State of the Union

Has Trump Found the Formula?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Stripped of its excesses, Donald Trump’s Wednesday speech contains all the ingredients of a campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton this fall.

Indeed, after the speech ended Clinton was suddenly defending the Clinton Foundation against the charge that it is a front for a racket for her family’s enrichment.

The specific charges in Trump’s indictment of Clinton: She is mendacious, corrupt, incompetent and a hypocrite.

“Hillary Clinton … is a world-class liar,” said Trump. She faked a story about being under fire at a Bosnia airport, the kind of claim for which TV anchors get fired. She has lied repeatedly about her email server.

She lied to the families of victims of the Benghazi massacre by implying the atrocity was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video, not the premeditated act of Islamist terror she knew it to be.

Drop “world-class” and Trump’s case is open and shut.

His second charge: “Hillary has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft” and “may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”

Particulars?

Bill Clinton got $750,000 for a speech from a telecom company facing State Department sanctions for providing technology to Iran. The Clintons got the cash; the telecom company got no sanctions.

“Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while 9 investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Trump added, “She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes … for cash.”

Together, she and Bill have raked in $153 million since 2001 in speaking fees from “lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments.”

These figures are almost beyond belief.

Sherman Adams had to resign as Ike’s chief of staff for accepting a vicuna coat from Bernard Goldfine, who had problems with federal regulators.

When ex-President Reagan, after brain surgery, visited Japan to receive that nation’s highest honor, The Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and got a $2 million fee from the media company that hosted his nine-day visit, our liberal editorial pages vomited out their revulsion and disgust.

Where are those media watchdogs today?

Rather than condemning the Clintons’ greed, their conflicts of interest and their egregious exploitation of their offices, the media are covering for Hillary and digging for dirt on Trump.

To substantiate his charge of incompetence, Trump notes that Clinton as Senator voted for arguably the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, the invasion of Iraq.

She pushed the attack that ousted Col. Gadhafi and unleashed terrorists who took over much of Libya and murdered our ambassador.

She played a leading role in launching the insurrection against Bashar Assad that has left hundreds of thousands dead, uprooted half of Syria and sent millions of refugees to seek asylum in Europe.

Primary beneficiary: ISIS, with its capital in Raqqa.

And the hypocrisy charge?

Though Hillary and Bill Clinton profess to be the fighting champions of women’s equality and gay rights, they have banked millions in speaking feels and tens of millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Islamic regimes under whose rule women are treated as chattel and homosexuals are flogged, beheaded and stoned to death.

Why do major media let them get away with such hypocrisy?

Because, ideologically, politically, socially, morally and culturally, the major media are with them.

While making the case for the indictment of Hillary Clinton, Trump also outlined an agenda with appeal not only to nationalists, populists and conservatives but working-class and minority Democrats.

If Trump is elected, an economic system “rigged” to enable big corporations to leave and take factories and jobs abroad, and bring their goods back free of charge to kill companies that stay in America, will end.

“Globalism” will be replaced by “Americanism.”

Trade and tax policies will be rewritten to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs and factories here. Was this not also Bernie Sanders’ message? He stood against NAFTA in the 1990s when the Clintons colluded with Bush Republicans to impose it.

In his peroration, Trump spoke of what we Americans had done, how we had lost our way, but how we could, together, make her great again. His finale was surprisingly aspirational, hopeful, inclusive.

In the political year just ended, several unmistakable messages have been delivered.

First, the record turnout for Trump and remarkable turnout for Ted Cruz represented a repudiation of Beltway Republicanism.

Second, the amazing success of 74-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders in keeping Clinton embattled until California, showed that the Democratic young have had enough of Clintonism.

A majority of the nation said loud and clear: We want change.

Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability is that Americans distrust her; no one believes she represents change; and she has no agenda and no vision.

Her campaign for president is all about her.

As Trump noted, even her slogan is, “I’m with her.”

Rough and raw as it was in parts, Donald Trump’s speech on Wednesday contains the elements of a campaign that can win.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Our Impulsive Foreign Policy Establishment

Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com
Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

Some 50 State Department officials have signed a memo calling on President Obama to launch air and missile strikes on the Damascus regime of Bashar Assad.

A “judicious use of stand-off and air weapons,” they claim, “would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.”

In brief, to strengthen the hand of our diplomats and show we mean business, we should start bombing and killing Syrian soldiers.

Yet Syria has not attacked us. And Congress has not declared war on Syria, or authorized an attack. Where do these State hawks think President Obama gets the authority to launch a war on Syria?

Does State consider the Constitution to be purely advisory when it grants Congress the sole power to declare war? Was not waging aggressive war the principal charge against the Nazis at Nuremberg?

If U.S. bombs and missiles rain down on Damascus, to the cheers of the C-Street Pattons, what do we do if Bashar Assad’s allies Iran and Hezbollah retaliate with Benghazi-type attacks on U.S. diplomats across the Middle East? What do we do if Syrian missiles and Russian planes starting shooting down U.S. planes?

Go to war with Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia?

Assume U.S. strikes break Syria’s regime and Assad falls and flees. Who fills the power vacuum in Damascus, if not the most ruthless of the terrorist forces in that country, al-Nusra and ISIS?

Should ISIS reach Damascus first, and a slaughter of Alawites and Christians ensue, would we send an American army to save them?

According to CIA Director John Brennan, ISIS is spreading and coming to Europe and America. Does it make sense then that we would launch air and missile strikes against a Syrian regime and army that is today the last line of defense between ISIS and Damascus?

Does anyone think these things through?

Wherever, across the Middle East, we have plunged in to wage war—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria—people continue to suffer and die, and we are ensnared.

Have we not fought enough wars in this Godforsaken region?

Last week, Russian planes launched air strikes on the rebels in Syria whom we have been arming and training to overthrow Assad.

Said John Kerry, “Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite.” But why are we arming rebels to overthrow Assad?

Who rises if he falls? Moscow’s alliance with Damascus goes back decades. Syria provides Russia with a naval base in the Mediterranean. Vladimir Putin’s support for the embattled Syrian regime in the civil war being waged against it is legal under international law.

It is our policy that appears questionable.

Where did Obama get the right to arm and train rebels to dump over the Damascus regime? Did Congress authorize this insurrection? Or is this just another CIA-National Endowment for Democracy project?

Why are we trying to bring down Assad, anyhow?

U.S. foreign policy today seems unthinking, reactive, impulsive.

Last week, 31,000 NATO troops conducted exercises in Poland and the Baltic republics, right alongside the border with Russia.

For the first time since 1945, German tanks appeared in Poland.

Now we are planning to base four NATO battalions—one U.S.-led, one British, one German, and perhaps one Canadian, as the French and Italians are balking at being part of a tripwire for war.

How would we react if 31,000 Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Iranian and North Korean troops conducted military exercises across from El Paso and Brownsville, Texas?

How would we react if each of those countries left behind a battalion of troops to prevent a repeat of General “Black Jack” Pershing’s intervention in Mexico in 1916?

Americans would be apoplectic.

Nor are some Europeans enthusiastic about confronting Moscow.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the NATO exercises “warmongering” and “saber-rattling.” He adds, “Anyone who believes that symbolic tank parades on the alliance’s eastern border will increase security is wrong. We would be well-advised not to deliver any excuses for a new, old confrontation.”

Not only is Steinmeier’s Social Democratic Party leery of any new Cold War with Russia, so, too, is the German Left Party, and the anti-EU populist party Alternative for Germany, which wants closer ties to Russia and looser ties to the United States.

This month, we sent the USS Porter into the Black Sea. Why? Says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, “to deter potential aggression.”

While there is talk of a NATO Black Sea fleet, Bulgaria, one of the three NATO Black Sea nations, appears to want no part of it.

The European Union also just voted to extend sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting separatists in Ukraine.

Donald Trump calls the NATO alliance a rip-off, a tripwire for World War III and “obsolete.” Hillary Clinton compares Putin’s actions in Ukraine to Hitler’s actions in Germany in the early 1930s.

Looking for a four-year faceoff with a nuclear-armed Russia?

Hillary’s the one!

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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What ISIS Wants

seregalsv / Shutterstock.com
seregalsv / Shutterstock.com

If the cliches hold—nothing succeeds like success, the past is prologue—this generation will not likely see an end to the jihadist terror that was on display at Pulse in Orlando on Sunday.

For terrorism has proven to be among the most cost-effective and successful strategies of war that the world has ever seen.

Consider. The 9/11 attacks involved 19 hijackers willing to crash airliners into four buildings: the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Capitol.

So doing, those 19 altered the foreign policy of the United States.

They drew the world’s last superpower into wars that have bled and almost bankrupted us, broken a president, and left us mired in half a dozen civil and sectarian conflicts with no exit or end in sight.

As a political terrorist, Osama bin Laden rivals Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of the Austrian archduke set in train the events that led to the Great War that brought on the downfall of the West.

Consider the success of Islamist terror since 9/11.

As Gerry Seib of the Wall Street Journal notes, in the 15 years since then, just 95 Americans have died in jihadist attacks in the U.S.

Yet, one atrocity in Orlando, where 49 were slaughtered, polarized the nation, brought the presidential candidates to savaging one another, and held a national TV audience spellbound for a week.

