances. He’s trying to look tough on China when he’s owned by China.

          Maybe he’ll cough up a plan to deal with the international problems we have, but I’ve yet to see it. What he’s doing in Florida, small potatoes. Good stuff maybe, but minor in the great scheme of things. And nothing Bush didn’t or wouldn’t have done.

          If DeSantis really gave a damn about fixing this country he would be supporting Trump 100% as the rightful president and plan to run in 2028. But he’s not, and Trump is favored almost 2:1 over DeSantis by republicans. So what does that tell you? DeSantis thinks the fix is in. Just like he had / has nothing to say about the FBI raids on Mar a Lago. He knew it was coming and he thinks FBI raids are just fine, his one sentence objection be damned.

          DeSantis is a government man. Yale then Harvard law, then JAG in the Navy. Worked a year or so as a federal prosecutor, then ran for office and he’s been a politician ever since. What part of that resume stinks? Every damn bit of it.

          Government Man. I don’t want any more government men running this country. They are all bought.

        2. “He has no Plan to stop them.
          Frankly, I don’t think Trump does either…”

          I’m assuming that is misstated. Clearly Trump has a plan, one that was working. It’s why they had to create the plandemic.
          he may fail, but a plan he has.

          1. To be more specific: I don’t see how Trump plans to overcome the Vote Fraud that they used to Steal the 2020 Election.

            Maybe he has one.

            I sure as hell don’t think RDS has one and I sure as hell don’t see the Uniparty and GOPe faction cooperating with that plan if he does.

            I really think voting is a sham now, but as I said, if anyone can overcome it would be Trump. After that? There’s no one on my radar and that includes RDS.

            1. My mistake. I didn’t understand what you wrote – a plan to stop election theft.

              Trump cannot have a plan because there is none, beyond overwhelming support:

              No one has one, because that would require that the republican party* actually and forcefully pass laws at the federal level to restrict how voting is conducted. The courts will rule it’s racist and the republicans will hide. Actually, they typically hide long before any court battles.

              So, the only way to win an election now is to overwhelm the vote such that the cheating has to become clear and expose the cheaters*. Justices don’t like to be hung from lampposts and are more likely to allow the lawsuits when a lamppost is in view.

              *or the cheating isn’t enough to change the result.

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