Saturday, October 23, 2004

The American "Conservative"

From PJB:

The Constitution Party is the party closest to this magazine in philosophy and policy prescriptions, and while one must respect votes for Michael Peroutka by those who live in Red or Blue states, we cannot counsel such votes in battleground states.

Pat goes on to say this:

Because, while Bush and Kerry are both wrong on Iraq, Sharon, NAFTA, the WTO, open borders, affirmative action, amnesty, free trade, foreign aid, and Big Government, Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.

Now there is a ringing endorsement! I feel much better about Mr. Bush now!

Pat has been a champion of unpopular causes for years and has received my votes, money and energy in the past three election cycles. But Pat is just plain wrong on several fronts.

On sodomy and abortion, Bush has proven little better than his predecessors. There is no indication that George Bush understands the nature of the cultural threat we are facing, and he certainly does not have the stomach to wage that war effectively. Moreover, his positions on immigration and trade are, if anything, likely to be worse than John Kerry.

Pat also believes that a civil war is coming in the GOP and that conservatives need to remain in the game if they are to influence the future course of the party. Buchanan says:

There is a rumbling of dissent inside the GOP to the free-trade fanaticism of the Wall Street Journal that is denuding the nation of manufacturing and alienating Reagan Democrats. The celebrants of outsourcing in the White House have gone into cloister. The Bush amnesty for illegal aliens has been rejected. Prodigal Republicans now understand that their cohabitation with Big Government has brought their country to the brink of ruin and bought them nothing. But if we wish to be involved in the struggle for the soul of the GOP and if we intend to be there we cannot be AWOL from the battle where the fate of that party is decided.

I have offered thoughts on Pat's irrational optimism elsewhere, but Sam Francis has written a thoughtful assessment of Buchananism in the latest issue of Chronicles. Francis argues that:

If the kind of right that Pat Buchanan and most other real conservatives want is going to survive, it has to get out of, and away from, the Republican Party. Whatever conservatives remain within the party today have no discernible influence on its leadership, and, if that leadership is reconfirmed this month, it will have even less reason to pay them attention than it had in the administration's first term. There already has been a struggle for the heart and soul and future of the Republican Party, and the man who led that struggle for the right - through no fault or flaw of his own - lost. If the heart and soul of the party are going to survive, they need to ditch the political cadaver in which they are now trapped and start building a new body to animate. The long march toward creating one needs to begin now.

Indeed, the time has come for a new strategy. There is precious little of the old republic to conserve, and the sooner we come to that realization, the better. The time has come to challenge the elites rather than accommodate them, negotiating for a few scraps from the imperial table. The time has come for our own march through the institutions, and as Francis says, that march needs to begin now.


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