The whole world is talking about Orlando.

And what did this victory cost the Islamic State?

Zero. What Omar Mateen did suicide bombers do every day in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, kill dozens of innocent people while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Yet compare the returns from this act of Islamist terror in Orlando, to those from similar attacks in Kabul, Baghdad or Damascus.

Any wonder ISIS would implore its followers to strike where they are, inside the U.S., inside Europe, and not come to Syria to die anonymously?

Under siege in Raqqa, Mosul and Fallujah, being bombed and bled as it surrenders the conquered lands of its caliphate, ISIS’ shift in strategy and targeting makes perfect sense.

Consider, now, the triumphs of Islamist terrorism in Europe.

The 2004 Madrid train bombings led to the defeat of a centrist government and rise of a socialist regime that pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq.

The Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan theater strengthened the National Front of Marine Le Pen.

The Beslan massacre of school children in North Ossetia in 2004 led to a consolidation of power by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Across Europe, the political impact of Islamist terrorism, though the numbers of dead and wounded have been, measured against the casualties of conventional war, relatively few, has been extraordinary.

Islamist terrorism has helped spawn anti-immigrant parties and “illiberal” regimes. The association of Islamic terror with Muslim immigration and refugees from Syria’s war has helped to drive “Brexit,” the British campaign to secede from the EU.

Islamist attacks have helped propel anti-EU movements and to incite nationalist demands for a recapture of state control of borders and security policy from Brussels.

Obama explains his reluctance to use the term “radical Islamic terror” on his not wishing to validate ISIS’ claim to be the spear point, the fighting arm of the world’s largest religion in fulfilling the mission given to it by Allah—to make the whole world Islamic.

And this is exactly what ISIS has in mind.

By the frequency and ferocity of its attacks, it seeks to displace al-Qaeda and other Islamic resistance movements in the eyes of the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and to be seen by the young as the great liberator of the Islamic world and future conqueror of the West.

The crushing of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of victory in this war, for ISIS is not just an organization but a cause, a movement, an idea.

ISIS believes that by repeatedly wounding and provoking the West, it can reignite a war of civilizations. And though the West is vastly superior in nuclear weapons and conventional arms, economic power and technology, ISIS believes it can gradually drive the West out of the Middle East, as it has already helped to drive the Christians out.

Then, ISIS believes, through mass Muslim migration into a West whose native-born are dying out, Muslims can reoccupy these lands they had almost wholly conquered, until stopped by Charles Martel 14 centuries ago.

For some few Muslims, as we saw at Fort Hood, San Bernardino and Orlando, ISIS offers a dream worth dying for. And as they kill and die for ISIS, they will push America where they are pushing Europe—to the right.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Omar Mateen and the Clash of Civilizations

Michael Hogue

On Saturday night, Omar Mateen was a loner and a loser. Sunday, he was immortal, by his standards, a hero. Mateen had ended his life in a blaze of gunfire and glory. Now everybody knew his name.

He had been embraced by ISIS. His face was on every TV screen. His 911 call to Orlando police identifying with the Islamic State and the Tsarnaev brothers of the Boston Marathon massacre was being heard across America. He was being called the most successful Islamist terrorist since 9/11. A hater of homosexuals, Mateen had, all alone, massacred more than four dozen patrons at a gay Florida nightclub, wounded 53, and driven deeper the wedges breaking up America. When it was learned that he used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, America’s gun wars were reignited.

And make no mistake. There are out there in society some few looking at what Mateen did, and how he left this world, not in revulsion and disgust but admiration and awe. Omar Mateen will not lack for emulators. While we see him as a sick and crazed mass murderer, some will see him, as he surely saw himself, as a warrior for Islam and Muslim martyr who earned paradise.

Yet, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seemed either unable to recognize the roots of Mateen’s malice, or they were inhibited from identifying those roots by the commands of political correctness. The president called this “an act of hate,” but declined to name the source of the hatred or motive for the massacre.

Where did Omar Mateen learn to hate not just homosexuality but the homosexuals themselves? Where did he come to believe that they deserved to die and he had a right to kill them? Where might he have gotten such ideas? Who teaches this?

Well, not only do the Taliban and ISIS hurl homosexuals off buildings and stone them to death but 10 nations—Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, and Pakistan—impose the death penalty for homosexual acts. Peoples of these nations approve, for such laws find sanction in the holy book, the Quran. Sharia teaches that homosexuality is a vile form of fornication, punishable by death.

Clinton declared that we must redouble our efforts to work with “our allies and partners” to go after international terror groups. Did she have in mind the Saudis and Gulf Arabs? For they have on their books laws calling for beheading the same sort of people Mateen shot to death at the Pulse club in Orlando, and for the same reason — what it is they do.

A co-worker said Mateen had an abiding rage over the behavior of American women. Where did Mateen get that idea?

After San Bernardino, where an ISIS-adoring Pakistani woman and her husband perpetrated a massacre, Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, until they could be better vetted, and we “can figure out what the hell is going on,”

This was regarded as quintessentially un-American. But “refugees” from the Syrian war have been found abetting Islamist atrocities in Paris. Terror cells containing “refugees” from Syria’s civil war have been discovered in Angela Merkel’s Germany.

We are learning that second-generation Muslims like Mateen seem susceptible to Islamist imams preaching terror against the West to advance the restoration of the caliphate. Does this not suggest a pause, and a long hard look before we continue with a policy of warmly welcoming all refugees fleeing the half-dozen wars roiling the Islamic world?

After World War II, we vetted German and East European migrants to ensure they were not fleeing Nazis or Soviet saboteurs or spies. No one seemed to regard that as outrageous.

Devout Muslims believe there is “no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” Logically then, Muslim nations reject a “First Amendment” in their own societies that would protect a right of Christians to convert Muslims, or any “freedom of speech” that permits the mockery of Muhammad. The iconoclasts at Charlie Hebdo learned that the penalty for blasphemy against Islam or insulting the prophet can be severe.

“East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.” So wrote Kipling. Islam, not only in its extremist forms but in its pure form, is incompatible with modern Western democracy.

And the conflict appears irreconcilable.

The policy that should result from this reality is that while we fight side-by-side to annihilate our common enemies, ISIS and al-Qaeda, the West should give up the idea of democratization and secularization of the Islamic world.

And those who believe Islam is the one true faith, to which all of mankind must eventually submit, should be told that they are welcome as visitors—but not as immigrants. For that would ensure endless conflict.

The more Islamic the West becomes, the less it remains the West.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Do We Fight China?

If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back down, says Aquino, the United States will lose “its moral ascendancy, and also the confidence of one of its allies.”

And what is Scarborough Shoal? A cluster of rocks and reefs, 123 miles west of Subic Bay, that sits astride the passageway out of the South China Sea into the Pacific, and is well within Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Beijing and Manila both claim Scarborough Shoal. But, in June 2013, Chinese ships swarmed and chased off a fleet of Filipino fishing boats and naval vessels. The Filipinos never came back.

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Why Trump Must Not Apologize

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“Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.”

Donald Trump has internalized the maxim Benjamin Jowett gave to his students at Balliol who would soon be running the empire.

And in rejecting demands that he apologize for his remarks about the La Raza judge presiding over the class-action suit against Trump University, the Donald is instinctively correct.

Assume, as we must, that Trump believes what he said.

Why, then, should he apologize for speaking the truth, as he sees it?

To do so would be to submit to extortion, to recant, to confess to a sin he does not believe he committed. It would be to capitulate to pressure, to tell a lie to stop the beating, to grovel before the Inquisition of Political Correctness.

Trump is cheered today because he defies the commands of political correctness, and, to the astonishment of enemies and admirers alike, he gets away with it.

To the establishment, Trump is thus a far greater menace than Bernie Sanders, who simply wants to push his soak-the-rich party a little further in the direction of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

But Trump, with his defiant refusal to apologize for remarks about “rapists” among illegal immigrants from Mexico, and banning Muslims, is doing something far more significant.

He is hurling his “Non serviam!” in the face of the establishment. He is declaring: “I reject your moral authority. You have no right to sit in judgment of me. I will defy any moral sanction you impose, and get away with it. And my people will stand by me.”

Trump’s rebellion is not only against the Republican elite but against the establishment’s claim to define what is right and wrong, true and false, acceptable and unacceptable, in this republic.

Contrast Trump with Paul Ryan, who has buckled pathetically.

The speaker says Trump’s remark about Judge Gonzalo Curiel being hostile to him, probably because the judge is Mexican-American, is the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”

But Ryan’s remark raises fewer questions about Trump’s beliefs than it does about the depth of Ryan’s mind.

We have seen a former president of Mexico curse Trump. We have heard Mexican-American journalists and politicians savage him. We have watched Hispanic rioters burn the American flag and flaunt the Mexican flag outside Trump rallies.

We are told Trump “provoked” these folks, to such a degree they are not entirely to blame for their actions.

Yet the simple suggestion that a Mexican-American judge might also be affected is “the textbook definition of a racist comment”?

The most depressing aspect of this episode is to witness the Republican Party in full panic, trashing Trump to mollify the media who detest them.

To see how far the party has come, consider:

After he had locked up his nomination, Barry Goldwater rose on the floor of the Senate in June of 1964 and voted “No” on the Civil Rights Act. The senator believed that the federal government was usurping the power of the states. He could not countenance this, no matter how noble the cause.

