Our Interview with Pat Buchanan (Updated)
Posted by Joshua Price on January 3, 2008
The following is our brief interview with conservative commentator and author Pat Buchanan. He has a new book at entitled Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed are Tearing America Apart.
You can also see Mr. Buchanan regularly on MSNBC.
Price: We are joined by conservative commentator and author of several books, including his latest, Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed are Tearing America Apart.
Mr. Buchanan, thank you very much for taking time to visit with The Conservative Beacon.
Buchanan: Thank you.
Price: I want to begin by asking you about a point you make in the book about America being involved in a cultural war and potentially on the verge of Balkanizing. Why is there such a large anti-nationalist sentiment in this country? It seems to me that we have allowed Hitler to hijack the idea of nationalism and turn it into something grotesque, but yet nationalism, or at least returning to borders, language and culture may be one of the only things to save us.
Buchanan: Well I think Russell Kirk, to whom my book is dedicated, used to tell me “Pat, don’t use the word nationalism, or economic nationalism, call it patriotism. Because patriotism represents love of one’s country and countrymen as well, and basically putting your country first in your heart above all others—and your countrymen. So I think patriotism is probably a better word.
What has happened is there’s a belief that we’re all moving above nations and towards a global economy, and among the educated and others, I think, just as in Europe, people say we’re not Frenchmen, we are Europeans now, not Frenchmen or Germans. I think there’s the same sort of sentiment here in America that we’re citizens of the world, and certainly among the very powerful there is a desire and a drive to eliminate the unique character of the state and the country.
This drive and this movement, which really didn’t exist when I was growing up, has become very powerful. I think the whole multicultural drive is part of it, and this comes out of the 1960’s cultural war and the idea of nation-states as history.
Price: You assert in your new book, Day of Reckoning, that the era of U.S. global economic power is over. How do you propose getting us back in a position to lead the world economically?
Buchanan: Well I think the U.S. is still militarily supreme in the sense that we spend more than the next ten nations combined. Our Air Force and Navy are unrivaled even though they have been cut almost in half since the Reagan years, and our Army is the finest on Earth, as well as the Marine Corps. But they’re very small.
So I don’t think we’re ever going to get back to this period we had called the Pax Americana, where the United States was looked upon as the leader of the world and generally followed.
We’ve got growing economic powers in India, and especially China, which are great new rivals. I think China is probably already the second or third largest economy on Earth now—not the second, but the third perhaps ahead of Germany, Japan is still larger.
But I think in terms of military power too there are rivals, and the United States has lost the moral leadership of the world and the political leadership of the world when constantly out-voted in the United Nations, we’re defied by Russia and China, we’re vilified by Iran and Venezuela—the Europeans don’t follow the America lead. I think an era is over where you can’t go home again—we can’t go back to the Cold War when we had a bipolar world and we can’t go back to the 1991-2006 era where we had a unipolar world. There was one superpower and no others, and no real rival or challenger.
We now are the first nation on Earth that we have rivals, we have challengers and it’s never going to be the same again. I think we have lost our moment.
Price: Now I know you have been very outspoken about the illegal immigration situation for years. My question is, Why won’t we call it what it really is? It’s an invasion by almost every definition. Why won’t we call it that? Is it simply due to political correctness?
Buchanan: One reason is ideology. There’s no question about it, and the other is the myth that America is a nation of immigrants. Clearly we have benefited from immigration, but for the first 240 years since the settlers arrived in Jamestown there was no real immigration. What you had was settlers coming over and basically we were a British-Protestant country through the first wave of immigration—that you could really call it that: a wave—came in 1845 to about 1849 with the Potato Famine in Ireland.
Now, why can’t people deal with this—why can’t they call it an invasion? Well it goes against the grain of their beliefs in some cases, and they don’t want to say that these folks are just like our great-grandparents, but when you have [inaudible] on Ellis Island, that is an invasion.
When you have 12-20 million illegals inside the United States, how can you not call it an invasion? When we had 4 million troops in Europe and we called that the invasion of Europe—D-Day.
This is not like 1919 or 1920. It is not like the old immigration from Europe. The numbers are huge. The melting pot is broken. Huge masses of illegals are pouring into the United States and they are not assimilating.
The melting pot is broken, as I said. The culture is fragmented and it no longer has the unified power it used to have.
We are rolling the dice with our nation; we are rolling the dice with our country and Americans want to know why because they never voted for it. We have empowered politicians of both parties who are in a state of moral and political paralysis, and will not do it for fear of adverse votes or fear of the Mexican lobby, or fear of the Chamber of Commerce or fear of the churches, or fear of somebody else. They refuse to do their duty, and as result, the nation is at risk.
Price: Well Mr. Buchanan I really want to thank you for taking time to visit with The Conservative Beacon, and I hope we can do it again in the near future.
Buchanan: Well thank you.