LYNCH MOB GATHERS
such worthies as Bill Kristol, William Safire, Charles Krauthammer,
and all the usual suspects on the neoconservative "Right,"
to Chris Matthews, the Anti-Defamation League, Salon Magazine,
and what remains of the Popular Front coalition of the 1930s,
the chorus of condemnation is not only loud: these people
are practically frothing at the mouth. This impressive display
of Left-Right unanimity underscores the narrowness of the
politically permissible and the reality of the ideological
dictatorship we are living under. The war cries of the media
lynch mob are stunning in their vehemence and their variety:
"racist" "fascist" "Hitler-lovin'
Nazi" the string of epithets is endless, and you
can feel the spittle on your face as the words, propelled
by hyperventilated outrage, leap off the page. All are piling
on Pat in a frenzied (and barely coherent) attempt to not
only rebut his case for noninterventionism but to completely
discredit and banish the subject from public discussion
permanently, if possible.
the War Party, this is a test case. If they can defeat and
destroy Buchanan on this issue, then their job is made all
that much easier the next time they want to launch a "humanitarian"
invasion of a sovereign nation. The argument will go something
ARGUMENT FROM INTIMIDATION
you oppose sending U.S. troops to, say, Colombia, or
to the Caucasus what are you, some kind of isolationist-nativist-racist-Nazi
Buchanan-loving subversive? What about World War II?
What about Hitler?!"
There will be no argument, no debate over the merits of the
issue because the goal of Pat's opponents is to make rational
discussion of foreign policy a hate crime. The War Party has
big ambitions for the new millennium, and they aren't going
to let the American electoral process trifle with their plans.
desperation of these people, in their frantic flailing at
Buchanan, reached comic proportions when they pulled out their
real trump card Donald Trump! Known as "The Donald"
to those New Yorkers who have come to know and disdain him
over the years, the multimillionaire casino operator and real
estate developer has had a reputation as a man-about-town
with a remarkable penchant for vulgarity both in his
architectural tastes and his personal life but never,
until this moment, as an historian.
the New York playboy's debut as a social commentator specializing
in diplomatic history is not exactly auspicious. Trump bellows
that Buchanan "is denigrating the memory of those who
died in that war." Does this also apply to critics of
the Vietnam war and, if not, why not?
says Hitler had no malicious intent toward the United States,"
Mr. Trump said in an interview. "Well, Hitler killed
six million Jews and millions of others. Don't you think it
was only a question of time before he got to us? He tackled
Europe first and we were next. Pat's amazing." What is
amazing is a media that takes The Donald seriously. Asked
if he had even bothered to read the book he was denouncing,
Trump reassured his Newsday interviewer that "I've
seen the phrases we're dealing with." Phrases
is right: at most, Trump skimmed a few sentences and was put
through his paces by the Bush team. Here is the ugly reality
of the smear campaign that is now going into high gear: since
it doesn't matter what Buchanan actually wrote, it wasn't
really necessary for Trump to read A Republic, Not an Empire
given that he was even capable of completing such a
task. Indeed, it would be better for an attack drone such
as Trump not to understand, all the better to repeat
his baseless mindless smears.
the vulgar plutocrat and vainglorious peacock of Manhattan
high society, is the perfect antipode to Buchanan, with his
penchant for scholarly debate and almost monkish dedication
to ideas. In publicizing Trump as a real contender for Pat's
working-class base, the Hate Buchanan claque is going way
way out on a limb, with one political consultant quoted
as saying that "blue collar guys look up to [Trump].
The cars, the women, the money." The assumption that
"blue collar guys" have no political ideas and opinions
worth discussing, and that they will cast their votes on the
basis of something so facile as "the cars, the women,
the money," is a remarkably blatant illustration of the
bottomless contempt the elites have for ordinary Americans.
sneering tone is unmistakable, but there is also an undercurrent
of fear: these smirking grand strategists, Bushians and others,
who are egging The Donald on, are genuinely frightened. They
loathe Pat Buchanan and will do anything anything
to stop him. But the sniggering pair-up of Buchanan
and Trump in a championship fight for the Reform Party nomination,
meant to denigrate and drag a great man down to the level
of a smarmy clown, isn't working, and neither is the smear
GIANT AMONG PYGMIES
every newspaper columnist, left and right, railing against
Pat and every TV talking head pontificating on the gravity
and horror of the Buchananite heresy, Buchanan is everywhere,
on every talk show, fighting back and more than holding his
own. Pat squared off against Rush on the radio, against Bill
Preuss and the haggish Mary Matalin (will you please cover
that neck?). Matalin hectored him about "anti-Semitism,"
smirking all the while, without offering any evidence to refute.
In the past twenty-four hours, it seems, Pat has taken on
virtually every talking head with an agenda and an axe to
grind. It is Pat versus both the "right" and "left"
wings of the Establishment: a single man facing down a mighty
coalition a nearly equal contest, and at the very least
an epic one.
historical pronunciatmentoes of The Donald are not,
perhaps, the most articulate and detailed, and the vindictive
lies being spread by Pat's ex-friend Mona Charen, in which
she seriously accuses him of being in favor of quotas
for white people! are not the most convincing. There
is lots of vituperation, but not a lot of substance. So far
the only half-serious attempt to critique Buchanan's book
comes in the pages of the Weekly Standard. But Robert
G. Kaufaman's hurried critique, snidely entitled "Wrong
from the Beginning," is even less convincing, in
its way, than The Donald's. For Kaufman employs the "willya
lookit that!" technique, in which the polemicist
holds up a viewpoint with which he disagrees as if its falsity
is self-evident. But since Kaufman does not bother to let
us know why these views are false or even destructive
and evil this technique, as employed by the author,
has the exact opposite of its intended effect. In the end,
Kaufman can only make the argument from authority, dropping
names in a furious effort to divert the reader away from the
fact that he has no argument. "Buchanan's claims
about twentieth-century history are a deliberate rejection
of Republican foreign policy notions," Kaufman avers,
"both of the idealism of Ronald Reagan's cold warriors
and the ostensible realism of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger."
