Commentators have lately begun to point up parallels between the presidency of George W. Bush and that of his father. Both enjoyed extraordinary approval in their
third years after triumphs over Saddam Hussein. Both began to slide due to a sickly economy. Both won office on Reaganite rhetoric. But both then left themselves open to a populist revolt by embracing the counterfeit conservatism of the Wall Street Journal.
In 1992, Ross Perot tore off a third of the Reagan coalition, leaving George H. W. with the smallest share of the presidential popular vote in 80 years. Were the son to face a third-party challenge from the Right, he too would be going home after one term.
The mega-issues on which the Bushes abandoned conservatism for the Hong Kong values of the Wall Street Journal are free-trade globalism, open-borders immigration, and Wilsonian interventionism.
Unlike the patriarch Sen. Prescott Bush, George H. W. and his son are free traders who simply cannot see the industrial ruin before them from a decade of NAFTA, GATT, MFN for Beijing, and U.S. subordination to the Yankee-baiting Eurocrats of the WTO.
But the returns from 10 years of free trade are in. America is running huge trade deficits with Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, and the EU. Manufacturing jobs have been disappearing at the rate of 83,000 a month every month Bush has been in office. Under George W., one in every six manufacturing jobs has vanished.Is there no amount of bleeding of jobs that will jolt Mr. Bush into grasping that the Journal’s free-trade fanaticism is denuding his country of its industrial base and could kill his presidency, as it did his father’s?The second issue is immigration. For years, the Journal has pushed to amend the U.S. Constitution to read, “There shall be open borders.” The Journal wants to tie the hands of the President and Congress to guarantee that the Third World invasion of America is unstoppable. Yet, mass immigration is bankrupting California, as millions of poor immigrants have poured in and millions of middle-class Californians have fled to Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho.
Ten million illegal aliens now live here. Their crime rates and social-service demands are higher and tax payments far lower than those of our native-born. As California is fast becoming a Third World state, America is becoming a Third World country. Why is President Bush welcoming this radical transformation of America into a giant replica of the UN General Assembly? What was so wrong with the country we grew up in?Can the Bushites not see the consequences of blindly following Journal ideology? The Clintonites could. They evaded the law to get millions of Latinos naturalized and registered. In 1996, it paid off. First-time Hispanic voters went 91 percent against Dole-Kemp.The third issue on which Bush II has embraced Journal neoconservatism is foreign policy. For a decade after Desert Storm, containment had worked with Saddam. Iraq had not invaded a neighbor nor launched a single terror attack against Americans.Yet, no sooner had the World Trade Center towers fallen than the Journal was shrieking for strikes on “terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.” This was warmongering. None of these countries had anything to do with 9/11.After the overthrow of the Taliban, the Journal began beating the drums for the war it always wanted and the cause it never abandoned: “On to Baghdad!” Impose a “MacArthur Regency”! Now we have Baghdad and the Bremer Regency. And if Mr. Bush cannot extricate us from this new war of suicide bombings and sniper shootings we warned him would follow a U.S. invasion, he may not be re-elected.What President Bush and many conservatives do not realize is that the Wall Street Journal is to true conservatism what Eisner is to Disney, a cow bird that flew in to sit on the nest another bird built.Journal editor emeritus Robert Bartley once told author Peter Brimelow, “I think the nation-state is finished.” In June, Bartley flew to Italy for the 10th Santa Colomba Conference hosted by Journal guru Robert Mundell. Topic: “Does the Global Economy Need a Global Currency?”
“World money, with a world central bank, seems a next logical step,” chirps Bartley, who dreams of a New World Order currency replacing the U.S. dollar. Yet, as Margaret Thatcher told this writer, a nation that gives up its currency gives up its sovereignty and independence.
Time to say it: Loyalty to the New World Order is treason to the Republic. But why is Bush blindly following the counsel of faux conservatives leading him down a path that ends in the abolition of America? Why, Mr. President?
November 3, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative