What Hath Trump Wrought?

What Hath Trump Wrought?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“If I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime,” says Donald Trump.

Herewith, a dissent. Whatever happens Tuesday, Trump has made history and has forever changed American politics.

Though a novice in politics, he captured the Party of Lincoln with the largest turnout of primary voters ever, and he has inflicted wounds on the nation’s ruling class from which it may not soon recover.

Bush I and II, Mitt Romney, the neocons and the GOP commentariat all denounced Trump as morally and temperamentally unfit. Yet, seven of eight Republicans are voting for Trump, and he drew the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of any GOP nominee.

Not only did he rout the Republican elites, he ash-canned their agenda and repudiated the wars into which they plunged the country.

Trump did not create the forces that propelled his candidacy. But he recognized them, tapped into them, and unleashed a gusher of nationalism and populism that will not soon dissipate.

Whatever happens Tuesday, there is no going back now.

How could the Republican establishment advance anew the trade and immigration policies that their base has so thunderously rejected?

How can the GOP establishment credibly claim to speak for a party that spent the last year cheering a candidate who repudiated the last two Republican presidents and the last two Republican nominees?

Do mainstream Republicans think that should Trump lose a Bush Restoration lies ahead? The dynasty is as dead as the Romanovs.

The media, whose reputation has sunk to Congressional depths, has also suffered a blow to its credibility.

Its hatred of Trump has been almost manic, and WikiLeaks revelations of the collusion between major media and Clintonites have convinced skeptics that the system is rigged and the referees of democracy are in the tank.

But it is the national establishment that has suffered most.

The Trump candidacy exposed what seems an unbridgeable gulf between this political class and the nation in whose name it purports to speak.

Consider the litany of horrors it has charged Trump with.

He said John McCain was no hero, that some Mexican illegals are “rapists.” He mocked a handicapped reporter. He called some women “pigs.” He wants a temporary ban to Muslim immigration. He fought with a Gold Star mother and father. He once engaged in “fat-shaming” a Miss Universe, calling her “Miss Piggy,” and telling her to stay out of Burger King. He allegedly made crude advances on a dozen women and starred in the “Access Hollywood” tape with Billy Bush.

While such “gaffes” are normally fatal for candidates, Trump’s followers stood by him through them all.

Why? asks an alarmed establishment. Why, in spite of all this, did Trump’s support endure? Why did the American people not react as they once would have? Why do these accusations not have the bite they once did?

Answer. We are another country now, an us-or-them country.

Middle America believes the establishment is not looking out for the nation but for retention of its power. And in attacking Trump it is not upholding some objective moral standard but seeking to destroy a leader who represents a grave threat to that power.

Trump’s followers see an American Spring as crucial, and they are not going to let past boorish behavior cause them to abandon the last best chance to preserve the country they grew up in.

These are the Middle American Radicals, the MARs of whom my late friend Sam Francis wrote.

They recoil from the future the elites have mapped out for them and, realizing the stakes, will overlook the faults and failings of a candidate who holds out the real promise of avoiding that future.

They believe Trump alone will secure the borders and rid us of a trade regime that has led to the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. They believe Trump is the best hope for keeping us out of the wars the Beltway think tanks are already planning for the sons of the “deplorables” to fight.

Moreover, they see the establishment as the quintessence of hypocrisy. Trump is instructed to stop using such toxic phrases as “America First” and “Make America Great Again” by elites who think 55 million abortions since Roe is a milestone of moral progress.

And what do they have in common with a woman who thinks partial-birth abortion, which her predecessor in the Senate, Pat Moynihan, called “infanticide,” is among the cherished “reproductive rights” of women?

While a Trump victory would create the possibility of a coalition of conservatives, populists, patriots and nationalists governing America, should he lose, America’s future appears disunited and grim.

But, would the followers of Donald Trump, whom Hillary Clinton has called “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … bigots,” to the cheers of her media retainers, unite behind her should she win?

No. Win or lose, as Sen. Edward Kennedy said at the Democratic Convention of 1980, “The work goes on, the cause endures.”

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“I did it my way,” crooned Sinatra.

Donald Trump is echoing Ol’ Blue Eyes with the latest additions to his staff. Should he lose, he prefers to go down to defeat as Donald Trump, and not as some synthetic creation of campaign consultants.