Say what you will about him, Barry Goldwater would never be found among this cut-and-run crowd that is deserting Trump to appease an angry elite.

These Republicans seem to believe that, if or when Trump goes down, this whole unfortunate affair will be over, and they can go back to business as usual.

Sorry, but there is no going back.

The nationalist resistance to the invasion across our southern border and the will to preserve the unique character of America are surging, and they have their counterparts all across Europe. People sense that the fate and future of the West are in the balance.

While Trump defies political correctness here, in Europe one can scarcely keep track of the anti-EU and anti-immigrant nationalist and separatist parties sprouting up from the Atlantic to the Urals.

Call it identity politics, call it tribalism, call it ethnonationalism; it and Islamism are the two most powerful forces on earth.

A decade ago, if one spoke other than derisively of parties like the National Front in France, the blacklisters would come around. Now, the establishments in the West are on the defensive—when they are not openly on the run.

The day of the Bilderberger is over.

Back to Jowett. When the British were serenely confident in the superiority of their tribe, faith, culture and civilization, they went out and conquered and ruled and remade the world, and for the better.

When they embraced the guilt-besotted liberalism that James Burnham called the “ideology of Western suicide,” it all came down.

The empire collapsed, the establishment burbled its endless apologies for how wicked it had been, and the great colonial powers of Europe threw open their borders to the peoples they had colonized, who are now coming to occupy and remake the mother countries.

But suddenly, to the shock of an establishment reconciled to its fate, populist resistance, call it Trumpism, seems everywhere to be rising.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Trump Sins Against the Liberal Catechism

a katz / Shutterstock.com
a katz / Shutterstock.com

Before the lynching of The Donald proceeds, what exactly was it he said about that Hispanic judge?

Stated succinctly, Donald Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action suit against Trump University, is sticking it to him. And the judge’s bias is likely rooted in the fact that he is of Mexican descent.

Can there be any defense of a statement so horrific?

Just this. First, Trump has a perfect right to be angry about the judge’s rulings and to question his motives. Second, there are grounds for believing Trump is right.

On May 27, Curiel, at the request of the Washington Post, made public plaintiff accusations against Trump University—that the whole thing was a scam. The Post, which Bob Woodward tells us has 20 reporters digging for dirt in Trump’s past, had a field day.

And who is Curiel?

An appointee of President Obama, he has for years been associated with the La Raza Lawyers Association of San Diego, which supports pro-illegal immigrant organizations.

Set aside the folly of letting Clinton surrogates like the Post distract him from the message he should be delivering, what did Trump do to be smeared by a bipartisan media mob as a “racist”?

He attacked the independence of the judiciary, we are told.

But Presidents Jefferson and Jackson attacked the Supreme Court, and FDR, fed up with New Deal programs being struck down, tried to “pack the court” by raising the number of justices to 15 if necessary.

Abraham Lincoln leveled “that eminent tribunal” in his first inaugural, and once considered arresting Chief Justice Roger Taney.

The conservative movement was propelled by attacks on the Warren Court. In the ’50s and ’60s, “Impeach Earl Warren!” was plastered on billboards and bumper stickers all across God’s country.

The judiciary is independent, but that does not mean that federal judges are exempt from the same robust criticism as presidents or members of Congress.

Obama himself attacked the Citizens United decision in a State of the Union address, with the justices sitting right in front of him.

But Trump’s real hanging offense was that he brought up the judge’s ancestry, as the son of Mexican immigrants, implying that he was something of a judicial version of Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Apparently, it is now not only politically incorrect, but, in Newt Gingrich’s term, “inexcusable,” to bring up the religious, racial or ethnic background of a judge, or suggest this might influence his actions on the bench.

But these things matter.

Does Newt think that when LBJ appointed Thurgood Marshall, ex-head of the NAACP, to the Supreme Court, he did not think Marshall would bring his unique experience as a black man and civil rights leader to the bench?

Surely, that was among the reasons Marshall was appointed.

When Obama named Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, a woman of Puerto Rican descent who went through college on affirmative action scholarships, did Obama think this would not influence her decision when it came to whether or not to abolish affirmative action?

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” Sotomayor said in a speech at Berkeley law school and in other forums.

Translation: Ethnicity matters, and my Latina background helps guide my decisions.

All of us are products of our family, faith, race and ethnic group. And the suggestion in these attacks on Trump that judges and justices always rise about such irrelevant considerations, and decide solely on the merits, is naive nonsense.

There are reasons why defense lawyers seek “changes of venue” and avoid the courtrooms of “hanging judges.”

When Obama reflexively called Sgt. Crowley “stupid” after Crowley’s 2009 encounter with that black professor at Harvard, and said of Trayvon Martin, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” was he not speaking as an African-American, as well as a president?

Pressed by John Dickerson on CBS, Trump said it’s “possible” a Muslim judge might be biased against him as well.

Another “inexcusable” outrage.

But does anyone think that if Obama appointed a Muslim to the Supreme Court, the LGBT community would not be demanding of all Democratic Senators that they receive assurances that the Muslim judge’s religious views on homosexuality would never affect his court decisions, before they voted to put him on the bench?

When Richard Nixon appointed Judge Clement Haynsworth to the Supreme Court, it was partly because he was a distinguished jurist of South Carolina ancestry. And the Democrats who tore Haynsworth to pieces did so because they feared he would not repudiate his Southern heritage and any and all ideas and beliefs associated with it.

To many liberals, all white Southern males are citizens under eternal suspicion of being racists. The most depressing thing about this episode is to see Republicans rushing to stomp on Trump, to show the left how well they have mastered their liberal catechism.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Clinton Rejects ‘America First’

Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea, July 21, 2010. (U.S. Army / Flickr)
Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea, July 21, 2010. (U.S. Army / Flickr)

“Clinton to Paint Trump as a Risk to World Order.”

Thus did page one of Thursday’s New York Times tee up Hillary Clinton’s big San Diego speech on foreign policy.

Inside the Times, the headline was edited to underline the point:

“Clinton to Portray Trump as Risk to the World.”

The Times promoted the speech as “scorching,” a “sweeping and fearsome portrayal of Mr. Trump, one that the Clinton campaign will deliver like a drumbeat to voters in the coming months.”

What is happening here?

As Donald Trump is splitting off blue-collar Democrats on issues like America’s broken borders and Bill Clinton’s trade debacles like NAFTA, Hillary Clinton is trying to peel off independents and Republicans by painting Trump as “temperamentally unfit” to be commander in chief.

Clinton contends that a Trump presidency would be a national embarrassment, that his ideas are outside the bipartisan mainstream of U.S. foreign policy, and that he is as contemptuous of our democratic allies as he is solicitous of our antidemocratic adversaries.

In portraying Trump as an intolerable alternative, Clinton will find echoes in the GOP establishment and among the Kristol-Kagan neocons, many of whom have already signed an open letter rejecting Trump.

William Kristol has recruited one David French to run on a National Review-Weekly Standard line to siphon off just enough votes from the GOP nominee to tip a couple of swing states to Clinton.

Robert Kagan contributed an op-ed to a welcoming Washington Post saying the Trump campaign is “how fascism comes to America.”

Yet, if Clinton means to engage on foreign policy, this is not a battle Trump should avoid. For the lady has an abysmal record on foreign policy and a report card replete with failures.

As senator, Clinton voted to authorize President Bush to attack and invade a nation, Iraq, that had not attacked us and did not want war with us.

Clinton calls it her biggest mistake, another way of saying that the most important vote she ever cast proved disastrous for her country, costing 4,500 U.S. dead and a trillion dollars.

That invasion was the worst blunder in U.S. history and a contributing factor to the deepening disaster of the Middle East, from which, it appears, we will not soon be able to extricate ourselves.

As secretary of state, Clinton supported the unprovoked U.S.-NATO attack on Libya and joked of the lynching of Moammar Gadhafi, “We came. We saw. He died.”

Yet, even Barack Obama now agrees the Libyan war was started without advance planning for what would happen when Gadhafi fell. And that lack of planning, that failure in which Clinton was directly involved, Obama now calls the worst mistake of his presidency.

Is Clinton’s role in pushing for two wars, both of which resulted in disasters for her country and the entire Middle East, something to commend her for the presidency of the United States?

Is the slogan to be, “Let Hillary clean up the mess she helped to make?”

Whether or not Clinton was complicit in the debacle in Benghazi, can anyone defend her deceiving the families of the fallen by talking about finding the evildoer who supposedly made the videotape that caused it all?

Even then, she knew better.

How many other secretaries of state have been condemned by their own inspector general for violating the rules for handling state secrets, for deceiving investigators, and for engaging, along with that cabal she brought into her secretary’s office, in a systematic stonewall to keep the department from learning the truth?

Where in all of this is there the slightest qualification, other than a honed instinct for political survival, for Clinton to lead America out of the morass into which she, and the failed foreign policy elite nesting around her, plunged the United States?

If Trump will stay true to his message, he can win the foreign policy debate, and the election, because what he is arguing for is what Americans want.

They do not want any more Middle East wars. They do not want to fight Russians in the Baltic or Ukraine, or the Chinese over some rocks in the South China Sea.