YOUR POINT IS . . . ?
so what? That indeed is the whole point of A Republic,
Not an Empire: that it is high time we moved beyond the
Cold War paradigm of Nixon and Kissinger, and reclaimed the
foreign policy the Founders intended us to follow. Do we really
want to follow the doctrines of a man like Kissinger, for
god's sake, whose policies prolonged a disastrous land war
in Asia? Is the foreign policy of Richard Nixon really such
an ideal model for the post-Cold War world? And why is the
advice of Nixon as much as Pat no doubt respects and
even admires his former employer worth less than that
of George Washington and John Quincy Adams?
revives Charles Tansill's old canard that an insidious combination
of pro-British sentiment, the interests of Wall Street bankers
fearful of Britain's defaulting on its huge loans, Theodore
Roosevelt's militarism, and Woodrow Wilson's zealous idealism
dragged America into a costly war in defiance of our previous
tradition and our national interest."
HAZARDS OF SELF-PARODY
simply calling an idea a "canard" is hardly an argument
or even an explanation: yet the reader who expects either
from Kaufman is in for a disappointment. As if to mock his
readers, or unconsciously parody himself, Kaufman then goes
on to take the ultra-Anglophile position that even getting
involved in World War I was not only inevitable but necessary,
security has always depended on a European balance of power,
which a German victory would have obliterated. It made strategic
sense for America to stay out of European conflicts while
Britain operated as the effective balance, ensuring that no
continental power achieved a decisive aggregation of power.
By 1917, however, Britain could no longer contain German power
without the active participation of the United States."
makes perfect sense from the viewpoint of the British
Foreign Office. England has historically resisted the consolidation
of a single power's dominance over the European continent,
depending on the United States to back her up when she wasn't
quite up to the task of playing the role of the dissonant
note in the concert of Europe. But if, today, we have a single
European Union, with a single currency and a fast-evolving
army, dominated economically and demographically by a resurgent
Germany, then what was it all for? If even England,
today, is integrating itself into this continental super-state,
then why did Americans die in the Argonne and Chateau Thierry?
This is the question that Buchanan asks in his book, but Kaufman
is hardly up to the task of even acknowledging it, let alone
ART OF UNDERSTATEMENT
a sentence that takes the art of understatement to new heights,
Kaufman writes: "Franklin Roosevelt made mistakes, no
doubt, particularly in his dealings with Stalin's Soviet Union"!
If handing over half of Europe to the horrors of the Gulag
can be fairly described as a "mistake," rather than
a crime, then God is dead and everything, as a half-mad German
philosopher once said, is permitted.
ART OF HEADLINE-WRITING
headline was "Buchanan's
Views on Hitler Create a Reform Party Stir," by Francis
X. Clines [New York Times, September 21, 1999]
as if, in challenging the wisdom and necessity of World War
II, Pat is trying to rehabilitate the German dictator. The
article quotes very selectively from the book, a sentence
or a phrase torn out of context. Clines avers that "in
a separate chapter criticizing the power of numerous American
ethnic groups over foreign policy, Mr. Buchanan writes, 'After
World War II, Jewish influence over foreign policy became
almost an obsession with American leaders.'" He somehow fails
to point out that Buchanan is merely quoting the well-known
views of such notorious anti-Semites as George Kennan, John
Foster Dulles, and Harry Truman. (p. 336) And, of course,
up pops The Donald, whom Clines quotes liberally it
would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
we have seen all this before it happens every time
Pat runs for President there is a new edge of hysteria
to the hate-filled venom that is filling the airwaves, the
Internet, and the op ed pages of the nation's newspapers.
There have been numerous "news" stories about the
controversy over this book, and they all have variations on
a single theme of "Buchanan is a Bigot," such as
the Reuters headline, "Buchanan
Book Stirs Charges of Anti-Semitism, [September 21, 1991].
But the story has nothing to do with the book: not a word
of the book is cited as "evidence" of alleged bigotry,
there is only the victimological braying of the Anti-Defamation
League, and vague accusations from various authorities attesting
to Buchanan's inveterate evil. But the book mentioned in the
headline is completely disappeared, and in its place there
is only the venom of the professional character assassins,
a kind of intellectual Mafia determined to enforce its monopoly
in the realm of foreign policy.
strong-arm methods are not going to intimidate Buchanan. The
bipartisan foreign policy of global interventionism that has
drained us of troops and treasure for over fifty years is
being challenged by a very brave and very able man. With the
Reform party and a great chunk of the GOP in tow, Buchanan
is intent on forging a new American majority, a new consensus
in which a noninterventionist foreign policy is the linchpin
that holds the coalition together. A cool $13 million in campaign
funds awaits the Reform party's presidential nominee
God help the Establishment if Buchanan ever gets his hands