For the last two decades, Pat Buchanan has warned that America is on the edge of ruin due to our irrational immigration, economic and foreign policies. As events have proven Buchanan right, Americans have become more receptive to his brand of conservatism, which he lays out in his new book Suicide of a Superpower.
However, it is clear that the Republican Party is still ignoring his wise advice. On the issue of trade, just last week only a handful of Republicans voted against three sovereignty-sacrificing trade deals supported by the Obama administration. Buchanan, in contrast, makes a strong case that the $6.2 trillion trade deficit America ran in the past decade has ruined this country’s manufacturing base.
With the exclusion of Ron Paul and a few others, Republicans are still committed to the wars in the Middle East. Pat Buchanan argues that we simply are too far in debt to maintain a global military empire. While I initially voted for funding for the troops in Iraq, I agree with him that it is absurd that we have hundreds of thousands of troops defending the borders of Korea and the Middle East when there is anarchy along our southern border. As he eloquently asks, “What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona?”
While Republicans have at least been giving lip service to the problem of illegal immigration, their words are rarely backed by action, and they still refuse to address legal immigration. In my opinion, this is the gravest issue facing the country. Buchanan takes the GOP to task for its dereliction of duty, “through its support of mass immigration, its support of paralysis in preventing twelve to twenty million illegal aliens from entering and staying in this country, and its failure to address the ‘anchor baby’ issue, the Republican Party has birthed a new electorate that will send the party the way of the Whigs.”
What does he mean? Pat Buchanan accepts Howard Dean’s gaffe that the GOP is “the white party” as simple truth. Pat puts the facts bluntly: “Due to the immigration and higher birthrates among people of color, America is becoming less white and less Christian — and therefore inevitably less Republican.”
No doubt many will accuse him of racism for making this point, but Buchanan quotes many liberal commentators who say they support immigration for that very reason. For example Michael Moore consoled liberals after George W. Bush’s victory in 2004, “88% of Bush’s support came from white voters, in 50 years America will no longer have a white majority.” Assuming our immigration policies do not change, that date will actually be 2042.
One would think that out of pure political calculus, Republicans would oppose mass immigration, but instead GOP strategist Lance Tarrance called for the party to abandon the Southern Strategy for the “Hispanic Strategy.” However, as Buchanan shows, Hispanics vote overwhelmingly Democratic regardless of a GOP candidate’s position on immigration. In fact, a higher percentage of Hispanics support tough immigration policies than vote Republican.
Of course, there are many more important reasons to be opposed to massive immigration than how it will affect the GOP’s electoral chances. For starters, there is the issue of American jobs. As Buchanan notes, “to bring in foreign workers when 34 million Americans are still underemployed or out of work is to put corporate profits ahead of country.”
Perhaps most importantly, immigration without assimilation is undermining our very culture. With the majority of illegal immigrants and the plurality of legal immigrants coming from Mexico, Buchanan notes that many of our southern neighbor’s leaders and citizens have a grudge against America. He cites a Zogby poll that found that “69% of the people in Mexico believe that the first loyalty of U.S. Citizens of Mexican descent should be to Mexico.” Mexico even has a government Office for Mexicans Abroad with the explicit purpose of preventing assimilation. According to the one-time head of the agency Juan Hernandez, “I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think ‘Mexico First.’”
While Buchanan paints a very bleak portrait of America, he offers very clear solutions to get us back on the right track.
Buchanan’s solution for the immigration problem: an end to anchor baby citizenship, a moratorium on all legal immigration until unemployment is below 6%, a crackdown on the employers of illegal immigrants and a strong rejection of amnesty.
He calls for a freeze on all government hiring, across-the-board cuts in all departments and the elimination of unnecessary agencies.
On foreign policy, he wants to withdraw our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and remove our bases in Europe and Asia that do not serve our national interests. Buchanan is no pacifist, he simply wants to “shrink our defense perimeter” to focus on protecting America rather than the rest of the world.
On social issues, Buchanan grimly admits that conservatives lost the culture wars. While there are still millions of Americans who believe in traditional values, the counterculture of the ’60s is now the dominant culture. Buchanan calls for a revival of states’ rights to allow traditionalists to win in red states without the interference of activist courts. Ultimately, he argues this fight needs to be won outside of politics.
While I might quibble with a few points, Buchanan offers an astute diagnosis of America’s problems and gives constructive suggestions to put us back on track.
Virgil Goode represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 through 2009.