Pat Buchanan and the end of old America

Who killed America? The left, FDR, the Clintons and Obama attacked from the front, but Trotsky, the Wall Street Journal, and the GOP attacked from the rear.

Pat Buchanan / Image: NBC, Meet the Press
Pat Buchanan / Image: NBC, Meet the Press

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 — On Monday, May 18, Pat Buchanan made national news again. The lead editorial in the neoconservative Wall Street Journal attacked him and his ideas on trade and immigration, and, in a real sense, his ideas on what a traditional America is all about.

According to Rupert Murdoch’s paper, “Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats … the GOP’s Buchanan wing is making a comeback.”

Buchanan immediately issued a sharp riposte to the Journal. The differences between his beliefs and what the Journal represents are profound, the chasm unbridgeable.

Buchanan expresses the beliefs and values of an older America, while The Wall Street Journal is the mouthpiece of globalist Wall Street capitalism. Their goal is to secure power for managerial elites and their control of world finance, with the subsequent imposition of a “Pax Americana” on the rest of the world. They want this even if it takes every life of every American in uniform and the transfer of every decent paying American job to Mexico and China, to do it.

Theirs is the template being advanced both by Hillary Clinton and by most of the national GOP  candidates, excepting perhaps Senator Rand Paul. It is the same idea of imposed global, liberal democracy pushed by Fox News and its assembled experts. This idea pervades most traditionally conservative institutions and journals, which now claim that the imposition of across-the-board equality and American-style democracy in every obscure backwater is our duty.

They increasingly imply or openly admit—as Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer and George Will do—total surrender on and acceptance of moral aberrations like same sex marriage and complete gender equality. They embrace the putrid, rotten culture that engulfs us.

The heritage of neoconservatism comes from Leon Trotsky and his belief in an egalitarian, socialist, new world order. Neoconservatives have modified the original template, integrating “free enterprise” (mostly intended for bigger, Chamber of Commerce-style business) to the mix. But their heritage is clearly mired in Trotsky and his internationalist, leftist belief in a new world order based on across-the-board equality and peoples’ democracy.  It is a philosophy inimical to just about everything held sacred by traditional conservatism.

On the ostensibly conservative NationalReviewOnline a few years back, neoconservative writer Stephen Schwartz let the cat out of the bag:

“To my last breath, I will defend Trotsky who alone and pursued from country to country and finally laid low in his own blood in a hideously hot house in Mexico City, said no to Soviet coddling to Hitlerism, to the Moscow purges, and to the betrayal of the Spanish Republic, and who had the capacity to admit that he had been wrong about the imposition of a single-party state as well as about the fate of the Jewish people. To my last breath, and without apology. Let the neofascists and Stalinists in their second childhood make of it what they will.” [see Paul Gottfried’s commentary on, April 17, 2007]

Neoconservatives infiltrated (that is the correct word) “Movement Conservatism” in the 1970s and 1980s, gaining control of most of the magazines and institutions that had once been truly conservative. Instead of praising—as the late Dr. Russell Kirk did in his epochal volume, The Conservative Mind—the insights of a John C. Calhoun or John Randolph of Roanoke, both great Southern conservatives, neocons ban any positive mention of them. They have been cast aside as racist Southerners, replaced with figures like Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln.

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review now writes pitiful potboiler about Lincoln, and anyone who even meekly criticizes Lincoln and King—our new, conservative, plaster saints—is tarred and feathered as a racist redneck.

This shift marks a profound transformation of conservatism into a pale and compliant copy of the cultural Marxist juggernaut bent on finishing off what remains of traditional society, distorting or erasing whatever still survives of our historic culture.

In December, 1991 Pat Buchanan began a public and political charge against this anti-American behemoth. Even then, too much indoctrination and corruption had been inflicted on the body politic, and fear of Clinton gripped too many brain dead Republican voters who couldn’t bring themselves to do the right thing.

We still got Clinton. And subsequent GOP presidential candidates—Dole, McCain, Bush II, and Romney—were clueless. How could they lead a counter-revolution against the ongoing dynamic of leftist revolution when they, themselves, were in so many ways held captive by the same philosophical template?

Twenty-three years after Pat launched his campaign, perhaps the kind of traditional and moral nation he spoke for has been eroded away to the point of no return. Perhaps we are left alone like the noble fifth century Roman general Aetius—called by the English historian Edward Gibbon “the last of the Romans”—to fight a desultory rear guard action until we are no more, leaving a trail of dead heroes, their bleached bones to mark where once a proud people trod, the end of what was once called “an exceptional nation.”

In just the past year how many times has the national, Neocon-subinfeudated GOP caved on Obamacare, illegal immigration, trade, the budget and other issues? How many more brainless wars for “democracy” do its candidates want to launch, and how many more Americans will be sacrificed on the altar of Wall Street internationalism? How many will be killed in the impossible effort, the bloody nightmare, to create global equality and liberal democracy?

Aetius led his legion, fending off the barbarians, with his men fighting nobly for Roman civilization. But in the end he was assassinated and his campaigns went for naught; Rome fell. It is too easy today to make comparisons, but we may be way beyond that point. Perhaps only a major catastrophe could rudely shake enough of our citizenry out of their mesmerized state, or perhaps this debased nation is, indeed, headed for the trash-heap of history.

And perhaps the only really effective thing that we can do is maintain strong our faith in God and employ our God-given talents, each of us to the best of his or her ability.

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Boyd Cathey
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.