Saturday, July 11, 2009

Who is Pat Buchanan...Really?

I have heard a lot of bad things about Pat Buchanan. I don't think I have ever read a blog, newspaper article or listened to any type of broadcast that casts him in a positive light.

I never really bothered to ask why. I just figured from what I heard from others that this is the type of guy that Rush Limbaugh would call a right-wing nut that must be pretty bad. LOL!

However, lately I have been wondering...honestly, what about him is so bad? So I decided to finally take a look for myself and see what I could find out about the man.

Here is some background about him first:

Born in 1938 in Washington DC to a nurse and an accountant. His great-grandfather fought in the Civil War for the South.

He is a Roman Catholic. He attended Catholic schools and was educated at Georgetown University.

While at Georgetown he served in the ROTC. At the outbreak of the Vietnam was he was rejected for military service due to mild arthritis. He earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia in 1962.

At 23 he began writing for the St Louis Globe-Democrat. In 1964 he was promoted to assistant editorial page editor.

He was hired as an advisor to Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1966 as a researcher. After Nixon took office he was hired as a speechwriter and White House advisor. When Nixon resigned he continued to work as an advisor to President Ford.

After this stint he became a political commentator, appearing on the radio show Buchanan-Brade (Tom Braden, liberal columnist) and beginning his TV career on The McLaughlin Group and CNNs Crossfire.

He went back to work for the White House in 1985 as Communications Director. After Reagan left the White House he returned to being a political commentator.

He challenged incumbent President George H.W. Bush's 2nd bid for the presidency and actually won 38% of the New Hampshire primary but overall only received 3 million total votes so he threw his support behind Bush.

In 1995 he ran for President again along with Senator Robert Dole who eventually won the Republican nomination (although he had defeated Dole in the New Hampshire primary by 3000 votes).

He left the Republican Party in 1999 and in 2000 won the Presidential nomination for the Reform Party. At this time he called for the U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations and the abolition of the I.R.S., the Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, and HUD. In the 2000 election he finished 4th with 0.4% of the popular vote.

In 2002 he started a conservative magazine title The American Conservative. Its 1st issue was released October 7, 2002.

So enough background, here are some of this thoughts on politics (along with a little commentary from myself about these viewpoints):

He considers himself a traditional conservative as opposed to a neoconservative (see What the heck is a neoconservative).

He supports the abolition of several government agencies such as the Dept of Education.

I am okay with that. I think the less bureaucracy, the better off we will eventually be.

He opposes military interventionism, frequently quoting George Washington and Thomas Jefferson about avoiding "entangling alliances."

I am okay with that too.

He believes that life begins at conception and fervently opposes abortion. He has been quoted as saying:
"I don't care about the circumstances of a child's conception...execute the rapist and let the unborn child live."

Okay, so I can see where those on the "left" (geez i hate using that word) would consider this to be an extreme point of view but personally I think he is right on the money.

He feels that a culture war is going on in America and that issues such as abortion, gay rights, feminism, flag-burning, and women in combat are dividing this country needlessly.

So far so good. I agree with him 100% so far.

He supports a constitutional amendment allowing state-sanctioned prayer in public schools.

Okay, I have a problem with that one. I don't want schools trying to teach my kids religion and I really don't think the "state" should be sanctioning anything. Voluntary school prayer is okay though.

He openly ridicules those who oppose the display of the Confederate flag stating that the U.S. Civil War was fought over states rights and "the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance."

Okay, this one is probably going to get me blasted pretty hard. I actually agree with him in regards to the Civil War. I personally don't think the Union had any right telling the Southern states that were not allowed to secede and actually fought a bloody, senseless war in order to force them back into it. And this particular war set a very long, ugly precedent in regards to states rights. Okay, bring it on, I'm ready for the tongue lashing.

He opposes the War in Iraq stating that it is being fought not over bringing democracy to a foreign nation but to preserve and protect American oil rights in the Middle East.

Yeah, I think everyone knows my opinion on all this. I totally agree with him on this too. See! A conservative that opposes the war. This is a good clear distinction between neoconservatives and traditional conservatives.

He fully supports the war on drugs and opposes the legalization of marijuana, except in medical cases.

Okay, another one I disagree with him on.

So far I really don't see anything that is all that extreme or kooky or anything that makes him a nut job.

I had heard at some point in time that his views on immigration reform are really what people go after him about.

So here is his "platform" regarding immigration:

He calls for a 10 year suspension on illegal immigration.
Uhm, wait why only 10 years? After 10 years we can have illegal immigrants again? This one I don't understand. Maybe I am interpreting this idea wrong.

He calls for a 2000 mile double line security fence between the U.S. and Mexico. Nothing really weird there. Bush signed a law to put a fence up.

He calls for an end to all social welfare benefits for illegal aliens, except for emergency medical services.
I agree. Sure they have can emergency medical treatment but once they are treated, let's ship em back where they came from!

He calls for punishing businesses that hire illegal aliens.
No problems with that.

He calls for a mass deportation of all aliens convicted of felonies and every gang member that is not a citizen of the United States.
Are there people out there that are actually opposed to this?

Okay, maybe the Christian feeling on this should be that we should be taking care of foreigners and what not and maybe that is the way I should feel but as a Christian I also know that the Bible tells us to follow the law and if you are an illegal immigrant you are breaking the law. So I will help you if you are hurt or poor (that is if I had any money to give you) but I will not condone your further breaking the law by remaining in a country of which you are not a citizen and certainly not the further taking in of benefits that should be illegal to be giving you in the first place. Sorry. If this is an extreme point of view then I guess my thoughts are a little extrem too.

