When it comes to the future of the GOP, conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan thinks America has flat out rejected one wing of the party: The wing that embraces Wall Street and big business interests.
Buchanan shared his opinion on the GOP’s big business wing in the second part of his interview with The Daily Caller over his new book, “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority.”
“You’re not going to get back the middle class when you’re constantly appeasing big business — when folks are losing their jobs because of these trade deals, these masses of imports, these open borders, and the wars we’ve gotten into. I think the whole country is rejecting that,” Buchanan told TheDC.
Buchanan strongly rebuked policies that have favored opening up America’s market to foreign goods and have encouraged businesses to outsource jobs to other countries and recruit low-skilled immigrant workers to come to the United States — policies that have been favored by the big business-wing of the party.
“In the first decade of the 21st century, we lost six million manufacturing jobs and 55,000 factories,” Buchanan listed off as the damage he says have been done by these policies. “Do any of these people have an idea why that’s happening?”
In the commentator’s opinion, the GOP appealed to the general public when it could demonstrate that it could protect American jobs and prevent foreign incursions into our market.
“Take a look at the history of the Republican Party, they made sure we had the highest standard of living in the world, protected American jobs, American factories, and American plants by putting up tariffs, keeping taxes low on business, putting up tariffs on foreign imports, and invading foreign markets,” Buchanan said.
“Now, our markets are being invaded!”
According to Buchanan, the only way to demonstrate a so-called “America First” economic policy is to embrace the tariff and use it to keep jobs in the states.
“You’ve got to find a way to equalize prices of products made by people in countries where labor is far cheaper with those in the United States. I haven’t figured out how to do that other than the tariff and use the tariff revenue to cut the taxes on American businesses,” he declared.
But he thinks that many within the party’s establishment are unwilling to even consider these policies, have a limited view when it comes to appealing to blue collar Americans, and cling to worn-out ideas from the Bush years.
“The trouble is that, at the elite level, the party doesn’t even think in these terms. They just go back to ‘We gotta cut regulation.’ Right, but I don’t care how much you cut regulation, you can’t cut it below the production costs in Vietnam and China,” the conservative firebrand said.
“The establishment still has its feet in the policies of the Bush I and Bush II era, and I don’t think that’s the future.”
In contrast, he sees his own brand of conservatism — populist conservatism — as the wave of the future for the GOP as he believes it has a much better ability to appeal to the middle class.
“The populist conservatives — who are basically going for the middle class — I think eventually are going to prevail,” Buchanan said.”The other side, frankly, don’t have enough troops. I think a populist conservative in a one-on-one race can win against them.”
“They’re the future,” he concluded.