They understand that, as Truman had to deal with Stalin, and Ike with Khrushchev, and Nixon with Brezhnev, and Reagan with Gorbachev, a U.S. president should sit down with a Vladimir Putin to avoid a clash neither country wants, and from which neither country would benefit.

The coming Clinton-neocon nuptials have long been predicted in this space. They have so much in common. They belong with each other.

But this country will not survive as the last superpower if we do not shed this self-anointed role as the “indispensable nation” that makes and enforces the rules for the “rules-based world order,” and that acts as first responder in every major firefight on earth.

What Trump has hit upon, what the country wants, is a foreign policy designed to protect the vital interests of the United States, and a president who will—ever and always—put America first.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

23 comments

Will There Always Be England?

Whitby Abbey at sunset in North Yorkshire, England. (Roman Babakin / Shutterstock)
Whitby Abbey at sunset in North Yorkshire, England. (Roman Babakin / Shutterstock)

In his op-ed in the Washington Post, Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, made the case for British withdrawal from the European Union—in terms Americans can understand.

Would you accept, Grayling asks, an American Union of North and South America, its parliament sitting in Panama, with power to impose laws on the United States, and a high court whose decisions overruled those of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Would you accept an American Union that granted all the peoples of Central and South America and Mexico the right to move to, work in, and live in any U.S. state or city, and receive all the taxpayer-provided benefits that U.S. citizens receive?

This is what we are subjected to under the EU, said Grayling.

And as you Americans would never cede your sovereignty or independence to such an overlord regime, why should we?

Downing Street’s reply: Prime Minister David Cameron says leaving the EU could cost Britain a lot of money and a loss of influence in Brussels.

The heart versus the wallet. Freedom versus security.

While Barack Obama, Cameron and Angela Merkel are pulling for Britain to vote to remain in the EU, across Europe, transnationalism is in retreat, and tribalism is rising.

As the UK Independence Party and half the Tory Party seek to secede from the EU, the Scottish National Party is preparing a new referendum to bring about Scotland’s secession.

The strongest party in France is the National Front of Marine Le Pen. In Austria’s presidential election, Norbert Hofer of Jorg Haider’s Freedom Party came within an eyelash of becoming the first European nationalist head of state since World War II.

The Euroskeptic Law and Justice Party is in power in Warsaw, as is the Fidesz Party of Viktor Orban in Budapest, and the Swiss People’s Party in Bern. The right-wing Sweden Democrats and Danish People’s Party are growing stronger.

In 2015, Merkel, Time’s Person of the Year, admitted a million Middle East refugees. This year, Merkel flipped and paid a huge bribe to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to keep Syrian refugees from crossing the Aegean to the Greek islands and thence into Europe.

In Germany, too, nationalism is resurgent as opposition grows to any new bailouts of the La Dolce Vita nations of Club Med. The populist AfD party has made major strides in German state elections.

While the rightist parties in power and reaching for power are anti-EU, anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant, the secessionist movements roiling Scotland, Spain, Belgium, and Italy seek rather the breakup of the old nations of Europe along ethnonational lines.

By enlisting in these parties of the right, what are the peoples of Europe recoiling from and rebelling against? Answer: The beau ideal of progressives—societies and nations that are multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, and multilingual.

Across Europe, the tribalists are rejecting, in a word, diversity.

And what are they seeking?

God-and-country, blood-and-soil people, they want to live with their own kinfolk, their own kind. They do not believe in economics uber alles. And if democracy will not deliver the kind of country and society they wish to live in, then democracy must be trumped by direct action, by secession.

This is the spirit behind Brexit.

This is the spirit that drove the Irish patriots of 1919, who rose against British rule, though they were departing the greatest empire on earth in its moment of supreme glory after the Great War, to begin life among the smallest and poorest countries in all of Europe.

What is happening in Europe today was predictable and predicted.

At the turn of the century, in The Death of the West, I wrote,

Europe has begun to die. The prognosis is grim. Between 2000 and 2050, world population will grow by more than three billion to over nine billion people, but this 50 percent increase in population will come entirely in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as one hundred million people of European stock vanish from the earth.

Europeans are vanishing, as the peoples of the Maghreb and Middle East, South Asia and the sub-Sahara come to fill the empty spaces left by aging and dying Europeans whose nations once ruled them.

Absent the restoration of border controls across Europe, and warships on permanent station in the Med, can the inexorable invasion be stopped? Or is The Camp of the Saints the future of Europe?

An open question. But if the West is to survive as the unique civilization it has been, its nations must reassume control of their destinies and control of their borders.

Britain ought not to go gentle into that good night the EU has prepared for her. And a great leap to freedom can be taken June 23.

Trooping to the polls, the cousins might recall the words of Vera Lynn, 76 years ago, as the Battle of Britain was engaged:

There’ll always be an England,

And England shall be free,

If England means as much to you

As England means to me.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

17 comments

The Death of Working-Class America

“Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group … death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”

The big new killers of middle-aged white folks? Alcoholic liver disease, overdoses of heroin and opioids, and suicides. So wrote Gina Kolata in the New York Times of a stunning study by the husband-wife team of Nobel laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case.

Deaton could cite but one parallel to this social disaster: “Only H.I.V./AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like this.”

Middle-aged whites are four times as likely as middle-aged blacks to kill themselves. Their fitness levels are falling as they suffer rising levels of physical pain, emotional stress and mental depression, which helps explain the alcohol and drug addiction.

But what explains the social disaster of white Middle America?

First, an economy where, though at or near full employment, a huge slice of the labor force has dropped out. Second, the real wages of working Americans have been nearly stagnant for decades.

Two major contributors to the economic decline of the white working-class: Scores of millions of third-world immigrants, here legally and illegally, who depress U.S. wages, and tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs shipped abroad under the label of “globalization.”

Another factor in the crisis of middle and working class white men is the plunging percentage of those who are married. Where a wife and children give meaning to a man’s life, and to his labors, single white men are not only being left behind by the new economy, they are becoming alienated from society.

“It’s not surprising,” Barack Obama volunteered to his San Francisco high-donors, that such folks, “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”

We all have seen the figure of 72 percent of black children being born out of wedlock. For working class whites, it is up to 40 percent.

A lost generation is growing up all around us.

In the popular culture of the ’40s and ’50s, white men were role models. They were the detectives and cops who ran down gangsters and the heroes who won World War II on the battlefields of Europe and in the islands of the Pacific.

They were doctors, journalists, lawyers, architects and clergy. White males were our skilled workers and craftsmen — carpenters, painters, plumbers, bricklayers, machinists, mechanics.

They were the Founding Fathers, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton, and the statesmen, Webster, Clay and Calhoun.

Lincoln and every president had been a white male. Middle-class white males were the great inventors: Eli Whitney and Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers.

They were the great capitalists: Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan. All the great captains of America’s wars were white males: Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant and John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and George Patton.

What has changed in our culture? Everything.

The world has been turned upside-down for white children. In our schools the history books have been rewritten and old heroes blotted out, as their statues are taken down and their flags are put away.

Children are being taught that America was “discovered” by genocidal white racists, who murdered the native peoples of color, enslaved Africans to do the labor they refused to do, then went out and brutalized and colonized indigenous peoples all over the world.

In Hollywood films and TV shows, working-class white males are regularly portrayed as what was once disparaged as “white trash.”

Republicans are instructed that demography is destiny, that white America is dying, and that they must court Hispanics, Asians and blacks, or go the way of the Whigs.

Since affirmative action for black Americans began in the 1960s, it has been broadened to encompass women, Hispanics, Native Americans the handicapped, indeed, almost 70 percent of the nation.

White males, now down to 31 percent of the population, have become the only Americans against whom it is not only permissible, but commendable, to discriminate.

When our cultural and political elites celebrate “diversity” and clamor for more, what are they demanding, if not fewer white males in the work force and in the freshman classes at Annapolis and Harvard?

What is the moral argument for an affirmative action that justifies unending race discrimination against a declining white working class, who have become the expendables of our multicultural regime?

“Angry white male” is now an acceptable slur in culture and politics. So it is that people of that derided ethnicity, race, and gender see in Donald Trump someone who unapologetically berates and mocks the elites who have dispossessed them, and who despise them.

Is it any surprise that militant anti-government groups attract white males? Is it so surprising that the Donald today, like Jess Willard a century ago, is seen by millions as “The Great White Hope”?

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

28 comments

Why Fight China for Scarborough Shoal?

Aircraft return from Scarborough Shoal interoperability mission. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Aircraft return from Scarborough Shoal interoperability mission. (U.S. Air Force photo)

If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back down, says Aquino, the United States will lose “its moral ascendancy, and also the confidence of one of its allies.”

And what is Scarborough Shoal? A cluster of rocks and reefs, 123 miles west of Subic Bay, that sits astride the passageway out of the South China Sea into the Pacific, and is well within Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Beijing and Manila both claim Scarborough Shoal. But, in June 2013, Chinese ships swarmed and chased off a fleet of Filipino fishing boats and naval vessels. The Filipinos never came back.

And now that China has converted Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef into artificial islands with docks and air bases, Beijing seems about to do the same with Scarborough Shoal. “Scarborough is a red line,” says Gregory Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. To allow China to occupy and militarize the reef “would clearly change the balance of power.”

