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Pat Buchanan on Rising Nationalism in the United States

Not only President Bush, but the entire Washington establishment has sustained a major humiliation, when the immigration bill was defeated, writes Pat Buchanan in RealClearPolitics. Our loyal reader Don recommends this article: "Admittedly Buchanan is a bit of a fruitcake - but even fruitcakes can be right once in a while." Here's a quote:
Eighteen months before Bush departs, it is clear that his open-borders, free-trade globalism is no longer unchallenged dogma in the GOP. Three of every four Senate Republicans rejected amnesty. And fast track, by which Congress surrenders its right to amend Bush trade bills, expired Saturday. The Doha Round of global trade negotiations is as dead as the immigration bill.
If there is a rising sentiment in America today, it is nationalism. Americans are growing weary of seeing their sons die in wars to bring democracy to people who do not seem all that appreciative. They are tired of reading of factories going to China and jobs going to India, while illegal aliens march in their cities under foreign flags to demand their "civil rights." They are tired of reading about new billionaires as their wages fail to rise to compensate for soaring gas prices and the falling value of their homes. The establishment is losing the trust of the people, who are coming to believe that establishment is looking out for its own interests, not theirs -- and the two are no longer the same.
This was Pat Buchanan. Now over to you. Has the "national mood" changed on the above issues fundamentally in the last two years? Do you see any tectonic shifts in US politics? Mainly positive or negative changes?
To quote Carl Schurz, who was a German revolutionary, American statesman, and Union Army general in the American Civil War: "My country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."
In this sense: Happy Independence Day!

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Don S on :

I think Buchanan overstates his case, as usual. But I think I agree that something significant is happening. It's very interesting to peruse the list of Senators who voted for and against. Many of the GOP antis were people like Coburn of Oklahoma - newish conservative insurgents. But the 'Liberal' New Englanders also voted against. On the Democrat side two of the most significant senators in this year's intake (Webb and Tester) voted against. The most important line Buchanan wrote was this: "If there is a rising sentiment in America today, it is nationalism." I think that is true. It may even be a 'tectonic shift'. But on the political Richter scale I think it's in the range of 6.0 to 6.5. Not an 8.0 political earthquake as Buchanan seems to think. But significant for a' that.

Zyme on :

A political shift into a nationalistic direction makes politics more reasonable and more predictable. Cost and effect for the own people become more important than symbolic gestures. Should this kind of attitude become dominating in the american political class, it would lose its ideological "charge" and thus become a more attractive partner for the pragmatic european peoples.

David on :

It is a real shame that on Independence Day instead of quoting Jefferson or Adams (or Lincoln) you choose to highlight a piece by Pat Buchanan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist who says nice things about Adolf Hitler in his books. This is not nationalism - it is nativism, the same sentiments one hears on right-wing talk radio 24X7. From time to time I tune in to listen to Rush Limbaugh play "Barack the Magic Negro", or to Michael Savage screaming about "nuking the ragheads" and "Hillary the Lesbian". This is the ugly side of America America is nation of immigrants, and the Republicans just lost the Hispanic vote - the largest minority block - according to most political analysts.

rob on :

david, you mentioned the hispanic population being the largest minority voting block. I don't think so. take away the voter fraud committed by ILLEGALS, your large block becomes insignificant. America allows MILLIONS to enter this country each year LEGALLY. And that is what the American people want. Chastise mexico, but RESPECT AND FOLLOW OUR LAWS