So for the most part, in everything I have read about Pat I don't really find anything that weird or out of the ordinary. I decided to reserve a couple of his books from the local library to give them a read and see if I find anything goofy about his thoughts in those. I will let you know once I get them and finish reading them what I think about them.

Anybody else have any thoughts or read anything else about him that would clear up this whole why do so many people think Buchanan is a freak thing?


  1. Great job man using your own research and intellect to see that the left (hate using that word too) leaning media portrays him as an extremist.

    I disagree with Pat (and you) on this one point however and history has proven Pat wrong.

    "He opposes the War in Iraq stating that it is being fought not over bringing democracy to a foreign nation but to preserve and protect American oil rights in the Middle East."

    If you simply look at Iraq today, we don't get our oil from there, we don't control their oil either... however having said that, in the general context of creating a stable country in the heart of the middle east.. (yes oil country) then world oil reserves are protected from Islamic extremists... yes, but in the bigger picture, a stable Iraq provides a more stable middle east which provides a more stable world.

    Oil aside, it was in the free world's best interest to not allow Iraq to become another Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    So, Pat was partially right, yes a free Iraq does improve the stability of the largest oil producing region in the world, but equally important is the fact that a free Iraq is a major stumbling block for Islam... who btw declared a holy war on American and continues it today... without Iraq however, much to their dismay.

  2. Red said – “the left (hate using that word too)”

    ROFLMAO!!!!! Now THAT is funny. :-P

    The more I hear about Pat, the more I like him. There are certainly things that you have outlined here that I disagree with, but overall I agree with you Steve that Buchanan is not a looney toon.

    He was interviewed quite a bit in this documentary I watched about Ralph Nader. As diametrically opposed as those two are politically, they seem to be friends and I find that encouraging.

  3. Thanks Red.

    I have just heard so much negative press about him I just HAD to find out why so many people don't like them.

    Unfortunately, I answered no questions that I had. I still don't understand why so many people hate him.

    I would say that approximately 95% of what I read about him I like.

    I will agree with you that it was in the free world's best interest for Iraq not to become another Iran but I have two things to say about that:

    First, I really don't see that Iraq would have ever gotten to that point. By all accounts they really were (for lack of a better term) a backwards ass country as far as Middle Eastern countries. They were like the rednecks of the Muslim world or something and nobody (even in the Middle East) took them seriously.

    Secondly, even if it was in the world's best interest and even if they could have gotten to that point, why is it OUR job? Why do we always have to foot the bill and supply the weapons and supply the forces? Why us? Why do WE always have to be the world's policemen?

    I truly think that if our country would have remained isolationist back in the day, a lot of what is going on in the world today would not be going on.

    Dave: He is definitely a pretty close polar opposite of Ralph Nader but I too really like the guy the more I read about him. I might even see if my local library has any back issues of his magazine that I can read. (Then again, that magazine probably has a web presence, I will check on that and get back with you).

  4. You could do a lot worse than Pat Buchanan... that's for sure.

    But I am shocked and awed that you (both) took the time and energy to get past the surface fluff and hatemongering directed at Buchanan.

    I must say it is very interesting to me watching you and dave working your way through this foggy maze known as politics... left and right ideologies, right and wrong... and yes gray areas too.

    Very interesting indeed.
    I use you and dave as sort of thermometers if you will, you were both part of that group that both sides were battling for early last election... the undecided.

    I'll just say that I am feeling much better about 2010 based on how far you both have come in the past year or two. :0)

  5. American Conservative

    I also think I figured out one of the reasons a lot of people hate him. I think maybe because of his "radical" immigration views, some people view him as a racist.

    I was reading an article that he wrote on this website titled The Power of Ethnonationalism. Interesting article. I agree with a lot of what he said. But what was really interesting were some of the comments that were made on the article.

    I would like to share a couple of them:

    This one is anti-Buchanan:

    "I don't know where to begin in deconstructing your abject racism and faithism.....Do you fear whites being the minority?"

    This one is great!

    "For those who accuse Pat of blatant racism and prejudice...please publish your name and workplace so your job, income and livelihood can be replaced with an immigrant and we can double your taxes to pay for the social services they need and the police to protect us from their gangs..........If you favor immigration, please pay for it and let those of us who oppose it opt out."


  6. Yeah Red, I really honestly find myself becoming very angry with the fact that nobody listened to me so early in the election about my feelings toward Obama. I remember during the primaries I kept telling everyone, my wife, probably on this blog, etc...That I just did not trust him. That I could not place my finger on it but there was something about the guy that just did not sit right with me.

    Little did I know how right I was. I am always going to go with my gut from now on. That is a lesson I learned from this last election.

    I am not saying that I will definitely absolute without a doubt vote for a Republican next time out. Or saying that I will vote for only Republicans in the 2010 elections. There is a strong chance that I will still feel very strongly toward 3rd party candidates. But I will also say that I will take more time to listen to the Republican points of view and try not to be as biased as I was toward them the last few times out.

  7. I think that is all any politician can ask of you otter... to give them a chance to tell you what they are about.

    It is too bad that anyone who believes our open border is an invitation to disaster is somehow a "racist"... we don't give a hoot what color or nationality people are that refuse to obey our immigration laws... they could have polka dots or be as white as Michael Jackson for all we care.

    Take a number and come in our country according to our laws or suffer the consequences of jail and deportation.

    What is so difficult about that for the left to understand?

    Ohhh wait a minute... minorities vote Democrat(ic). Never mind.

  8. I’m your thermometer? That just sounds all sorts of wrong and creepy.

  9. lol... you've come a long way baby.

  10. Now I’m really scared. :-P