Really? But before concluding that we must fight to keep China from turning Scarborough Shoal into an island base, there are other considerations.

High among them is that the incoming president of the Philippines, starting June 30, is Rodrigo Duterte, no admirer of America, and a populist authoritarian thug who, as Mayor of Davao, presided over the extrajudicial killing of some 1,000 criminals during the 1990s. Duterte, who has charged Aquino with treason for abandoning Scarborough Shoal, once offered to set aside his country’s claim in exchange for a Chinese-built railroad, then said he might take a jet ski to the reef to assert Manila’s rights, plant a flag and let himself be executed to become a national hero.

In a clash with China, this character would be our ally. Indeed, the rise of Duterte is yet another argument that, when Manila booted us out of Subic Bay at the Cold War’s end, we should have dissolved our mutual security pact.

This June, an international arbitration tribunal in The Hague will rule on Manila’s claims and China’s transgressions on reefs that may not belong to her. Beijing has indicated she will not accept any such decision.

So, the fat is in the fire. And as the Chinese are adamant about their claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands and virtually all the atolls, rocks and reefs in the South China Sea, and are reinforcing their claims by creating artificial islands and bases, the U.S. and China are headed for a collision.

U.S. warships and reconnaissance planes passing near these islets have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese warplanes. Vietnam, too, has a quarrel with China over the Paracels, which is why President Obama is being feted in Hanoi and why he lifted the ban on arms sales. There is now talk of the Navy’s return to Cam Ranh Bay.

But before we agree to support the claims of Manila and Hanoi against China’s claims, and agree to use U.S. air and naval power if needed, we need to ask some hard questions.

What vital interest of ours is imperiled by who owns, or occupies, or militarizes Scarborough Shoal? If U.S. rights of passage in the South China Sea are not impeded by Chinese planes or ships, why make Hanoi’s quarrels and Manila’s quarrels with China our quarrels?

Vietnam and the Philippines are inviting us back to our old Cold War bases for a simple reason. If the Chinese use force to back up their claims, Hanoi and Manila want us to fight China for them.

But, other than a major war, what would be in it for us? And if, after such a war, we have driven the Chinese off these islets and destroyed those bases, how long would we be required to defend them for Hanoi and Manila? Have we not enough war guarantees outstanding?

We are moving NATO and U.S. troops into Eastern Europe and anti-missile missiles into Poland and Romania, antagonizing Russia. We are fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen, and, if the neocons get their way, we will soon be confronting Iran again. Meanwhile, North Korea is testing nuclear warheads for long-range missiles that can reach the American homeland.

And no vital U.S. interest of ours is imperiled in the South China Sea. Should Beijing insanely decide to disrupt commercial traffic in that sea, the response is not to send a U.S. carrier strike group to blast their artificial islands off the map.

Better that we impose a 10 percent tariff on Chinese-made goods, and threaten an embargo of all Chinese goods if they do not stand down. And call on our “allies” to join us in sanctions against China, rather than sit and hold our coat while we fight their wars.

This economic action would send China’s economy into a tailspin, and the cost to Americans would not be reckoned in the lives of our best and bravest.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

25 comments

Free Trade vs. the Republican Party

Panom / Shutterstock
Panom / Shutterstock

In his coquettish refusal to accept the Donald, Paul Ryan says he cannot betray the conservative “principles” of the party of Abraham Lincoln, high among which is a devotion to free trade. But when did free trade become dogma in the Party of Lincoln?

As early as 1832, young Abe declared, “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank … and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles.” Campaigning in 1844, Lincoln declared, “Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”

Abe’s openness to a protective tariff in 1860 enabled him to carry Pennsylvania and the nation. As I wrote in “The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy” in 1998: “The Great Emancipator was the Great Protectionist.”

During his presidency, Congress passed and Abe signed 10 tariff bills. Lincoln inaugurated the Republican Party tradition of economic nationalism. Vermont’s Justin Morrill, who shepherded GOP tariff bills through Congress from 1860 to 1898, declared, “I am for ruling America, for the benefit, first, of Americans, and for the ‘rest of mankind’ afterwards.”

In 1890, Republicans enacted the McKinley Tariff that bore the name of that chairman of ways and means and future president. “Open competition between high-paid American labor and poorly paid European labor,” warned Cong. William McKinley, “will either drive out of existence American industry or lower American wages.”

Too few Republicans of McKinley’s mindset sat in Congress when NAFTA and MFN for China were being enacted.

In the 1895 “History of the Republican Party,” the authors declare, “the Republican Party … is the party of protection … that carries the banner of protection proudly.” Under protectionist policies from 1865 to 1900, U.S. debt was cut by two-thirds. Customs duties provided 58 percent of revenue. Save for President Cleveland’s 2 percent tax, which was declared unconstitutional, there was no income tax. Commodity prices fell 58 percent. Real wages, despite a doubling of the population, rose 53 percent. Growth in GDP averaged over 4 percent a year. Industrial production rose almost 5 percent a year.

The U.S. began the era with half of Britain’s production, and ended it with twice Britain’s production. In McKinley’s first term, the economy grew 7 percent a year. After his assassination, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took over. His reaction to Ryan’s free-trade ideology? In a word, disgust.

“Pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce fatty degeneration of the moral fibre,” wrote the Rough Rider, “I thank God I am not a free trader.”

When the GOP returned to power after President Wilson, they enacted the Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922. For the next five years, the economy grew 7 percent a year. While the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, signed eight months after the Crash of ’29, was blamed for the Depression, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman ferreted out the real perp, the Federal Reserve.

Every Republican platform from 1884 to 1944 professed the party’s faith in protection. Free trade was introduced by the party of Woodrow Wilson and FDR. Our modern free-trade era began with the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Among the eight no votes in the Senate were Barry Goldwater and Prescott Bush.

Even in recent crises, Republican presidents have gone back to the economic nationalism of their Grand Old Party. With the Brits coming for our gold and Japanese imports piling up, President Nixon in 1971 closed the gold window and imposed a 10 percent tariff on Japanese goods. Ronald Reagan slapped a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles being dumped here to kill Harley-Davidson, then put quotas on Japanese auto imports, and on steel and machine tools. Reagan was a conservative of the heart. Though a free trader, he always put America first.

What, then, does history teach?

The economic nationalism and protectionism of Hamilton, Madison, Jackson, and Henry Clay, and the Party of Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge, of all four presidents on Mount Rushmore, made America the greatest and most self-sufficient republic in history.

And the free-trade, one-worldism of Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama enabled Communist China to shoulder us aside us and become the world’s No. 1 manufacturing power.

Like Britain, after free-trade was adopted in the mid-19th century, when scribblers like David Ricardo, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill, and evangelists like Richard Cobden dazzled political elites with their visions of the future, America has been in a long steady decline.

If we look more and more like the British Empire in its twilight years, it is because we were converted to the same free-trade faith that was dismissed as utopian folly by the men who made America. Where in the history of great nations—Britain before 1850, the USA, Bismarck’s Germany, postwar Japan and China today—has nationalism not been the determinant factor in economic policy?

Speaker Ryan should read more history and less Ayn Rand.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

27 comments

Romney’s Third-Party Delusion

Maria Dryfhout / Shutterstock.com

“It’s a suicide mission,” said the Republican Party Chairman.

Reince Priebus was commenting on a Washington Post story about Mitt Romney and William Kristol’s plot to recruit a third-party conservative candidate to sink Donald Trump.

Several big-name Republican “consultants” and “strategists” are said to be on board. Understandably so, given the bucks involved. With the kind of cash that sloshes around in a presidential campaign, there should be no shortage of super PAC parasites at the enlistment office.

Still missing, however, is the kamikaze pilot who gets just enough fuel to make it out to the fleet. Efforts to recruit Sen. Ben Sasse, loudest of the “Never Trump” leaders, appear to have foundered. Second thoughts set in this weekend when the Nebraska State Republican Convention voted thunderously to chastise Sasse for persisting in his anti-Trump antics, now that the Republican nominee has been decided by the voters.

Among others sounded out for the mission are ex-Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks. All have begged off.

Apparently, Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee, personally sounded out both Sasse and Gov. John Kasich, who will be hosting the Cleveland Convention where the coronation of the Donald is to be held. How Kasich could expect to beat Trump in November, when he lost every state primary to Trump, save his own, is unexplained. And, indeed, Romney’s recruitment of Kasich raises a question.

If Romney believes that Trump is an unacceptable nominee and would be an intolerable president, and that Republicans have a moral obligation to prevent this, why does Romney not man up and take on the assignment himself? Now, admittedly, Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, where Romney attended, does not have a long tradition of producing suicide bombers. Yet, Romney is asking others to undertake a mission that will kill their careers and make them pariahs in their party, but will not do it himself.

His father shared Romney’s mindset: If the voters have made a mistake, you are not obligated to support it. Just days after Sen. Barry Goldwater locked up the Republican nomination in the California primary, Gov. George Romney was at the Cleveland governors conference plotting to stop him.

