1996 Announcement Speech

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Speech at Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences

It is good to be back home again.

As you know, Shelley and I spent 10 wonderful weeks here in the winter of 1992, and we will never forget your generosity and your support when we came up here to New Hampshire, and you and I stood together to say to the national establishment of both parties, ”Turn around. You’re going the wrong way!”

We may have lost that nomination, my friends, but you and I have won the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Four years ago, we came here to say no to tax hikes and no to quota bills, and now every Republican says no to tax hikes and no to quota bills and no to affirmative action.

So, we want first to welcome the prodigal sons home to their father’s house.

But we shall remind them: The Buchanan Brigades are not leap-year conservatives. We have borne the day’s heat. We have labored in these vineyards from the very first hour. And we stand here today to resume command of the revolution that we began here three years ago—because we intend to lead that revolution to triumph and into the White House in 1996.

But this campaign is not about yesterday. It is about tomorrow. It is about America’s future. It is about taking America forward toward the dream of a Constitutional Republic that first stirred in the hearts of the boys who stood their ground on the Lexington Green and the men who held at the Concord Bridge. This campaign is about an America that once again looks out for our own people and our own country first.

Three years ago when I came to New Hampshire, I went up to the North Country on one of my first visits. I went up to the James River paper mill. It was a bad day, just before Christmas, and many of the workers at the plant had just been laid off. They were sullen and they were angry and they didn’t want to talk to anyone.

So as I walked down that line of workers, I will never forget: Men shook my hand and looked away. Then one of them, with his head down, finally looked up, and with tears in his eyes said, ”Save our jobs.” As I rode back down to Manchester, I wondered what it was I could do for that factory worker.

When I got back to Manchester that night, I read a story in the Union Leader about the U.S. Export-Import bank funding a new paper mill in Mexico.

What are we doing to our own people? What is an economy for if not so that workers and their families can enjoy the good life their parents knew, so that incomes rise with every year of hard work, and so that Americans once again enjoy the highest standard of living in the world? Isn’t that what an economy is for?

Our American workers are the most productive in the world; our technology is the finest. Yet, the real incomes of American workers have fallen 20 percent in 20 years.

Why are our people not realizing the fruits of their labor?

I will tell you. Because we have a government that is frozen in the ice of its own indifference, a government that does not listen anymore to the forgotten men and women who work in the forges and factories and plants and businesses of this country.

We have, instead, a government that is too busy taking the phone calls from lobbyists for foreign countries and the corporate contributors of the Fortune 500.

Well, I have not forgotten that man at James River, and I have come back to give him my answer here in New Hampshire.

When I am elected president of the United States, there will be no more NAFTA sellouts of American workers. There will be no more GATT deals done for the benefit of Wall Street bankers. And there will be no more $50 billion bailouts of Third World socialists, whether in Moscow or Mexico City.

In a Buchanan White House, foreign lobbyists and corporate contributors will not sit at the head of the table. I will.

We’re going to bring the jobs home and we’re going keep America’s jobs here, and when I walk into the Oval Office, we start looking out for America first.

So, to those factory workers in the North Country and to the small businessmen and businesswomen, I say to you: This campaign is about you. We are on you side.

Whatever happened to the idea of Americans as one nation, one people? Whatever happened to the good, old idea that all Americans, of all races, colors and creeds, were men and women to whom we owed loyalty, allegiance and love? What happened to the idea that America was a family going forward together?

When I was writing my column a couple of months ago, I read a story from New York about 58 new partners made at Goldman Sachs, each of whom had gotten a bonus of at least $5 million that year. Fine. One month later, the story ran that because profits were down at Goldman Sachs, 1,000 clerical workers were being laid off—1,000 men and women at the lowest levels at Goldman Sachs. That was a shameful act of corporate greed.

But let me tell you about another story. Down in LaGrange, Ga., I visited one of the most modern textile plants in America—only this textile plant had been burned to the ground. All the employees were saved, but the factory was a total ruin. And, after the fire, when the factory workers were called into the assembly hall of the administration building, they thought they were going to be told what so many others have been told before: Now that the plant has burned, we’ll be moving to Mexico or Taiwan.

But the managers of the Milliken plant came down from Spartanburg and they said to these 600 workers: You are our family. We have suffered a loss together. We are going to look for a new job for every single worker in this plant, and beyond that, we’re going to build a brand new Milliken plant, the most modern in the world, right here on this site in LaGrange, Ga. We want our workers to join together and help us build it.

And in August it will rise again. And every one of those workers will be kept on and brought back to his old job.

Isn’t that the idea of free enterprise we Republicans and conservatives believe in? Isn’t that the idea and the spirit of one people working together that we must recapture? So I say to the workers and managers at that textile plant down in LaGrange, Ga., and to all the other plants and businesses and small businesses around America: This campaign is about you. This fight is your fight.

And we Americans must also start recapturing our lost national sovereignty.

The men who stood at Lexington and at Concord Bridge, at Bunker Hill and Saratoga, they gave all they had, that the land they loved, might be a free, independent, sovereign nation.

Yet, today, our birthright of sovereignty, purchased with the blood of patriots, is being traded away for foreign money, handed over to faceless foreign bureaucrats at places like the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the U.N.

Look how far we have gone:

A year ago, two United States helicopters flying surveillance over northern Iraq were shot down by American fighter planes in a terrible incident of friendly fire. Captain Patrick McKenna of the Citadel, where I just visited, commanded one of those helicopters. Every American on board was killed. And when the story hit the news, the vice president, then visiting in Marrakesh at the World Trade Organization meeting, issued a statement that said the parents of these young men and women can be proud their sons and daughters died in the service of the United Nations.

But those young men and women didn’t take an oath to the United Nations. They took an oath to defend the Constitution and the country we love. And let me say to you, when Pat Buchanan gets into that Oval Office as Commander in Chief, no young men and women will ever be sent into battle except under American officers and to fight under the American flag.

So let me say to those brave young patriots who have volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States to defend us, our peace and our security: This campaign is about you.

Look how far we have gone:

Rogue nations that despise America, right now, are plotting to build weapons of mass destruction and to buy or to build the missiles to deliver them to our country. Yet the United States of America remains naked to a missile attack. We have no defense. Why? Because a 20-year-old compact with a cheating Soviet regime, that has been dead half a decade, prevents us from building our missile defense.

Well, that dereliction of duty ends the day I take the oath.

I will maintain a military for the United States that is first on the land, first on the seas, first in the air, first in space—and I will not ask any nation’s permission before I build a missile defense for the United States of America.

To those Americans who have served this country in her wars from Europe to the Pacific, from Korea to Vietnam: This campaign is about you. It is about never letting America’s guard down again.

What is the matter with our leaders?

Every year millions of undocumented aliens break our laws, cross our borders, and demand social benefits paid for with the tax dollars of American citizens. California is being bankrupted. Texas, Florida and Arizona are begging Washington to do its duty and defend the states as the Constitution requires.

When I was in California in 1992, I spoke on this issue in San Diego. A woman came, uninvited, to the sheriff’s office where I was holding a press conference, and asked if she could join me at that press conference. I said, ”Why?” She said, ”I had a boy, a teen-age boy, who was killed in an automobile accident by drunken drivers who were on a spree, who had walked into this country, had no driver’s license and did not belong here.”

Three months ago I talked, in the same city of San Diego, to a young Border Patrol agent. He had been decorated as a hero. He showed me the back of his head. There was a scar all over it. Illegal aliens had crossed the border, he went to apprehend them, and they waited to trap him. When he walked into their trap, they smashed his head with a rock and came to kill him. Only when he took out his gun and fired in self defense did his friends come and save his life.

Yet our leaders, timid and fearful of being called names, do nothing. Well, they have not invented the name I have not been called. So, the Custodians of Political Correctness do not frighten me. And I will do what is necessary to defend the borders of my country even if it means putting the National Guard all along our southern frontier.

So, to the people of California, Florida, Texas and Arizona being bankrupted paying the cost of Washington’s dereliction of duty, to that brave Border Patrol agent and the men and women who serve with him, and to that woman who lost her boy because her government would not do its duty: This campaign is about you.

And as we defend our country from threats from abroad, we shall fight and win the cultural war for the soul of America. Because that struggle is about who we are, what we believe, and the kind of people we shall become. And that struggle is being waged every day in every town and school room of America.

When many of us were young, public schools and Catholic schools, Christian schools and Jewish schools, instructed children in their religious heritage and Judeo-Christian values, in what was right and what was wrong. We were taught about the greatness and goodness of this land we call God’s country, in which we are all so fortunate to live.

When I was a little boy, 3 years old, 3-and-a-half-years old, my mother’s four brothers, one by one, came down to our house, and said good-bye, and we took them to the bus station or the train station to send them off to Europe. Then we got reports from places like Anzio and Sicily, and, in the end, they all came home. But in our school days, when I was 5 years old or 6 years old, in first grade, occasionally we would go out in the playground and there would be a short ceremony for some fellow who did not come back from the Ardennes or Anzio or the Bulge.

And that’s what we were taught, and that’s what we loved.

But today, in too many of our schools our children are being robbed of their innocence. Their minds are being poisoned against their Judeo-Christian heritage, against America’s heroes and against American history, against the values of faith and family and country.

Eternal truths that do not change from the Old and New Testament have been expelled from our public schools, and our children are being indoctrinated in moral relativism, and the propaganda of an anti-Western ideology.

Parents everywhere are fighting for their children. And to the mothers and fathers waging those battles, let me say: This campaign is your campaign. Your fight is our fight. You have my solemn word: I will shut down the U.S. Department of Education, and parental right will prevail in our public schools again.

”What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his immortal soul?” That is true also of nations. No matter how rich and prosperous we may become in material things, we cannot lose this battle for the heart and soul of America.

For as de Tocqueville said long ago, America is a great country because she is a good country, and if she ceased to be good, she will cease to be great.

Yet, today, America’s culture—movies, television, magazines, music—is polluted with lewdness and violence. Museums and art galleries welcome exhibits that mock our patriotism and our faith. Old institutions and symbols of an heroic, if tragic past—from Columbus Day to the Citadel at South Carolina, which graduated Captain McKenna, from Christmas carols in public schools to Southern war memorials—they are all under assault. This campaign to malign America’s heroes and defile America’s past has as its end: To turn America’s children against what their parents believe and what they love.

But because our children are our future, we can’t let that happen. We can’t walk away from this battle. I pledge to you: I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency of the United States, to the full extent of my power and ability, to defend American traditions and the values of faith, family, and country, from any and all directions. And, together, we will chase the purveyors of sex and violence back beneath the rocks whence they came.

So, to those who want to make our country America the beautiful again, and I mean beautiful in every way—This campaign is about you.

In the history of nations, we Americans are the freedom party. We are the first people, the only nation dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And nothing can stop to stop us from going forward to a new era of greatness, in a new century about to begin, if we only go forward together, as one people, one nation, under God.

So to these ends, and for these purposes, I humbly, but proudly, declare my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.

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