Cross Pollinating Politicians
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
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)