Richard Nixon arrived to encourage Romney to step out onto the tracks in front of the Goldwater express. Romney thought better of taking Nixon’s counsel. But he did join Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in denouncing his own party for coddling extremists, and refused to endorse Goldwater, as son Mitt is refusing to endorse Trump. It was after that Cleveland Convention that Nixon ruefully told me, “Buchanan, whenever you hear of a group forming up to stop X, be sure to put your money on X.”

In 1968, George Romney was so far behind Nixon in the early polls he dropped out, two weeks before New Hampshire. Though he quit the race, at the Republican Convention in Miami Beach, he allowed his name to be put in nomination for vice president, to protest Nixon’s selection of Spiro T. Agnew.

Agnew crushed him. But whatever you say about the political savvy of George Romney, he was stubborn as a bull in his convictions, and he had the courage to go down to defeat fighting for them. Son Mitt, however, is pushing others into doing what he will not do.

Why is Priebus right when he calls the entry of a third-party conservative in the presidential race a “suicide mission”? Such a candidate would siphon off votes that would otherwise go to Trump, bring down the ticket, and result in Hillary Clinton becoming the 45th president.

That would mean the next three justices on the Supreme Court would be in the tradition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. And that would mean Roe v. Wade would never be overturned, affirmative action would be forever, and the social revolution that declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right would roll on.

A Clinton presidency would also mean Obamacare is forever.

The Romney-Kristol collusion thus overlaps nicely with the interests of the Clinton campaign and the agenda of the Beltway media elite. By scheming to divide the Republican base, they are colluding to bring about the defeat of the Republican Party. And that means Bill and Hillary Clinton back in the White House.

In 1980, Republican Congressman John Anderson, defeated by Ronald Reagan in the primaries, refused to endorse him, and ran as a third-party candidate. As of June, Anderson had 24 percent of the vote and Reagan was losing to President Carter. Fortunately, as Anderson moved left, he began to sink and draw as much from Carter as from Reagan.

What the Never Trump folks refuse to face is this transparent reality:

Either Trump or Clinton is going to be the next president. To the degree they succeed in wounding or killing Trump’s candidacy, they advance Clinton’s chances of succeeding Obama.

The Romney-Kristol cabal is Hillary Clinton’s fifth column inside the Republican Party.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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How Parties Are Revitalized

GoldwaterTrump

“No modern precedent exists for the revival of a party so badly defeated, so intensely discredited, and so essentially split as the Republican Party is today.”

Taken from The Party That Lost Its Head by Bruce Chapman and George Gilder, this excerpt, about Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, led Thursday’s column by E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post. Dionne is warning what could happen if the GOP perpetrates the political atrocity of nominating Donald Trump.

For weeks now, the Post‘s editorial page has sermonized about the “moral” obligation of all righteous Republicans to repudiate Trump. The Post‘s solicitude for the well-being of the Republican Party is the stuff of legend. Yet it is a bit jarring to see these champions of abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and visitation rights for cross-dressers in the girls’ room, standing in a pulpit lecturing on morality.

Yet, there was something off about that Chapman-Gilder quote.

First, both were members of the Harvard-based, Rockefeller-backed, liberal Ripon Society. Second, their prognosis of the party’s future proved to be spectacularly wrong.

The year, 1966, their book on the headless GOP appeared, to press hosannas, Richard Nixon led the party to its greatest off-year victory since 1946, adding 47 new seats in the House. Two years later, Nixon won the presidency, inaugurating an era in which Republicans won five out of six presidential contests, two by 49-state landslides.

Out of Goldwater’s defeat came the New Majority and Reagan Revolution. And Chapman and Gilder moved rightward to serve with distinction in that revolution.

The prodigal sons were welcomed home, and Gilder would recant:

The far Right — the same men I dismissed as extremists in my youth — turned out to know far more than I did. At least the ‘right-wing extremists,’ as I confidently called them, were right on almost every major policy issue from welfare to Vietnam to Keynesian economics and defense…

While the Goldwater campaign, as an insurgency of outsiders, bears comparison with Trump’s, in other ways it does not.

Goldwater never compiled anything near the vote that Trump did. At this point in 1964, Goldwater was behind Johnson 79-18 in the Gallup poll. Trump is behind Hillary Clinton by single digits. New polls have him running even in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Now, consider the issues comparison with 1964.

In July 1964, Johnson signed the popular Civil Rights Act that Goldwater had opposed. The GOP Convention in San Francisco revealed a deeply divided party, subject to the charge, validated by the rule-or-ruin Rockefeller-Romney faction, that it was receptive to right-wing radicals.

Lyndon Johnson’s decision to bomb North Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident made him a war leader, and Americans rally to presidents in a time of war.

In 2016, however, Trump holds a fistful of face cards. After eight years of President Obama, he is the candidate of change in 2016, and Clinton is the candidate of same.

Trump may bring more excitement than some folks can handle. But Clinton has become a crashing bore, until she gets agitated, and then the voice rises to where she sounds like the siren on the hook-and-ladder in “Chicago Fire.”

Other than that she would be the first woman president, what is there about her or her agenda that has popular appeal? That lack of appeal explains why her crowds are a fraction of Bernie Sanders’.

The Clinton of 2016 is not the Clinton of 2008.

As for the issues dividing Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump appears to have won the argument, if the debate is decided by voter preferences rather than Beltway preferences.

Trump’s denunciation of NAFTA and other “free-trade” deals Ryan supports is echoed by Sanders, who opposed those deals when they were up for a vote. Hillary Clinton no longer rhapsodizes over husband Bill’s NAFTA, and signals she will not support Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame-duck session.

Ryan professes to be a man of principle. Why does he not then stand by his principles, as Goldwater did, and bring up TPP for a vote? Is Paul Ryan’s “immigration reform” package as popular inside his party as Trump’s tough line? It would seem not. The longer the primaries went on, the closer the other GOP candidates moved toward Trump. And if Ryan believes in it on principle, why not bring it up?

Ryan voted for the Iraq War that Trump calls a disaster. The people seem now to agree with Trump that the war was misconceived.

Thursday’s Post reported that, five years ago, Ryan stood on the House floor to declare, “This is our defining moment.” And what was Ryan’s defining moment?

“On that day in 2011,” said the Post, “the House’s new GOP majority approved Ryan’s budget plan — which …called for cuts in a government program that voters knew and loved: Medicare.

“Ryan … wanted eventually to turn the massive health-benefit program over to private insurers.”

Come to think of it, Barry Goldwater wanted to turn Social Security over to private enterprise. How did that one work out?

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

12 comments

Paul Ryan’s Unrighteous Rebellion

Forty-eight hours after Donald Trump wrapped up the Republican nomination with a smashing victory in the Indiana primary, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he could not yet support Trump.

In millennial teen-talk, Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.”

“[T]he bulk of the burden of unifying the party” falls on Trump, added Ryan. Trump must unify “all wings of the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.” Trump must run a campaign that we can “be proud to support and proud to be a part of.”

Then, maybe, our Hamlet of the House can be persuaded to support the elected nominee of his own party. Excuse me, but upon what meat has this our Caesar fed?

Ryan is a congressman from Wisconsin. He has never won a statewide election. As number two on Mitt Romney’s ticket, he got waxed by Joe Biden. He was compromise choice as speaker, only after John Boehner went into in his Brer Rabbit “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” routine.

Who made Ryan the conscience of conservatism? Who made Ryan keeper of the keys of true Republicanism?

Trump “inherits something … that’s very special to a lot of us,” said Ryan, “the party of Lincoln and Reagan and Jack Kemp.” But Trump did not “inherit” anything. He won the nomination of the Republican Party in an epic battle in the most wide-open race ever, in which Trump generated the largest turnout and greatest vote totals in the history of Republican primaries.

What is Ryan up to?

He is pandering to the Trump-hating Beltway media and claiming the leadership of a Republican establishment routed and repudiated in the primaries, not only by that half of the party that voted for Trump, but also by that huge slice of the party that voted for Ted Cruz.

The hubris here astonishes. A Republican establishment that has been beaten as badly as Carthage in the Third Punic War is now making demands on Scipio Africanus and the victorious Romans.

This is difficult to absorb. Someone should instruct Paul Ryan that losers do not make demands. They make requests. They make pleas.

What makes Ryan’s demands more astonishing is that he is the designated chairman of the Republican National Convention, a majority of whose delegates and whose nomination Trump is about to win. Ryan is saying he is ambivalent over whether he will accept the verdict of the Cleveland convention—of which he is the chairman.

If Ryan holds to his refusal to accept the decision of the Republican majority in the primaries, he should be removed from that role. And if Ryan does not come out of Thursday’s meeting with the Donald, endorsing him, the presumptive nominee should turn to Paul Ryan, and, in two words, tell him, “You’re fired!”

Trump cannot allow the establishment to claw back in the cloakrooms of Capitol Hill what he won on a political battlefield. He cannot allow a discredited establishment to dictate the issues he may run on. That would be a betrayal of the troops who brought Trump victory after victory in the primaries.

To longtime students of politics, there is rarely anything new under the sun. And there is precedent for the shakedown Ryan and his Beltway collaborators are trying to do to Trump. Paul Ryan is the Nelson Rockefeller of his generation.

In 1960, Gov. Rockefeller refused to challenge Vice President Nixon in the primaries. When Nixon went to Rockefeller’s New York apartment to persuade him to join the ticket, Rocky refused, but demanded concessions in the platform, to which Nixon acceded.