“I am who I am,” Trump told a Wisconsin TV station, “It’s me. I don’t want to change. … I don’t want to pivot. … If you start pivoting, you are not being honest with people.”

The remarks recall the San Francisco Cow Palace where an astonished Republican, on hearing the candidate speak out in favor of “extremism in the defense of liberty,” blurted out, “My God, he’s going to run as Barry Goldwater!”

And so he did. And Goldwater is remembered and revered by many who have long forgotten all the trimmers of both parties who tailored their convictions to suit the times, and lost.

Trump believes populism and nationalism are the future of America, and wants to keep saying so. Nor is this stance inconsistent with recapturing the ground lost in the weeks since he was running even with Hillary Clinton.

The twin imperatives for the Trump campaign are simple ones.

They must recreate in the public mind that Hillary Clinton who 56 percent of the nation thought should have been indicted for lying in the server scandal, and who two-thirds of the nation said was dishonest or untrustworthy.

Second, Trump must convince the country, as he had almost done by Cleveland, that he is an acceptable, indeed, a preferable alternative.

While the assignment is simple, as Ronald Reagan reminded us, there may be simple answers, but there are no easy ones.

What is the case against Clinton his campaign must make?

She is a political opportunist who voted for a war in Iraq, in which she did not believe, that proved ruinous for her country. As secretary of state, she pushed for the overthrow and celebrated the assassination of a Libyan dictator, resulting in a North African haven for al-Qaida and ISIS.

Her reset with Russia was a diplomatic joke.

Her incompetence led to the death of a U.S. ambassador and three brave Americans in Benghazi, and she subsequently lied to the families of the dead heroes about why they had died.

Her statements about her server and emails were so perjurious they almost caused FBI Director James Comey to throw up in public.

She speaks of Bill, Chelsea and herself as leaving the White House in 2001 in roughly the same conditions of immiseration that the Joads left Dust Bowl Oklahoma in “The Grapes of Wrath.”

But on leaving State, Hillary Clinton was pulling down $225,000 a pop for 20-minute speeches to Goldman Sachs. It’s a long way, baby, from her Children’s Defense Fund days, the recalling of which almost caused Bill Clinton to lose it and break down sobbing at the Philly convention.

What America has in Hillary Clinton is a potential president with the charisma but not the competence of Angela Merkel, and the ethics of Dilma Rousseff.

However, here is the problem for the Trump campaign.

While exposing the Clinton character and record is essential, among the primary rules of presidential politics is that you do not use your candidate to do the wet work.

Eisenhower had Vice President Nixon do it for him. President Nixon had Vice President Agnew, who was good at it, and enjoyed it.

Yet, still, on the mega-issue, America’s desire for change, and on specific issues, Trump holds something close to a full house.

The country wants the border secured and immigration vetting toughened to keep out the kind of terrorists who committed the atrocity in San Bernardino.

The country wants an end to the trade deficits with China and the endless export of U.S. factories and manufacturing jobs.

On Americanism versus globalism, the country is with Trump. On an America First foreign policy that keeps us out of trillion-dollar, no-win Middle East wars, the country is with Trump.

On Teddy Roosevelt’s “Speak softly, and carry a big stick,” Ike’s “Peace through strength,” and JFK’s “Let us never fear to negotiate,” the country is with Trump.

Americans may not love Vladimir Putin, but they do not wish to go to war with Russia, which we avoided in half a century of Cold War.

Americans do not want to go nation-building abroad, but to start the nation-building at home. On coming down with both feet on rioters, looters, arsonists and Black-Lives-Matter haters who call cops “pigs,” America is all in with Donald Trump.

As for going after Clinton, the media hysteria surrounding the Donald’s new hire, Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, suggests that this may be a fellow who is not without redeeming social value.

Moreover, outside events could conspire against Clinton.

The coming economic news — we had 1 percent growth in the first half of 2016 — could cause a second look at Trumponomics. And whoever is out there strategically dropping Democratic emails may be readying an October surprise for Hillary Clinton, a massive document dump that buries her.

As Yogi Berra reminded us, the game “ain’t over, till it’s over.”

Yes, the System Is Rigged

Yes, the System Is Rigged

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve.

“Dangerous,” “toxic,” came the recoil from the media.

Trump is threatening to “delegitimize” the election results of 2016.

Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver.

This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton.

It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz.

More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.

