August 11, 2000
4 pm Pacific Time


This is the text of Justin Raimondo's prime time speech (this evening) to the Reform Party national convention.

I want to tell you a story, the story of how I came to support Patrick J. Buchanan as the best – the only – man to lead our country and restore our old Republic. It was the summer of 1990, and there I was at the state convention of the California Republican Party, standing behind a literature table. It was hot, white hot, in Sacramento that fateful summer, the weekend President George Bush launched Desert Storm. Downstairs in the bar, the old men of the GOP watched King George’s Nintendo War, and cheered – but up in the balcony, the young people glowered, and muttered – and fell silent in shock and horror at the sight of such unrestrained and awesome power.

As Secretary James Baker declared that the rationale for the war was "jobs, jobs, jobs," the oldsters nodded in approval, but the young people were sickened that day– sickened by the brazen immorality of such a frankly imperial credo.

As the TV anchors ooooed and ahhhd over the deadly precision of the American war machine, and thrilled as the mightiest military machine on earth crushed a practically defenseless Third World country, the old men cheered. But the young people turned away in disgust at the sight of such an uneven contest – a slaughter, as it turned out, and one that continues to this day.

As Dubya’s father got up on his high horse and declared the advent of a "New World Order," the old men in the bar roared their mindless approval, full of beer and jingoism. But up in the balconies, the young activists dissed the President in no uncertain terms: Their dissent was loud and unrestrained, and it boiled down to this: To hell with your New World Order, Mr. President. We want no part of it.

I stood behind a table stacked with literature listening to all this, and finding a receptive and even eager audience for the message I was selling. Our newly-formed Buchanan in 92 movement was barely a few weeks old, and Pat had yet to even hint that he was interested in making the race. What we did was imagine the best of all possible worlds: what if the only public figure with any kind of platform to stand up to the media-driven war hysteria decided to enter the race for the White House? What if Pat Buchanan decided take on King George?

Of course, we never imagined that he would do it. After all, why would someone give up a fantastically successful career as a commentator and TV personality, why would someone give up his spot on the McLaughlin Group for goddsake – and for what? To schlep around the country, fighting a guerrilla war against King George’s redcoats and living off the land like the Swamp Fox of the Revolution? You have got to be kidding! No way Jose! I never thought he would do it. I wouldn’t do it – would you?

But it didn’t matter. We had to do something – we couldn’t be silent, not in the face of so much evil – an evil that culminated, that weekend, in thousands of human sacrifices on the altar of Big Oil. As the young people gathered around our table, and eagerly took up handfuls of our leaflets and pamphlets, I saw a woman in the crowded hall who seemed somehow familiar. As she drew closer, she stood there looking up at the photo of her brother with a mixture of surprised and pleasure: Bay Buchanan beamed at us and said: "You guys are great!"

As I stood there earnestly explaining why Pat Buchanan had to run for President, and I heard Bay promise to take the message back to her brother, I remember thinking: gee, who knows, he might even do it.

A few months passed by, and we had heard nothing. We had somehow gotten ahold of Pat’s fax number and published it in our magazine, urging conservatives to send him a message: run, Pat, run! Still, nothing. We had almost given up hope, and the Republican primaries were looming: having heard nothing, we were preparing to abandon our bid when word reached us that he was actively considering it. We had almost talked a Republican congressman of libertarian bent to enter the New Hampshire primary as the antiwar candidate when, to my amazement, Patrick J. Buchanan announced that he would challenge the War Party in the 1992 presidential election.

I still marvel at his courage, his fearless calm in the face of one of the biggest smear campaigns in recent political history. For daring to stand up for the cause of American First – for daring to expose the foreign lobbyists – for daring to stand up to the pontificating pundits and the laptop bombardiers, the elites in the media, on the right as well as the left, united to destroy him, to smear his good name, to make sure his views never got a hearing or a chance to gain a following – and they failed. Bigtime. We are proof enough of that.

Oh, I know what they’ll tell you on CNN, and in the NY Post, we’ve all heard the same tired mantra: the Reform Party is supposed to be imploding. The sad collection of cranks and would be party bosses who walked out of our convention have more of a following in the CNN Newsroom and on the editorial page of the New York Times than they have in the Reform Party. Fortunately, Judy Woodruff is not going to decide who gets to carry the banner of Reform in this election – and thank god for that!

The news coverage of this convention has been a model of media bias. But what else do you expect? After all, these are the same people who told us that the war in Kosovo was a "just war"; they told us that 100,000 Kosovars had been slaughtered, and that we had to intervene in the name of "humanitarianism" – or else their blood would be on our hands. Then they reduced the figure to 50,000. Then 10,000, and on down until today the number of actual bodies recovered – both Serb and Kosovar – is just over 2,000. Christiane Amanpour assured us that our noble allies in that war, the Kosovo Liberation Army, are a sainted army of freedom fighters. Now, turns out that they are a gang of murderous drug-dealing thugs intent on driving every Serb out of Kosovo. They don’t call it the Clinton News Network for nothing.

I’ll tell you why I’m for Pat Buchanan, and why I want to see him nominated by this party. As the editorial director of – a website devoted to news and analysis of foreign affairs born as a response to the Kosovo war – my job is to expose the lies of the War Party on a daily basis. In that I have no more faithful or eloquent ally than Patrick J. Buchanan. The media keep telling us that Pat is a social conservative, as if his views on the origins and nature of homosexuality defined the whole of his world view. I’ll tell you why I’m going to work like hell to build this campaign and build this party – because Pat stood up when it counted. As the bombs fell on Baghdad, he dared to ask: why fight to keep the Emir of Kuwait on his golden throne? As the Serbs were demonized, and then destroyed, he raised the heretical question: why attack a people that had never attacked us, or threatened our interests? As a man whose own personal life might not meet with the approval of a social conservative, I’ll tell you why I support Buchanan: because our old Republic is degenerating into an imperial monstrosity, a hyperpower whose rulers have set us on a course of Empire. Will we go the way of Rome, of Spain, England, Russia, and all the imperial dinosaurs whose bones litter the Road to world hegemony? Ladies and gentlemen, the choice before us is clear: it is either a foreign policy that puts America first, or else one that guarantees perpetual war. It is Buchananism – or barbarism.

The choice is yours to make.

Read previous dispatches from the Reform Party convention

Buchananism or Barbarism

Ezola Foster for Veep; Halloween in August

Long Beach – My Battleground
8/10/00 PM

With Buchanan in Long Beach: The Inside Story



An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard
Available NOW!
$10 off!

“Behind the Headlines” appears Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with special editions as events warrant.


Recent Columns

Long Beach – My Battleground
8/10/00 pm

With Buchanan in Long Beach: The Inside Story

Classic Raimondo: Pakistani Coup Threatens Nuclear Confrontation

Caligula in Colombia: A Legacy of Shame

Bosnian Cyberthugs Hack

Convention Fever

Profiteers of Empire: Cheney, Soros, and Co.

Justin Raimondo Archives (now detailed)

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).

Sign up for our Mailing List


Please Support

A contribution of $50 or more will get you a copy of Ronald Radosh's out-of-print classic study of the Old Right conservatives, Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism. Send contributions to
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

or Contribute Via our Secure Server
Credit Card Donation Form


Have an e-gold account?
Contribute to via e-gold.
Our account number is 130325

Your Contributions are now Tax-Deductible

Back to Home Page | Contact Us