The Chicago convention, a Nixon convention, believed itself betrayed by the “Pact of Fifth Avenue.” Only the appearance of Sen. Barry Goldwater at the podium to tell conservatives to “grow up. We can take this party back,” halted a suicidal drive to take the nomination away from Nixon.

After Goldwater won the nomination in the 1964 California primary by defeating Rockefeller, Rocky arrived at the San Francisco convention to demand that a plank equating the John Birch Society with the Communist Party and Ku Klux Klan be written into Goldwater’s platform. Hooted and rejected, Rocky went home and refused to endorse the nominee, who went down to a crushing defeat by LBJ.

Nixon, a party loyalist, campaigned across the country for Barry and his doomed party.

In 1968, Nixon got his reward, the nomination, with Goldwater’s support. And Govs. Rockefeller and George Romney, who had done the Paul Ryan thing, never came close. Rockefeller got what he deserved when the Reaganite heirs of Barry Goldwater, at Kansas City in 1976, demanded the dumping of Rocky from President Ford’s ticket. And they got it.

Paul Ryan, in declaring that he cannot now support Trump, and imposing conditions to earn his support, has crawled out on a long limb. Trump cannot capitulate. He has to saw it off.

This is one Private Ryan we cannot save.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Republicans Reject Bush (at Last)

“The two living Republican past presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, have no plans to endorse Trump, according to their spokesmen.” So said the lead story in the Washington Post.

Graceless, yes, but not unexpected. The Bushes have many fine qualities. Losing well, however, is not one of them. And they have to know, whether they concede it or not, that Trump’s triumph is a sweeping repudiation of Bush Republicanism by the same party that nominated them four times for the presidency.

Not only was son and brother, Jeb, humiliated and chased out of the race early, but Trump won his nomination by denouncing as rotten to the core the primary fruits of signature Bush policies.

Twelve million aliens are here illegally, said Trump, because the Bushes failed to secure America’s borders. America has run up $12 trillion in trade deficits and been displaced as the world’s first manufacturing power by China, said Trump, because of the lousy trade deals backed by Bush Republicans.

The greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, said Trump, was the Bush II decision to invade Iraq to disarm it of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. The war Bush began, says Trump, produced 5,000 American dead, scores of thousands wounded, trillions of dollars wasted, and a Middle East sunk in civil-sectarian war, chaos, and fanaticism.

That is a savage indictment of the Bush legacy. And a Republican electorate, in the largest turnout in primary history, nodded, “Amen to that, brother!” No matter who wins in November, there is no going back for the GOP.

Can anyone think the Republican Party can return to open borders or new free-trade agreements like NAFTA? Can anyone believe another U.S. Army, like the ones Bush I and Bush II sent into Afghanistan and Iraq, will be mounted up and march to remake another Middle East country in America’s image?

Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom are history.

What the Trump campaign revealed, as Republicans and even Democrats moved toward him on trade, immigration and foreign policy, is that Bush Republicanism and neoconservatism not only suffered a decisive defeat, they had a sword run right through them. They are as dead as emperor-worship in Japan.

Trump won the nomination, he won the argument, and he won the debate. The party is now with Trump—on the issues. For GOP elites, there can be no going back to what the grass roots rejected.

What does this suggest for Trump himself?

While he ought to keep an open door to those he defeated, the greatest mistake he could make would be to seek the support of the establishment he crushed by compromising on the issues that brought out his crowds and brought him his victories and nomination.

Given Trump’s negatives, the Beltway punditocracy is writing him off, warning that Trump either comes to terms with the establishment on the issues, or he is gone for good. History teaches otherwise.

Hubert Humphrey closed a 15-point gap in the Gallup poll on Oct. 1 to reach a 43-43 photo finish with Richard Nixon in 1968. President Gerald Ford was down 33 points to Jimmy Carter in mid-July 1976, but lost by only 2 points on Election Day. In February 1980, Ronald Reagan was 29 points behind Jimmy Carter, whom he would crush 51-41 in a 44-state landslide. Gov. Michael Dukakis left his Atlanta convention 17 points ahead of Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988. Five weeks later, Labor Day, Bush had an eight-point lead he never lost, and swept 40 states.

What this suggests is extraordinary volatility of the electorate in the modern age. As this year has shown, that has not changed.

How then should Trump proceed?

Unify the party, to the degree he can, by keeping an open door to the defeated and offering a hand in friendship to all who wish to join his ranks, while refusing to compromise the issues that got him where he is. If the Bushes and neocons wish to depart, let them go.

Lest we forget, Congressman John Anderson, who lost to Reagan in the primaries, bolted the party and won 7 percent of the national vote. Ted Cruz, who won more states and votes than all other Trump rivals put together, should be offered a prime-time speaking slot at Cleveland—in return for endorsing the Trump ticket.

As the vice presidential nominee remains the only drama left, Trump should hold off announcing his choice until closer to Cleveland.

For while that decision will leave one person elated, it will leave scores despondent. And the longer Trump delays his announcement, the more that those who see themselves as a future vice president will be praising him, or at least holding off from attacking him.

Ultimately, the Great Unifier upon whom the Republican Party may reliably depend is the nominee of the Democratic Party—Director James Comey and his FBI consenting—Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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Who Started the Second Cold War?

Photo by Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks. Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.

Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.

Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border. “The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the border with a lot of troops,” says Work, who calls this “extraordinarily provocative behavior.”

But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia “provocative,” while U.S. troops on Russia’s front porch are not? And before we ride this escalator up to a clash, we had best check our hole card.

Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic. But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.

Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it.

Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States, Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, “I believe that Russia is.”

He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.

The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view.

When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.

Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia.

By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations. By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were gone.

The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.

For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Great Britain.

Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself.

He now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics—Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine—into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.

After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine’s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup. He has seen U.S.-funded “color-coded” revolutions try to dump over friendly regimes all across his “near abroad.”

“Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership,” says NATO commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, “but has chosen a path of belligerence.” But why should Putin see NATO’s inexorable eastward march as an extended “hand of partnership”?

Had we lost the Cold War and Russian spy planes began to patrol off Pensacola, Norfolk and San Diego, how would U.S. F-16 pilots have reacted? If we awoke to find Mexico, Canada, Cuba, and most of South America in a military alliance against us, welcoming Russian bases and troops, would we regard that as “the hand of partnership”?

We are reaping the understandable rage and resentment of the Russian people over how we exploited Moscow’s retreat from empire. Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our “unipolar moment,” to play the “great game” of empire and seek “benevolent global hegemony”?

If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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A Return to the National Interest

Darron Birgenheier / Flickr
Darron Birgenheier / Flickr

Whether the establishment likes it or not, and it evidently does not, there is a revolution going on in America.

The old order in this capital city is on the way out, America is crossing a great divide, and there is no going back.

Donald Trump’s triumphant march to the nomination in Cleveland, virtually assured by his five-state sweep Tuesday, confirms it, as does his foreign policy address of Wednesday.

Two minutes into his speech before the Center for the National Interest, Trump declared that the “major and overriding theme” of his administration will be — “America first.” Right down the smokestack!

Gutsy and brazen it was to use that phrase, considering the demonization of the great anti-war movement of 1940-41, which was backed by the young patriots John F. Kennedy and his brother Joe, Gerald Ford and Sargent Shriver, and President Hoover and Alice Roosevelt.

Whether the issue is trade, immigration or foreign policy, says Trump, “we are putting the American people first again.” U.S. policy will be dictated by U.S. national interests.

By what he castigated, and what he promised, Trump is repudiating both the fruits of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, and the legacy of Bush Republicanism and neoconservatism.

When Ronald Reagan went home, says Trump, “our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which ended in one foreign policy disaster after another.”

He lists the results of 15 years of Bush-Obama wars in the Middle East: civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans killed, trillions of dollars lost, a vacuum created that ISIS has filled.

Is he wrong here? How have all of these wars availed us? Where is the “New World Order” of which Bush I rhapsodized at the U.N.?

Can anyone argue that our interventions to overthrow regimes and erect democratic states in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen have succeeded and been worth the price we have paid in blood and treasure, and the devastation we have left in our wake?

George W. Bush declared that America’s goal would become “to end tyranny in our world.” An utterly utopian delusion, to which Trump retorts by recalling John Quincy Adams’ views on America: “She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

To the neocons’ worldwide crusade for democracy, Trump’s retort is that it was always a “dangerous idea” to think “we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming Western democracies.”

We are “overextended,” he declared, “We must rebuild our military.” Our NATO allies have been freeloading for half a century. NAFTA was a lousy deal. In running up $4 trillion in trade surpluses since Bush I, the Chinese have been eating our lunch.

This may be rankest heresy to America’s elites, but Trump outlines a foreign policy past generations would have recognized as common sense: Look out for your own country and your own people first.

Instead of calling President Putin names, Trump says he would talk to the Russians to “end the cycle of hostility,” if he can.

“Ronald Reagan must be rolling over in his grave,” sputtered Sen. Lindsey Graham, who quit the race to avoid a thrashing by the Donald in his home state of South Carolina.

But this writer served in Reagan’s White House, and the Gipper was always seeking a way to get the Russians to negotiate. He leapt at the chance for a summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva and Reykjavik.

“Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war,” says Trump, “unlike other candidates, war and aggression will not be my first instinct.”

Is that not an old and good Republican tradition?

Dwight Eisenhower ended the war in Korea and kept us out of any other. Richard Nixon ended the war in Vietnam, negotiated arms agreements with Moscow, and made an historic journey to open up Mao’s China.

Reagan used force three times in eight years. He put Marines in Lebanon, liberated Grenada and sent FB-111s over Tripoli to pay Col. Gadhafi back for bombing a Berlin discotheque full of U.S. troops.

Reagan later believed putting those Marines in Lebanon, where 241 were massacred, to be the worst mistake of his presidency.

Military intervention for reasons of ideology or nation building is not an Eisenhower or Nixon or Reagan tradition. It is not a Republican tradition. It is a Bush II-neocon deformity, an aberration that proved disastrous for the United States and the Middle East.

The New York Times headline declared that Trump’s speech was full of “Paradoxes,” adding, “Calls to Fortify Military and to Use It Less.”

But isn’t that what Reagan did? Conduct the greatest military buildup since Ike, then, from a position of strength, negotiate with Moscow a radical reduction in nuclear arms?

“We’re getting out of the nation-building business,” says Trump.

“The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.” No more surrenders of sovereignty on the altars of “globalism.”

Is that not a definition of a patriotism that too many among our arrogant elites believe belongs to yesterday?

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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The West Dies With Its Gods

In a recent column Dennis Prager made an acute observation. “The vast majority of leading conservative writers … have a secular outlook on life. … They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.”

These secular conservatives may think that “America can survive the death of God and religion,” writes Prager, but they are wrong. And, indeed, the last half-century seems to bear him out.

A people’s religion, their faith, creates their culture, and their culture creates their civilization. And when faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people begin to die.  Is this not the recent history of the West?

Today, no great Western nation has a birthrate that will prevent the extinction of its native-born. By century’s end, other peoples and other cultures will have largely repopulated the Old Continent.

European Man seems destined to end like the 10 lost tribes of Israel—overrun, assimilated, and disappeared. And while the European peoples—Russians, Germans, Brits, Balts—shrink in number, the U.N. estimates that the population of Africa will double in 34 years to well over 2 billion people.

What happened to the West? As G. K. Chesterton wrote, when men cease to believe in God, they do not then believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

As European elites ceased to believe in Christianity, they began to convert to ideologies, to what Dr. Russell Kirk called “secular religions.” For a time, these secular religions—Marxism-Leninism, fascism, Nazism—captured the hearts and minds of millions. But almost all were among the gods that failed in the 20th century.

Now Western Man embraces the newer religions: egalitarianism, democratism, capitalism, feminism, One Worldism, environmentalism. These, too, give meaning to the lives of millions, but these, too, are inadequate substitutes for the faith that created the West.

For they lack what Christianity gave man—a cause not only to live for, and die for, but a moral code to live by, with the promise that, at the end a life so lived, would come eternal life. Islam, too, holds out that promise. Secularism, however, has nothing on offer to match that hope.

Looking back over the centuries, we see what faith has meant.

When, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the West embraced Christianity as a faith superior to all others, as its founder was the Son of God, the West went on to create modern civilization, and then went out and conquered most of the known world.

The truths America has taught the world, of an inherent human dignity and worth, and inviolable human rights, are traceable to a Christianity that teaches that every person is a child of God. Today, however, with Christianity virtually dead in Europe and slowly dying in America, Western culture grows debased and decadent, and Western civilization is in visible decline.

Rudyard Kipling prophesied all this in “Recessional”: “Far-called our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday/Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!”

All the Western empires are gone, and the children of once-subject peoples cross the Mediterranean to repopulate the mother countries, whose native-born have begun to age, shrink and die.

Since 1975, only two European nations, Muslim Albania and Iceland, have maintained a birthrate sufficient to keep their peoples alive. Given the shrinking populations inside Europe and the waves of immigrants rolling in from Africa and the Middle and Near East, an Islamic Europe seems to be in the cards before the end of the century.

Vladimir Putin, who witnessed the death of Marxism-Leninism up close, appears to understand the cruciality of Christianity to Mother Russia, and seeks to revive the Orthodox Church and write its moral code back into Russian law.

And what of America, “God’s country”?

With Christianity excommunicated from her schools and public life for two generations, and Old and New Testament teachings rejected as a basis of law, we have witnessed a startlingly steep social decline.

Since the 1960s, America has set new records for abortions, violent crimes, incarcerations, drug consumption. While HIV/AIDS did not appear until the 1980s, hundreds of thousands have perished from it, and millions now suffer from it and related diseases.

Forty percent of U.S. births are out of wedlock. For Hispanics, the illegitimacy rate is over 50 percent; for African-Americans, it’s over 70 percent. Test scores of U.S. high school students fall annually and approach parity with Third World countries. Suicide is a rising cause of death for middle-aged whites.

Secularism seems to have no answer to the question, “Why not?”

“How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure,” wrote Samuel Johnson. Secular conservatives may have remedies for some of America’s maladies. But, as Johnson observed, no secular politics can cure the sickness of the soul of the West—a lost faith that appears irretrievable.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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In Defense of Andrew Jackson

In Samuel Eliot Morison’s The Oxford History of the American People, there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman. “An illiterate field hand, (Tubman) not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom.”

Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in American history, save Washington, that pivotal figure between the Founding Fathers and the Civil War—Andrew Jackson.

Slashed by a British officer in the Revolution, and a POW at 14, the orphaned Jackson went west, rose to head up the Tennessee militia, crushed an Indian uprising at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in the War of 1812, then was ordered to New Orleans to defend the threatened city. In one of the greatest victories in American history, memorialized in song, Jackson routed a British army and aborted a British scheme to seize New Orleans, close the Mississippi, and split the Union.

In 1818, ordered to clean out renegade Indians rampaging in Georgia, Jackson stormed into Florida, seized and hanged two British agitators, put the Spanish governor on a boat to Cuba, and claimed Florida for the USA. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams closed the deal. Florida was ours, and Jacksonville is among its great cities.

Though he ran first in popular and electoral votes in 1824, Jackson was denied the presidency by the “corrupt bargain” of Adams and Henry Clay, who got secretary of state. Jackson came back to win the presidency in 1828, recognized the Texas republic of his old subaltern Sam Houston, who had torn it from Mexico, and saw his vice president elected after his two terms.

He ended his life at his beloved Hermitage, pushing for the annexation of Texas and nomination of “dark horse” James K. Polk, who would seize the Southwest and California from Mexico and almost double the size of the Union.

Was Jackson responsible for the Cherokees’ “Trail of Tears”? Yes. And Harry Truman did Hiroshima, and Winston Churchill did Dresden.

Great men are rarely good men, and Jackson was a Scots-Irish duelist, Indian fighter, and slave owner. But then, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe were slave owners before him.

To remove his portrait from the front of the $20 bill, and replace it with Tubman’s, is affirmative action that approaches the absurd. Whatever one’s admiration for Tubman and her cause, she is not the figure in history Jackson was.

Indeed, if the fight against slavery is the greatest cause in our history, why not honor John Brown, hanged for his raid on Harper’s Ferry to start a revolution to free the slaves, after he butchered slave owners in “Bleeding Kansas”? John Brown was the real deal.

But replacing Jackson with Tubman is not the only change coming.

The back of the $5 bill will soon feature Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, and opera singer Marian Anderson, who performed at the Lincoln Memorial after being kept out of segregated Constitution Hall in 1939. That act of race discrimination came during the second term of FDR, Eleanor’s husband and the liberal icon who named Klansman Hugo Black to the Supreme Court and put 110,000 Japanese into concentration camps.

And, lest we forget, while Abraham Lincoln remains on the front of the $5 bill, the war he launched cost 620,000 dead, and his beliefs in white supremacy and racial separatism were closer to those of David Duke than Dr. King.

Alexander Hamilton, the architect of the American economy, will stay on the $10 bill, due in part to the intervention of hip-hop artists from the popular musical, “Hamilton,” in New York. But Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, who fought for women’s suffrage, will be put on the back of the $10. While Anthony and Stanton appear in Morison’s history, Sojourner Truth does not.

Added up, while dishonoring Andrew Jackson, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is putting on the U.S. currency six women—three white, three African-American—and King. No Catholics, no conservatives, no Hispanics, no white males were apparently even considered.

This is affirmative action raised to fanaticism, a celebration of President Obama’s views and values, and a recasting of our currency to make Obama’s constituents happy at the expense of America’s greatest heroes and historic truth. Leftist role models for American kids now take precedence over the history of our Republic in those we honor.

While King already has a holiday and monument in D.C., were the achievements of any of these six women remotely comparable to what the six men honored on our currency—Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson, President Grant, and Ben Franklin—achieved?

Whatever may be said for Eleanor Roosevelt, compared to her husband, she is an inconsequential figure in American history.

In the dystopian novel, 1984, Winston Smith labors in the Ministry of Truth, dropping down the “memory hole” stories that must be rewritten to re-indoctrinate the party and proles in the new history, as determined by Big Brother. Jack Lew would have fit right in there.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the new book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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