But if it ends with a Clintonite restoration and a ratification of the same old Beltway policies, would that not suggest there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?

If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment’s hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity — for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power.

All the elements of that establishment — corporate, cultural, political, media — are today issuing an ultimatum to Middle America:

Trump is unacceptable.

Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.

It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump.

But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?

Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around?

Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?

You want Trump out? How do we get you out?

The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?

The Brits had their “Brexit,” and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change?

Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us.

How do we effect “regime change” here at home?

Donald Trump’s success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public’s response to the issues he raised.

He called for sending illegal immigrants back home, for securing America’s borders, for no amnesty. He called for an America First foreign policy to keep us out of wars that have done little but bleed and bankrupt us.

He called for an economic policy where the Americanism of the people replaces the globalism of the transnational elites and their K Street lobbyists and congressional water carriers.

He denounced NAFTA, and the trade deals and trade deficits with China, and called for rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

By campaign’s end, he had won the argument on trade, as Hillary Clinton was agreeing on TPP and confessing to second thoughts on NAFTA.

But if TPP is revived at the insistence of the oligarchs of Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — backed by conscript editorial writers for newspapers that rely on ad dollars — what do elections really mean anymore?

And if, as the polls show we might, we get Clinton — and TPP, and amnesty, and endless migrations of Third World peoples who consume more tax dollars than they generate, and who will soon swamp the Republicans’ coalition — what was 2016 all about?

Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said John F. Kennedy.

The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the “cooling of America.”

But if Hillary Clinton takes power, and continues America on her present course, which a majority of Americans rejected in the primaries, there is going to a bad moon rising.

And the new protesters in the streets will not be overprivileged children from Ivy League campuses.

Is the Party Over for Bushism?

Is the Party Over for Bushism?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Neither George W. Bush, the Republican Party nominee in 2000 and 2004, nor Jeb, the dethroned Prince of Wales, will be in Cleveland. Nor will John McCain or Mitt Romney, the last two nominees.

These former leaders would like it thought that high principle keeps them away from a GOP convention that would nominate Donald Trump. Petulance, however, must surely play a part. Bush Republicans feel unappreciated, and understandably so.

For Trump’s nomination represents not only a rejection of their legacy but a repudiation of much of post-Cold War party dogma.

America crossed a historic divide and entered a new era. Even should Trump lose, there is likely no going back.

Trump has attacked NAFTA, MFN for China and the South Korea trade deal as badly negotiated. But the problem lies not just in the treaties but in the economic philosophy upon which they were based.

Free-trade globalism was a crucial component of the New World Order, whose creation George H. W. Bush called the new great goal of U.S. foreign policy at the United Nations in October of 1991.

Bush II and Jeb are also free-trade zealots.

But when the American people discovered that the export of their factories and jobs to low-wage countries, and sinking salaries, were the going price of globalism, they rebelled, turned to Trump, and voted for him to put America first again.

Does anyone think that if Trump loses, we are going back to Davos-Dubai ideology, and Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership is our future? Even Hillary Clinton has gotten the message and dumped TPP.

Economic nationalism is the future.

The only remaining question is how many trade deficits shall America endure, and how many defeats shall the Republican Party suffer, before it formally renounces the free-trade fanaticism that has held it in thrall.

The Bush idea of remaking America into a more ethnically, culturally, diverse nation through mass immigration, rooted in an egalitarian ideology, also appears to be yesterday’s enthusiasm.

With Republicans backing Trump’s call, after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, for a moratorium on Muslim immigration, and the massacres in Paris, Nice and the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida, diversity seems to be less celebrated.

Here, the Europeans are ahead of us. Border posts are being re-established across the continent. Behind the British decision to quit the EU, was resistance to more immigration from the Islamic world and Eastern Europe.

On Sunday, French President Francois Hollande was booed at memorial services in Nice for the hundreds massacred and maimed by a madman whose family roots were in the old French colony of Tunisia.

Marine Le Pen of the National Front, who wants to halt immigration and quit the EU, is running far ahead of Hollande in the polls for next year’s elections.

As for the foreign policies associated with the Bushes, the New World Order of Bush I and the crusade for global democracy of Bush II “to end tyranny in our world” are seen as utopian.

Most Republicans ask: How have all these interventions and wars improved our lives or our world?

