Pat Buchanan: Great Political Thinker of Our Time
“Wait, max! Pat Buchanan? Isn’t he that old, ultra-conservative religious nut?”
No. Mr. Buchanan has a bad reputation in some circles but the people who insult him don’t seem to know much about him. He is far from your average 21st Century conservative.
Pat Buchanan’s view of American foreign policy is based on a fundamental belief that interventionism is wrong both strategically and morally. He has been the ultimate intellectual enemy of the Neocons from day one.
In 2003, Buchanan forcefully argued that the US shouldn’t attack Iraq when almost everyone on the right was gung-ho about the invasion. Even more impressively, Buchanan argued against pulling our troops out of Iraq in 2011 when most people on both sides of the aisle were tired of the conflict. Buchanan argued that the withdrawal was irresponsible because it would lead to a dangerous power vacuum and violent sectarian strife.
Even after the disasters of recent wars, most leading Republicans are still talking tough on Syria and Iran. As usual, Pat Buchanan is a voice of reason – urging us to recognize neither regime is a threat to US security. Any presidential candidate wise enough to choose Buchanan as Security of State would have my support.
In 1994, the Republican Party was in almost unanimous agreement that NAFTA was the right choice for America. To most people on the right (including me), free trade was an obvious good.
Mr. Buchanan disagreed. He argued that free trade would be a boon for multi-national corporations and a disaster for everyone else. Buchanan predicted that NAFTA (and subsequent trade deals with developing nations in Asia) would inevitably erode wages and send factory jobs overseas.
Buchanan’s dire warnings came true. Free trade isn’t free. It has cost us our industrial independence and our blue collar middle class.
Long before 9/11, Pat Buchanan was arguing that immigration is a serious problem. Not so much because immigrants threatened our jobs; but because they threaten our culture.
Last century, Buchanan wrote that the combination of a native born population that isn’t eager to reproduce and a huge influx of immigrants who don’t feel the need to assimilate could potentially spell the death of Western culture. If it becomes 40% Algerian, he asked, does France stop being French? If it becomes 40% Indian, does the UK stop being British?
In the 90s, this Culture Death Clash Theory seemed a little extreme. But history seems to proving Buchanan correct. After decades of open borders, most European countries are actively trying to close the door to new immigrants.
Here in the US, there is a growing consensus that we should probably reduce the number of new immigrants. It feels like the only ones who are eagerly defending the current immigration policy are big business interests who are addicted to cheap labor.
When I first started following Pat Buchanan as a kid, his brand of America First populism didn’t appeal to me. But history keeps proving Pat right and the Republican establishment wrong. Now it’s incredibly clear to me that the GOP would be a smarter, saner, more peaceful party if Buchanan had won the 1992 primary instead of George H.W. Bush.
[I enjoy watching Pat Buchanan every Sunday on the McLaughlin Group and I read his blog buchanan.org/blog/columns religiously]