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Pat Buchanan was a senior advisor to three American presidents and is still pretty popular in the US. Thus it is worthwhile to put up his comments for discussion. Why don't you comment on what he has said? Isn't a national holiday a good opportunity to look at the state of the union and assess the national mood and recent political developments? Buchanan did that and I think it is worth debating it. I am not aware of Anti-Semitic statements by Buchanan or any comments on Hitler. Feel free to post any comments by "Jefferson or Adams (or Lincoln)" to celebrate Independence Day. I have posted Carl Schurz, but if that is not enough, fine with me. Anglofritz has written about the immigration bill as well, linked to this post and quoted Benjamin Franklin's anti-Immigrant comments. Thus, Buchanan's concern is not new, but dates back to the founding fathers. [url]http://www.anglofritz.com/2007/07/benjamin_franklin_antigerman_x.html[/url] Why was the immigration bill defeated? How big is the Anti-(illegal)-Immigrant movement? All of this sounds like interesting topics? As an aside: Quite a few conservatives talk about Eurabia. Are those the same guys that are concerned about illegal immigrants to the US? Is it the same kind of paranoia??? What are the links? Where is it coming from? How popular are these sentiments?

Sue on :

If you're referring to the comprehensive immigration bill that was denied cloture, you should realize that 80% of Americans hated that bill, and Ted Kennedy sponsored it, so I don't think it's solely a Republican problem. The only people who liked it were corporate interests who want an endless supply of cheap labor, the Mexican government, and certain Hispanic interest groups (not even all). I know several legal immigrants and they were all against it. Anyway, any bill that can manage to unite the ACLU and Pat Buchanan against it is probably a bad idea.

pen Name on :

Calling Patrick Buchanan names is a form of intellectual & moral laziness. I find Mr. Buchannan eminently reasonable and an American patriot. And as an Iranian patriot I recognize that foreigners could be as patriotic as myself. Now it is true that he, as a journalist, sometimes uses hyperbole and over-dramatization to get his points across but his instincts are sound. I am not in agreement with all of his positions but I have to state that with men like him in US & EU positions of power we in Iran could make deals. He is an advocate of US staying within her borders and not to pursue imperial projcts and fantasies abroad and telling how everyone else should act and behave.

David on :

