On winning the Reform Party
nomination assuming he does so Pat Buchanan
should immediately offer Ralph Nader an electoral pact.
There does not have to be a formal merger of the Reform
and Green parties. But Nader and Buchanan should be on the
should be the presidential nominee of this Green/Reform
coalition? My preference would be for Buchanan. But since
Nader currently leads him in the polls, perhaps he deserves
to get the nod. However, in return for agreeing to be his
runningmate, Buchanan must insist on also being named secretary
of state in a Nader administration. A radical administration
needs a radical foreign policy. Buchanan has already pledged:
"If elected, I will have all U.S. troops out of the
Balkan quagmire by years end, and all American troops
home from Europe by the end of my first term."
tremendous surge of enthusiasm will undoubtedly greet this
electoral alliance. A Nader/Buchanan ticket should have
no problems reaching the 15-percent poll support necessary
to get into the presidential debates. It is a shame, though,
that only one of the two will be able to take part in the
debates, while the other is relegated to the vice-presidential
Nader/Buchanan electoral pact makes a lot of sense. If its
support surpasses Ross Perots 19 percent of the vote
in 1992 as it almost certainly will then there
is a real prospect of a dramatic realignment of American
politics. The ticket should function smoothly. Buchanan
and Nader are personally compatible and agree on many issues.
To be sure, they disagree on abortion. But Buchanan and
Nader hold astonishingly similar views on the condition
of American culture. "Through television, the Internet
stores, samples and mailings," according to Nader,
"companies convey their message to the little ones.
They teach them how to crave junk food, thrill to violent
and pornographic programming, interact with the virtual
reality mayhem. The marketeers are keenly aware of the stages
of child psychologies, age by age, and know how to turn
many into Pavlovian specimens powered by spasmodically shortened
attention spans as they become ever more remote from their
own family." Nothing much there for Buchanan to dispute.
the economy, Buchanan and Nader have been almost alone in
pointing out how few benefits most Americans have derived
from those spectacular economic growth rates and surging
Dow Jones index that media hacks endlessly crow about. "Weve
had 10 years of economic growth," says Nader, "but
the majority of the workers are making less today, in inflation-adjusted
dollars, than they made in 1973 or 79." The minimum
wage, he points out, is lower than it was in 1973. American
workers have to work longer hours to maintain their income
levels. Here is Buchanan: "Seven years after NAFTA,
there are 4000 fresh factories, most of them U.S. owned,
in Mexico; and Mexico exports 10 times as many cars to the
United States as we export to Mexico. What NAFTA was really
all about was letting GM and Ford say adios to the USA..."
The corporations are only concerned with shareholder value,
which depends on ever-rising profits. They close down factories
here and open them wherever there is cheap labor and no
health, safety and environmental regulations to worry about.
the causes and consequences of large-scale immigration into
the United States Buchanan and Nader are of one mind: The
corporations promote illegal immigration to drive down wages
and increase their profit margins. But Nader takes the argument
further: "I dont think this country should be
engaged in a brain drain of highly talented scientists and
computer specialists from Third World country [sic] that
desperately need them in order to bring them here instead
of paying American specialists an adequate wage."
while Buchanan demands strong government when it comes to
trade and immigration, he seems surprisingly content to
leave almost everything else to the vagaries of the free
market. As a result, Naders description of the plight
of working Americans often sounds far more trenchant. He
speaks powerfully of Americans going to work "wondering
who will take care of their elderly parents or their children,
irritated by the endless traffic jams, stifled by their
lack of rights in the corporate workplace, ripped off by
unscrupulous sellers and large companies
beset by having
to pay for health care [they] cannot afford." Nader
calls for universal healthcare coverage, pointing out correctly
that Europeans all have it without sacrificing quality or
being forced to live in a police state.
foreign policy, however, Pat Buchanan is clearly Naders
superior. Where Buchanan is lucid and incisive, Nader burbles
incomprehensibly about "preventive diplomacy"
and rescuing the "languages of indigenous people."
When he denounces the U.S. penchant for bombing and starving
countries that do not toe Washingtons line, Buchanans
is almost an isolated voice. "What is best for America
and the world, they tell us, is that the United States should
remain a superpower sheriff, the Wyatt Earp of the West,
possessed of the sole right to deputize posses, or go it
alone if necessary, to discipline evil-doers, wherever our
values are threatened," he noted sarcastically
a few months ago. Buchanan has been eloquent in his attacks
on the madness and cruelty of sanctions against Iraq, and
has promised to bring the era of cruise missiles and sanctions
to an end.