by By Jeffrey T. Kuhner – The Washington Times
Is America in its twilight years? Patrick J. Buchanan argues it is. Americans, especially conservatives, should heed his warnings. The very future of our republic is at stake. Mr. Buchanan has written the political book of the year – and maybe of our time.
In “Suicide of a Superpower” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011), the nationally syndicated columnist and TV commentator delivers a damning indictment of the past two decades. His thesis: America is in decline. Unless it is reversed, the United States – like great republics before it – will be swept into the dustbin of history.
Mr. Buchanan argues that our leaders have embraced the “New World Order.” Unlimited immigration, free trade, open borders, strident multiculturalism, globalism, a cradle-to-grave welfare state, neo-pagan morality, massive deficit spending and democratic imperialism – together they have triggered the moral, economic and spiritual disintegration of America.
Mr. Buchanan was one of the few conservatives to directly challenge the Great Society Republicanism prevalent throughout the George W. Bush administration. He opposed No Child Left Behind, the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, runaway spending, amnesty for illegal aliens, economic globalization and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He argues that the GOP establishment had lost its ideological way, abandoning principle in favor of power. Niccolo Machiavelli trumped Ronald Reagan.
The author insists that President Obama has accelerated – and deepened – the failed Bush policies. Mr. Obama is seeking to erect a European-style nanny state. Bailouts have propped up big business and big banks, as Middle America was forced to pay for it. Mr. Obama’s trillion-dollar deficits have brought us to the brink of bankruptcy. His economic stimulus failed to create jobs, while it expanded the reach of government – providing more beneficiaries and voters loyal to the Democrats. Obamacare is another massive entitlement program Americans cannot afford. Mr. Buchanan states that the exploding debt threatens our economic future. It will force America into default or to devalue our currency, leading to Weimar Germany-style inflation. Cherished programs – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, defense spending – must be slashed, capped and reformed or America is doomed.
Yet there is a lack of will among our political class. Both parties, Republican and Democrat, lack the stomach to impose the necessary, difficult cuts. Mr. Buchanan understands that welfare liberalism is like a “narcotic,” slowly making entire classes addicted to government handouts and sapping the nation’s moral fiber. Like the ancient Romans, we know we are in decay but are unable to stop it. Our debt crisis ultimately is a crisis of democracy. Mr. Buchanan asks: With so many dependent upon social programs, can America avoid the fate of Greece?
Mr. Buchanan has been ostracized for years by some conservatives. In particular, they argue that he represents the worst traits of the 1930s old right – nativism, anti-Semitism, protectionism and isolationism – that make his politics beyond the pale. In fact, the very opposite is true: Mr. Buchanan is the last true conservative. He is the heir of postwar conservatism’s intellectual founder, Russell Kirk. Like Kirk, Mr. Buchanan is a Burkean traditionalist who champions the organic society and America’s distinct cultural identity.
For Mr. Buchanan, like most conservative traditionalists, nation-states, faith, family and community are not abstract concepts, as secular progressives claim. Rather, they are real, historic and eternal institutions necessary to a viable, just and free social order. This has been Mr. Buchanan’s central insight. It is why he is despised by many liberals and neoconservatives. His Christian nationalism stands in stark contrast to the rootless globalism and MTV morality of our age. He staunchly opposes abortion, pornography, homosexual marriage, drugs, euthanasia and the West’s hedonism. He understands that a nation is held together by a common culture, language, civilization, heroes, history and myths. Multiculturalism combined with open immigration is a recipe for national suicide. This is not racial chauvinism; it is common sense and proved by history. Austria-Hungary, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia (and most likely, the European Union) all were torn apart by resurgent ethno-nationalism and centrifugal forces. Multinational empires do not last; only cohesive nations endure.
In foreign affairs, Mr. Buchanan has been tarred as an America-hater, one who abandoned the Reaganite vision of U.S. global leadership. This is another lie. Like many conservatives before him – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Taft – Mr. Buchanan is a continental realist. He champions a foreign policy based solely on protecting vital national interests. He supports maintaining the mightiest military in the world. He seeks to secure our porous southern border. He wants to end entangling alliances, such as NATO. He rightly believes it is time for wealthy Europeans and Asians to protect their own backyards – instead of piggybacking off Uncle Sam. In short, America has become overextended, squandering precious blood and treasure…
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