Here are some key actual quotes from Pat Buchanen, which illustrate why it is not appropriate to highlight him on this day that should celebrate American democracy: ON AFRICAN-AMERICANS After Sen. Carol Moseley Braun blocked a federal patent for a Confederate flag insignia, Buchanan wrote that she was "putting on an act" by associating the Confederacy with slavery: "The War Between the States was about independence, about self-determination, about the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance," Buchanan asserted. "How long is this endless groveling before every cry of'racism' going to continue before the whole country collectively throws up?" (syndicated column, 7/28/93) On race relations in the late 1940s and early 1950s: "There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The 'negroes' of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours." (Right from the Beginning, Buchanan's 1988 autobiography, p. 131) Buchanan, who opposed virtually every civil rights law and court decision of the last 30 years, published FBI smears of Martin Luther King Jr. as his own editorials in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in the mid-1960s. "We were among Hoover's conduits to the American people," he boasted (Right from the Beginning, p. 283). White House advisor Buchanan urged President Nixon in an April 1969 memo not to visit "the Widow King" on the first anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, warning that a visit would "outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue and perhaps worse.... Others consider him the Devil incarnate. Dr. King is one of the most divisive men in contemporary history." (New York Daily News, 10/1/90) In a memo to President Nixon, Buchanan suggested that "integration of blacks and whites -- but even more so, poor and well-to-do -- is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable." (Washington Post, 1/5/92) In another memo from Buchanan to Nixon: "There is a legitimate grievance in my view of white working-class people that every time, on every issue, that the black militants loud-mouth it, we come up with more money.... If we can give 50 Phantoms [jet fighters] to the Jews, and a multi-billion dollar welfare program for the blacks...why not help the Catholics save their collapsing school system." (Boston Globe, 1/4/92) Buchanan has repeatedly insisted that President Reagan did so much for African-Americans that civil rights groups have no reason to exist: "George Bush should have told the [NAACP convention] that black America has grown up; that the NAACP should close up shop, that its members should go home and reflect on JFK's admonition: 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country.'" (syndicated column, 7/26/88) In a column sympathetic to ex-Klansman David Duke, Buchanan chided the Republican Party for overreacting to Duke and his Nazi "costume": "Take a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles, [such as] reverse discrimination against white folks." (syndicated column, 2/25/89) Trying to justify apartheid in South Africa, he denounced the notion that "white rule of a black majority is inherently wrong. Where did we get that idea? The Founding Fathers did not believe this." (syndicated column, 2/7/90) He referred admiringly to the apartheid regime as the "Boer Republic": "Why are Americans collaborating in a U.N. conspiracy to ruin her with sanctions?" (syndicated column, 9/17/89) ON IMMIGRANTS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR: "There is nothing wrong with us sitting down and arguing that issue that we are a European country." (Newsday, 11/15/92) Buchanan on affirmative action: "How, then, can the feds justify favoring sons of Hispanics over sons of white Americans who fought in World War II or Vietnam?" (syndicated column, 1/23/95) In a September 1993 speech to the Christian Coalition, Buchanan described multiculturalism as "an across-the-board assault on our Anglo-American heritage." "If we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them up in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia?" ("This Week With David Brinkley," 1/8/91) ON JEWS: Buchanan referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory." (St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/20/90) During the Gulf crisis: "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East -- the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States." ("McLaughlin Group," 8/26/90) In a 1977 column, Buchanan said that despite Hitler's anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was "an individual of great courage...Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path." (The Guardian, 1/14/92) Writing of "group fantasies of martyrdom," Buchanan challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." (New Republic, 10/22/90) Buchanan's columns have run in the Liberty Lobby's Spotlight, the German-American National PAC newsletter and other publications that claim Nazi death camps are a Zionist concoction. Buchanan called for closing the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which prosecuted Nazi war criminals, because it was "running down 70-year-old camp guards." (New York Times, 4/21/87) Buchanan was vehement in pushing President Reagan -- despite protests -- to visit Germany's Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi SS troops were buried. At a White House meeting, Buchanan reportedly reminded Jewish leaders that they were "Americans first" -- and repeatedly scrawled the phrase "Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews" in his notebook. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan's line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were "victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." (New York Times, 5/16/85; New Republic, 1/22/96) After Cardinal O'Connor criticized anti-Semitism during the controversy over construction of a convent near Auschwitz, Buchanan wrote: "If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O'Connor of New York seeks to soothe the always irate Elie Wiesel by reassuring him 'there are many Catholics who are anti-Semitic'...he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith." (New Republic, 10/22/90) The Buchanan '96 campaign's World Wide Web site included an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad -- and alleging that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies. (The campaign removed the article after its existence was reported by a Jewish on-line news service; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/21/96.) In his September 1993 speech to the Christian Coalition, Buchanan declared: "Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free." (ADL Report, 1994) ON GAYS: In a 1972 memo to Richard Nixon, Buchanan referred to one of George McGovern's leading financial contributors as a "screaming fairy." (Newsday, 2/8/89) Buchanan has repeatedly used the term "sodomites," and has referred to gays as "the pederast proletariat." (Washington Post, 2/9/92) "Homosexuality involves sexual acts most men consider not only immoral, but filthy. The reason public men rarely say aloud what most say privately is they are fearful of being branded 'bigots' by an intolerant liberal orthodoxy that holds, against all evidence and experience, that homosexuality is a normal, healthy lifestyle." (syndicated column, 9/3/89) In a 1977 column urging a "thrashing" of gay groups, Buchanan wrote: "Homosexuality is not a civil right. Its rise almost always is accompanied, as in the Weimar Republic, with a decay of society and a collapse of its basic cinder block, the family." (New Republic, 3/30/92) "Gay rights activists seek to substitute, for laws rooted in Judeo- Christian morality, laws rooted in the secular humanist belief that all consensual sexual acts are morally equal. That belief is anti-biblical and amoral; to codify it into law is to codify a lie." (Buchanan column in Wall Street Journal, 1/21/93) On AIDS, Buchanan wrote in 1983: "The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution (AIDS)." (Los Angeles Times, 11/28/86) Later that year, he demanded that New York City Ed Koch and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo cancel the Gay Pride Parade or else "be held personally responsible for the spread of the AIDS plague." "With 80,000 dead of AIDS, our promiscuous homosexuals appear literally hell-bent on Satanism and suicide," Buchanan wrote in 1990 (syndicated column, 10/17/90). In the 1992 campaign, he declared: "AIDS is nature's retribution for violating the laws of nature." (Seattle Times, 7/31/93) Pat Buchanan is a bigot - pure and simple.