With 6,000 U.S. dead, 40,000 wounded, and trillions of dollars sunk, the Taliban is not defeated in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida and ISIS have outposts in a dozen countries. Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen are bleeding and disintegrating. Turkey appears headed for an Islamist and dictatorial future. The Middle East appears consumed in flames.

Yet, despite Trump’s renunciation of Bush war policies, and broad support to talk to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the neocons, who engineered many of the disasters in the Middle East, and their hawkish allies, seem to be getting their way for a new Cold War.

They are cheering the deployment of four battalions of NATO troops to the Baltic states and Poland, calling for bringing Sweden and Finland into NATO, pushing for sending weapons to Ukraine, and urging a buildup on the Black Sea as well as the Baltic Sea.

They want to scuttle the Iranian nuclear deal and have the U.S. Navy confront China to support the rival claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia to rocks and reefs in the South China Sea, some of which are under water at high tide.

Who represents the future of the GOP?

On trade and immigration, the returns are in. Should the GOP go back to globalism, amnesty or open borders, it will sunder itself and have no future.

And if the party is perceived as offering America endless wars in the Middle East and constant confrontations with the great nuclear powers, Russia and China, over specks of land or islets having nothing to do with the vital interests of the United States, then it will see its anti-interventionist wing sheared off.

At issue in the battle between the Party of Bush and Party of Trump: Will we make America safe again, and great again? Or are globalism, amnesty, and endless interventions our future?

Do we put the world first, or America First?

Who Gave Us Justice Ginsburg?

Who Gave Us Justice Ginsburg?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Her mind is shot.”

That was the crisp diagnosis of Donald Trump on hearing the opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the possibility he might become president.

It all began with an interview last week when the justice was asked for her thoughts on a Trump presidency. Ginsburg went on a tear.

“I can’t imagine what this place (the Supreme Court) would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Yet she had contemplated the horror of it all, as she quoted her late husband as saying of such a catastrophe, “It’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

This week, Ginsburg doubled down.

“Trump is a faker,” she vented in chambers on Monday, “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head. … He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

Sounding like Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ginsburg attacked the Senate for not voting on Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“That’s their job. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

True, your honor, but there is also nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate must vote expeditiously, or at all.

Ginsburg hailed Justice Anthony Kennedy as “the great hero of this term” for his votes upholding abortion rights and affirmative action.

“Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us,” she added, which comes close to saying the death of the great jurist was not entirely unwelcome to the leading liberal on the court.

“I’d love to see Citizens United overruled,” Ginsburg volunteered, which gives us a pretty good idea how she will vote when that question comes before the court again.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, under Section 28 US Code 455, “(a)ny justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States must disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Since “himself” and “his” refer to men, perhaps Ginsburg does not think the rules apply to her.

The federal code of judicial conduct for U.S. judges, says the Chicago Tribune, states that a “judge should not … publicly endorse a candidate for public office.”

But does not Ginsburg’s relentless trashing of Trump constitute a political attack on him, to help his opponent Hillary Clinton?

Ginsburg “should resign from the Court before she does the reputation of the judiciary more harm,” says the Journal.

There is a precedent. Justice Abe Fortas resigned in 1969 in a scandal when his ties to a convicted swindler became known.

But a dissent here. Why should Ginsburg resign? Did anyone doubt she held these views? Did she hide her radical liberalism from the Senate that confirmed her 96-3 in 1993, with only three Republicans dissenting, led by the venerable Jesse Helms?

Ginsburg was an ACLU lawyer and feminist-activist when she was named to the appellate court by Jimmy Carter. Her views were no secret to anyone when the Senate confirmed her.

Let us not pretend we did not know. Thus, why should she step down for airing political and ideological views everyone knew she held?

Liberal angst is understandable. Ginsburg is giving away the game.

How can liberals credibly uphold the pretense that Supreme Court decisions, where the left is the majority, represent judgments based on the Constitution, when Ginsburg, the leading leftist, has revealed herself to be a rabid partisan who can’t wait to use her judicial power to impose her ideology upon the United States?

Ginsburg detests Trump. She wants to kill super PACs. She thinks discrimination against white males is fine if it advances diversity. She thinks Republican Senators are blockheads who do not know their duties.

She thinks the death penalty is barbaric, and that abortion on demand and same-sex marriage are progressive. She is waiting for a case to come before her so she can restrict gun rights.

