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 job...so 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?