Pat Buchanan: anti-imperialist?
Source Louis Proyect
Date 99/09/01/11:21

From The Nation, September 20, 1999 (

Buchanan Breaks Ranks

In Washington, a city in which (to borrow a phrase from Virginia Woolf) all
is gossip, corruption and chatter, the end-of-summer buzz has been about
Pat Buchanan and whether he'll bolt the Republicans to seek the Reform
Party presidential nomination. It is now clear--based on interviews with
leading conservatives, Buchananites and Reform leaders of the Ross Perot
and Jesse Ventura factions--that Buchanan is only millimeters away from
announcing his bid to take over the Reform Party. What's more, Minnesota
Governor Ventura and his people, who oppose making Buchanan the Reform
standard-bearer, are completely unprepared to deny him the nomination.
Here's why:

Two days after the GOP presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa--at which
Buchanan delivered a slashing attack on the Republican establishment for
selling out on everything from NAFTA and trade with China to Kosovo,
abortion and immigration--the conservative columnist and TV commentator
convened a meeting of his top advisers to discuss his future. Those joining
the brainstorming at Buchanan's McLean, Virginia, home included his sister
Bay, campaign director Jay Townsend, treasurer Scott MacKenzie and two
wealthy Buchananites: former Reagan Customs Commissioner William von Raab
and South Carolinabased textile baron Roger Milliken (who participated by
speakerphone). With the exception of the candidate's wife, who kept her
counsel, the recommendation was unanimous: Buchanan should go third-party
and seek the Reform nomination. Three days later, an e-mail went out to
Reformers soliciting support for a Reform Party Draft Committee for
Buchanan, with von Raab as chairman. . .


The Buchanan "movement" bears investigation not only in light of this
possible initiative, but also with respect to the content of his newly
published "A Republic, not an Empire", which I browsed through last evening
on the shelves of B&N. If you did not know who the author was, and opened
up to the chapter on the Spanish-American War, you would swear that he was
a left-wing radical. It describes the war as a search for plunder and
quotes people like Blaine and Cleveland to this very effect.

The Booklist review on says:

"The companion to Buchanan's excellent book on the usually soporific topic
of trade policy, The Great Betrayal , shows the
columnist-broadcaster-presidential candidate still in top form. A Republic
is his foreign policy book, in which he criticizes both current
approaches--the new Wilsonism of President Clinton and the
king-of-the-mountainism, so to speak, of most Republicans. As he sees it,
these approaches invite trouble by requiring the U.S. to dominate the
world, which he considers impossible and undesirable. It is impossible
because Americans won't tolerate "another Vietnam" and don't intend to
provide the military resources to make good on global commitments. . ."

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