In a democratic republic, she has a right to hold and air these views.

But a democratic republic no longer exists when justices of the mindset of Ginsburg, who have never been elected, but serve for life, can impose these views, anti-democratically, upon the country.

Since the Earl Warren era, the Supreme Court has usurped the legislative power and imposed social policies, and Congress, which has the power under Article III to shackle the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and restrict the court’s jurisdiction, has lacked the courage to do so.

This is the problem, not Ginsburg. She does what leftist ideologues do. The problem is elsewhere.

Pogo said it best, “We have met the enemy — and he is us.”

Why Trump Must Not Apologize

Why Trump Must Not Apologize

By Patrick J.Buchanan

“Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.”

Donald Trump has internalized the maxim Benjamin Jowett gave to his students at Balliol who would soon be running the empire.

And in rejecting demands that he apologize for his remarks about the La Raza judge presiding over the class-action suit against Trump University, the Donald is instinctively correct

Assume, as we must, that Trump believes what he said.

Why, then, should he apologize for speaking the truth, as he sees it?

To do so would be to submit to extortion, to recant, to confess to a sin he does not believe he committed. It would be to capitulate to pressure, to tell a lie to stop the beating, to grovel before the Inquisition of Political Correctness.

Trump is cheered today because he defies the commands of political correctness, and, to the astonishment of enemies and admirers alike, he gets away with it.

To the establishment, Trump is thus a far greater menace than Bernie Sanders, who simply wants to push his soak-the-rich party a little further in the direction of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

But Trump, with his defiant refusal to apologize for remarks about “rapists” among illegal immigrants from Mexico, and banning Muslims, is doing something far more significant.

He is hurling his “Non serviam!” in the face of the establishment. He is declaring: “I reject your moral authority. You have no right to sit in judgment of me. I will defy any moral sanction you impose, and get away with it. And my people will stand by me.”

Trump’s rebellion is not only against the Republican elite but against the establishment’s claim to define what is right and wrong, true and false, acceptable and unacceptable, in this republic.

Contrast Trump with Paul Ryan, who has buckled pathetically.

The speaker says Trump’s remark about Judge Gonzalo Curiel being hostile to him, probably because the judge is Mexican-American, is the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”

But Ryan’s remark raises fewer questions about Trump’s beliefs than it does about the depth of Ryan’s mind.

We have seen a former president of Mexico curse Trump. We have heard Mexican-American journalists and politicians savage him. We have watched Hispanic rioters burn the American flag and flaunt the Mexican flag outside Trump rallies.

We are told Trump “provoked” these folks, to such a degree they are not entirely to blame for their actions.

Yet the simple suggestion that a Mexican-American judge might also be affected is “the textbook definition of a racist comment”?

The most depressing aspect of this episode is to witness the Republican Party in full panic, trashing Trump to mollify the media who detest them.

To see how far the party has come, consider:

After he had locked up his nomination, Barry Goldwater rose on the floor of the Senate in June of 1964 and voted “No” on the Civil Rights Act. The senator believed that the federal government was usurping the power of the states. He could not countenance this, no matter how noble the cause.

Say what you will about him, Barry Goldwater would never be found among this cut-and-run crowd that is deserting Trump to appease an angry elite.

These Republicans seem to believe that, if or when Trump goes down, this whole unfortunate affair will be over, and they can go back to business as usual.

Sorry, but there is no going back.

The nationalist resistance to the invasion across our Southern border and the will to preserve the unique character of America are surging, and they have their counterparts all across Europe. People sense that the fate and future of the West are in the balance.

While Trump defies political correctness here, in Europe one can scarcely keep track of the anti-EU and anti-immigrant nationalist and separatist parties sprouting up from the Atlantic to the Urals.

Call it identity politics, call it tribalism, call it ethnonationalism; it and Islamism are the two most powerful forces on earth.

A decade ago, if one spoke other than derisively of parties like the National Front in France, the blacklisters would come around. Now, the establishments in the West are on the defensive — when they are not openly on the run.

The day of the Bilderberger is over.

Back to Jowett. When the British were serenely confident in the superiority of their tribe, faith, culture and civilization, they went out and conquered and ruled and remade the world, and for the better.

When they embraced the guilt-besotted liberalism that James Burnham called the “ideology of Western suicide,” it all came down.

