Cross Pollinating Politicians
It's unfortunate that voters
can't hybridize candidates the way botanists can flowers, because a cross
between Pat Buchanan and George W. Bush would produce a rare and beautiful
political bloom. Pat is a genetic Republican who has the right issues
in his blood, but lacks the financial muscle needed to win. George W.
expresses the issues weakly, at best, but otherwise comes from good stock
and has the money, position, and power to win. If there were a way to
combine the best of each we could not only elect a Republican president,
but elect one whose stand on the issues is uncompromising, and who would
be pleasing to philosophical Republicans. Then both the power seekers
and the thinkers in the Republican Party would be happy.
In his announcement speech Buchanan, whose rhetorical skills decisively
surpass all other prospective candidates, touched every nerve and emotion
a dedicated conservative could possibly have. His first volley evoked
memories of George Wallace and his oft-quoted phrase, "There's not
a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."
Pat said it this way:
Today, candor compels us to admit that our vaunted two-party
system is a snare and a delusion, a fraud upon the nation. Our two parties
have become nothing but two wings of the same bird of prey. On foreign
and trade policy, open borders and centralized power, our Beltway parties
have become identical twins. Both supported NAFTA and GATT and the surrender
of our national sovereignty to the WTO. Both supported the extension of
nuclear war guarantees to the borders of Russia. Both supported the illegal
war on Serbia. Both support IMF bailouts of corrupt regimes. Both vote
for MFN trade privileges for a Communist Chinese regime that today targets
missiles on American cities. The appeasement of Beijing is a bipartisian
disgrace, and we will not be a part of it.
Buchanan is clearly and intensely sincere. He said that he would play
no role in the upcoming "sham" election being staged by the
two parties, and he believes that "this year is our last chance to
save our republic, before she disappears into the godless New World Order
that our elites are constructing in a betrayal of everything for which
our Founding Fathers lived, fought, and died."
His conservative checklist is complete. He will keep us out of war, "unless
our country is attacked or our vital interests are imperiled." he
will restore our national sovereignty, and if Kofi Annan makes good on
his threat to cut off our vote at the UN he will advise him that his "lease
on Turtle Bay is in jeopardy." Buchanan promises to abolish racial
preferences, to promote the English language, to impose a moratorium on
immigration, and restore "the old constitutional division of labor"
between the federal and state governments. Calling the IRS tax code "an
insult to a free people," he promises to cut taxes and to return
education money to the states. Finally he will restore the "old patriotism"
which undergirded the values of faith, family, and country."
In an especially compelling and emotional passage he called for the overthrow
of our present "tyranny of judges." "We need a new Supreme
Court," he said,
where only constutionalists need apply, a court that will respect
both states rights and human rights, that will begin to undo the damage
done this nation by judicial aggressions, beginning with that abomination
they call Roe v. Wade.
We need a President and a Congress that will pick up the whip the Founding
Fathers left in Article III of the Constitution-- to herd the justices
back into the narrow stalls to which they were first consigned by Hamilton
What is a self-governing people doing, waiting meekly each week for
nine jurists to tell us how we may govern ourselves? As our fathers
threw off a tyranny of kings, let us throw off this tyranny of judges--
and let America be America again!
These are stirring words, which is no surprise since it is with words
that Buchanan is at his best. If these words and those of other candidates
were seen in parallel columns, those of the others would seem vapid
in the comparison. Where is the Bush equivalent of Buchanan's cry for
our throwing off "this tyranny of judges" just as our forefathers
threw off "a tyranny of kings"? He can only speak of "compassionate
conservatism," a pretty phrase that could mean anything, including
nothing-- the latter being the most likely meaning. The dime, George
Wallace's measure of the distance between one politician and another,
is no gage for Pat Buchanan. And if he should get to a nationally televised
debate he will outshine the other debaters no matter who they are.
But in the end the question is how much support will Buchanan get from
conservatives, and what will be the effect if a sizable number move
from the Republican nominee, presumably George W., to Buchanan? The
latter is what haunts, and should haunt, the sleep of all who wish for
a saner country. A cross between Bush and Buchanan can be imagined but
not attained. And that being so the conservatives will have to make
the proverbial agonizing reappraisal: Do they go for the man with the
right issues and risk defeat by a liberal who, if he wins, will probably
have the opportunity to reconstitute the Supreme Court in his own image
during his tenure? Or do they hold their noses and vote for the non-liberal,
but not-so-conservative, candidate as the best achievable compromise?
In deciding what to do conservatives will be hampered by a great disadvantage
of theirs: They are wedded to principles. They have an unfortunate tendency
to vote with their hearts, rather than with a hard-headed pragmatism.
So what will happen? We shall see. Oh, if only we could cross-pollinate
(See the full text
of Pat Buchanan's speech)