Pat Patterson on :

You didn't even bother to provide the link to the FAIR Report on Buchanan from 2/26/96. And FAIR does not provide links either. As such we are presented with a mound of quotes that would take hours to verify, and considering the age of some, will no longer be available.

SC on :

JW, Hmmm...What was that experiment by Pavlov about? Seems that the mere mention of ol' Pat has something of the same effect. But, as I've noted in this blog before, even bigots can be right. Whether Buchanan has characterized the sense of the times correctly is another matter. Apart from the attribution to rising nationalism - and probably even that, every point he has made in the statement you quote, I believe can be found in public statements by one or more people across the political spectrum in recent years. Buchanan is correct to characterize the failure of the Senate and the Administration to pass a comprehensive reform bill favored by the Senate leadership, a significant number of powerful Republican Senators and national opinion shapers, as well as the Bush Administration as a humiliation. The attempt generated a response that the political class and many in the national media appear not to have anticipated, much less managed, and the lessons of which are being absorbed: For example, the battering that some Senate Republicans took for supporting the Administration on immigration may cause some of them to rethink their support for the Administration's handling of Iraq; in fact, that's already happening. And the Bush Administration apart from now being fully marginalized domestically, may well have sustained one political defeat too many to sustain anything other than a caretaker role internationally for the next year-and-a-half. For what it's worth, the sense I've had is that many in the US have grown more frustrated with any number of things domestically and internationally. But, I don't yet sense a coherent response but for the exceptions like the immigration bill debacle - not yet. But, Buchanan correctly senses a rise in protectionist sentiments as well as a rise in the desire to turn inward. And while these political sentiments are not dominating current politics, they are there to be exploited by the canny politician as well as the demagogue. SC

Greg on :

Late to the debate, and I also don't like Buchanan, but there is a change. I wouldn't call it nationalism so much as ISOLATIONISM. And it comes from our "reputation around the world," which as we all know, sucks. The conclusion of many Americans is that when we intervene in other countries (no matter what the motive) we are hated for it. And so the solution is not to intervene again. Ever. It's pretty disturbing if you ask me. Some examples: the popularity of a wall along the entire southern border. Ron Paul's popularity among both Democrats & Republicans. The steadfast refusal to do anything about Darfur. There are many others. To all those who wished the US would just go away, you are about to get your wish, but you may not like the results.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Yeah, isolationism -- at least to some extent -- is a likely response and that should be enough reason for Europeans to be conserned about the bad US image.

Don S on :

Greg, I think I would rate the change in sentiment somewhere between nationalism and isolationism, partaking of elements of both. Vis continental europe and the UN I agree with you completely - it's mostly isolationism. The Eu has taken over the UN by voting in unison and nothing the US does is able to please them - it seems every EU inititive is aimed to cut the US down and frustrate them. That is not completely true but we are talking about perceptions in the US and I see a lot of thwarted frustration concerning the EU and the UN within the US. Many Democrats believe that if we elect a Democrat things will change. Everything will be sweetness and light. They are correct, but the change will be fleeting. The rapproachment will last six months to a year and then it will be business as usual, with the Europeans screwing over the new president the same way they did the old one. That wil be the final disillusionment for the Democrats - and a de facto (if not de jure) policy of isolation vis continental europe will follow. Europe's friends in the GOP are already disillusioned and marginalised - as the immigration bill defeat shows. You also may be correct vis Mexico and particularly about illegal immigrants who are mostly but not solely Mexican nationals. Vis the rest of the world I see more nationalism rather than isolationism. I see little US sentiment for withdrawing of disengaging from Asia - the disillusionment is almost completely with Europe.

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