The empire collapsed, the establishment burbled its endless apologies for how wicked it had been, and the great colonial powers of Europe threw open their borders to the peoples they had colonized, who are now coming to occupy and remake the mother countries.

But suddenly, to the shock of an establishment reconciled to its fate, populist resistance, call it Trumpism, seems everywhere to be rising.

Who’s the Conservative Heretic?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In his coquettish refusal to accept the Donald, Paul Ryan says he cannot betray the conservative “principles” of the party of Abraham Lincoln, high among which is a devotion to free trade.

But when did free trade become dogma in the Party of Lincoln?

As early as 1832, young Abe declared, “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank … and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles.”

Campaigning in 1844, Lincoln declared, “Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”

Abe’s openness to a protective tariff in 1860 enabled him to carry Pennsylvania and the nation. As I wrote in “The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy” in 1998:

“The Great Emancipator was the Great Protectionist.”

During his presidency, Congress passed and Abe signed 10 tariff bills. Lincoln inaugurated the Republican Party tradition of economic nationalism.

Vermont’s Justin Morrill, who shepherded GOP tariff bills through Congress from 1860 to 1898, declared, “I am for ruling America, for the benefit, first, of Americans, and for the ‘rest of mankind’ afterwards.”

In 1890, Republicans enacted the McKinley Tariff that bore the name of that chairman of ways and means and future president.

“Open competition between high-paid American labor and poorly paid European labor,” warned Cong. William McKinley, “will either drive out of existence American industry or lower American wages.”

Too few Republicans of McKinley’s mindset sat in Congress when NAFTA and MFN for China were being enacted.

In the 1895 “History of the Republican Party,” the authors declare, “the Republican Party … is the party of protection … that carries the banner of protection proudly.”

Under protectionist policies from 1865 to 1900, U.S. debt was cut by two-thirds. Customs duties provided 58 percent of revenue. Save for President Cleveland’s 2 percent tax, which was declared unconstitutional, there was no income tax. Commodity prices fell 58 percent. Real wages, despite a doubling of the population, rose 53 percent. Growth in GDP averaged over 4 percent a year. Industrial production rose almost 5 percent a year.

The U.S. began the era with half of Britain’s production, and ended it with twice Britain’s production.

In McKinley’s first term, the economy grew 7 percent a year. After his assassination, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took over. His reaction to Ryan’s free-trade ideology? In a word, disgust.

“Pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce fatty degeneration of the moral fibre,” wrote the Rough Rider, “I thank God I am not a free trader.”

When the GOP returned to power after President Wilson, they enacted the Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922. For the next five years, the economy grew 7 percent a year.

While the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, signed eight months after the Crash of ’29, was blamed for the Depression, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman ferreted out the real perp, the Federal Reserve.

Every Republican platform from 1884 to 1944 professed the party’s faith in protection. Free trade was introduced by the party of Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

Our modern free-trade era began with the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Among the eight no votes in the Senate were Barry Goldwater and Prescott Bush.

Even in recent crises, Republican presidents have gone back to the economic nationalism of their Grand Old Party. With the Brits coming for our gold and Japanese imports piling up, President Nixon in 1971 closed the gold window and imposed a 10 percent tariff on Japanese goods.

Ronald Reagan slapped a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles being dumped here to kill Harley-Davidson, then put quotas on Japanese auto imports, and on steel and machine tools.

Reagan was a conservative of the heart. Though a free trader, he always put America first.

What, then, does history teach?

The economic nationalism and protectionism of Hamilton, Madison, Jackson, and Henry Clay, and the Party of Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge, of all four presidents on Mount Rushmore, made America the greatest and most self-sufficient republic in history.

And the free-trade, one-worldism of Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama enabled Communist China to shoulder us aside us and become the world’s No. 1 manufacturing power.

Like Britain, after free-trade was adopted in the mid-19th century, when scribblers like David Ricardo, James Mill and John Stuart Mill, and evangelists like Richard Cobden dazzled political elites with their visions of the future, America has been in a long steady decline.

If we look more and more like the British Empire in its twilight years, it is because we were converted to the same free-trade faith that was dismissed as utopian folly by the men who made America.

Where in the history of great nations — Britain before 1850, the USA, Bismarck’s Germany, postwar Japan and China today — has nationalism not been the determinant factor in economic policy?

Speaker Ryan should read more history and less Ayn Rand.