Revolt Brewing Among Middle Americans

by Patrick J. Buchanan – August 30, 1993

NAFTA is….a giant step toward a new world order…

Sometime, just after the Persian Gulf war pushed Mr. Bush’s approval rating above 90 percent, the United States crossed a political equator, entering a new political era, the distinguishing feature of which is a radicalized middle class.

Kevin Phillips saw it coming in “Boiling Point.” Jack Germond and Jules Witcover describe it in “Mad as Hell,” their retrospective on the campaigns of 1992.

Out there a revolution is brewing, not just against Bill Clinton and his $200 haircuts, but against our entire ruling class. This week, The Wall Street Journal’s Tim Ferguson stumbled into a base camp of the revolution.

Covering a mini-rally against the North American Free Trade Agreement in California, Mr. Ferguson described as “comical and portentous” the “jarring alliances” he saw formed up in front of him: “An unemployed [Ross] Perot sympathizer passed out the ‘Special NAFTA Issue’ of the Spotlight, published by the paranoid Liberty Lobby. Another Ross backer who works for Federal Express … told me he opposes the treaty because it is a ‘step toward One World,’ unde the Trilateral Commission. Yet, a third was toting one of the AFL-CIO’s ‘Don’t Send My Job to Mexico’ placards though he owns a non-union construction company.”

Describing other odd ducks at this “modest assembly,” Mr. Ferguson wrote: “The augury was that … trade fears bond Americans who share nothing more than a dread that their country is not itself anymore.

“(U)nionists have felt this way for years … but to their numbers have been added a wide swath of white-collar America. Now this new mass, or pe[r]haps new majority, is pitted against what it sees as a corrupt elite presiding over the ruin of their land.”

Exactly. Americans sense their country is slipping away from them, and this fall’s battle over NAFTA is taking on the passion of the Carter-era debate over the Panama Canal.

Once again, the power elite do not appreciate the patriotic rage out there; once again, they are unprepared for the storm.

To the Wall Street Journal, NAFTA is George Bush’s “boldest legacy”; and it is simply regrettable that “too many Americans have grown up with neither the hustle nor the skills (technical, financial, or lingual) to prosper in the new economy.”

Truly this is the cult of efficiency, big-time money-politics, where the interests of corporate elites come before those of citizens, where fellow Americans are no longer seen as members of the family, for whom we look out first, but as obsolete body parts, over-the-hill ballplayers who can’t hack it and have to be cut from the team, so the globalists can play in the new international league.

Indeed, we have it on the testimony of Henry Kissinger himself that NAFTA is not even a conventional trade treaty at all, but a giant “step toward a new world order.”

What, then, is NAFTA really about? The men at the rally were instinctively right: It is about losing America, the country we grew up in, the country we love, where the first duty of government was to look out for Americans, not just those with the “skills (technical, financial, and lingual) to prosper in the new economy.”

Behind the rising spirit of rebellion in this land is a gathering consensus that the nation’s elites do not give a damn about the old republic. Rather, they are enraptured with what Mr. Kissinger calls the “architecture of a new international system.”

You may be sure that in this “new international system,” the American citizen will count for precious little. Already, we are told that, henceforth, U.S. Marines may be put at the command of the United Nations’ Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to fight and die for the new world order.

As with the Panama Canal treaties, NAFTA is fast becoming a patriotism issue — and the Republican Party is on the wrong side.

Under NAFTA, Canadians and Mexicans will have authority to levy million-dollar fines on the United States, to inspect our factories, to challenge our state laws. How can Republicans vote for this?

Conservatives preach less government, fewer regulations. How can they vote for a NAFTA of thousands of pages that moves us, forever, in the opposite direction? Mickey Kantor, President Clinton’s negotiator, declares that under NAFTA’s side agreements “no country … can lower its environmental standards — ever.” NACE, the North American Commission on the Environment, says Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, is an “iron fist … for turning Earth Summit’s grand talk … into action.”

That iron fist may now be used to hammer America. How can Republicans welcome into port a vessel that smuggles onto America’s statute books the contraband of the Green agenda?

If we ratify NAFTA, how can we ever open up Alaska’s riches to exploration? How do we roll back the excesses of the Clean Air Act of 1990, imposed during the media-induced panics of acid rain and global warming? If we sign NAFTA, how do we get our liberty back?

This week The Washington Post upbraided this writer, asserting that national soverignty was not only an invalid issue in the NAFTA debate; it is an illegitimate one.

Nonsense. If Americans will rise up — left, right, and center — and demand Congress strangle this NAFTA snake in its crib, we can administer to the one-worlders their most humilating defeat in 20 years. Rout the globalists in this historic battle, and we have them on the run.