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Time magazine may have named Barack Obama Man of the Year for 2012, but in a first-ever honor, WND today named Patrick Buchanan as the WND Man of the Year, honoring the stalwart of conservative thought for his incisive and insightful contributions to the America of economic, military, political and social influence.

He has been adviser to three presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination himself, served as the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000 and churned out six straight New York Times bestsellers, including “A Republic, Not an Empire,” “The Death of the West,” “Where the Right Went Wrong,” “State of Emergency,” “Day of Reckoning” and “Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.”

He’s now an editor of the American Conservative, chairman of the American Cause, a political analyst and columnist.

His commentary is a staple on the WND pages, and his own website keeps fans abreast of the developments key to the nation.

This year, something happened to Pat Buchanan that was different than his broad-ranging experience in media and politics for a generation. He was fired by MSNBC because of the tough positions he took in his newest book on the changing demographics of America. He had been a regular fixture on American television since the early days of CNN and its “Crossfire” program. Suddenly, in 2012, Buchanan, who is saying nothing he wasn’t saying and writing 40 years ago, became a media pariah.

“What stood out to the panel of WND judges was Pat’s steadfast commitment to principle – even in the face of losing a lucrative TV gig,” said Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND. “Pat is unflappable. He’s honest. You may agree with him or disagree with him, but it’s hard to deny he has something important to say to the American people and deserves a platform to say it.”

The award was designated for the man who during the year 2012 did the most to represent goodness, perseverance, manliness and character. The recipient should be someone prominent enough to have had an impact on wider American, and global opinion. Their successes and failures for the year are to be weighed and considered.

One runner-up in the category were Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, whose company was targeted by homosexual activists after he said in a radio interview that he supported traditional marriage between a man and a woman. The company’s sales surged when Americans were encouraged to support the restaurant chain in the face of calls for boycotts.

Another runner-up was former Sen. Rick Santorum, who campaigned for traditional marriage, pro-life issues and fiscal responsibility, not to mention the presidency.

In an exclusive interview with WND, Buchanan said the U.S. remains for now the first power on earth, militarily, economically, culturally and in terms of influence and global reach.

But it might not be for long, he warned.

“There’s no doubt in relative terms, America is in decline,” he said. “China is a tremendous rising power. … And Western civilization has passed its apogee.

“If you take a look at where we stood in 1912, a century ago, Western power ruled almost all the world . But now all the great empires are gone, the great armies and navies are gone. The U.S. remains a superpower, but all the great nations of Europe have lost colonies, all are undergoing invasions of formerly subject peoples, and Third World peoples.

“The West clearly is long past its apogee,” he said.

Buchanan, who was an assistant to Richard Nixon from 1966 through 1974, White House communications director for Ronald Reagan 1985-1987, and challenged George Bush for the GOP nomination in 1992, said Western civilization, America, and the GOP, the organization he believes represents the best of the best attributes of those influences, all are on parallel declines, more or less.

Regarding America, he said, “I think this is not the country we grew up in.”

He said in the latter 1900s the U.S. was dominant even though there was a tremendous rival in the Soviet empire, and Western civilization led around the globe.

Conservatives in the U.S., he said, also held huge influence, and the GOP led the nation, bringing incredible coalitions together to lead the country from the 1960s for several subsequent decades. It was during that time the Soviet Union collapsed, human-rights expansions were worldwide and the American business juggernaut benefited populations around the globe.

Then the one-world concept took over, he said.

Buchanan asks the tough questions, in “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” and explains in detail his concerns about “The Death of the West.”

“We saw it in the European Union, an effort to create one Europe, the United States of Europe, the U.N., the World Trade Organization, Kyoto programs, Treaty of Rome, all of these movements to create supranational institutes, on way to creating a single world order.”

That, however, has fallen by the wayside, too, to the influences of ethnonationalism, the loyalty to ethnicity, which now is “tearing countries apart,” he said.

Buchanan, who won the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary in 1996, said people simply are identifying with their ethnic or ideological group, rather than their country.

“By 2025, I wonder if we’ll really be a country as we [were],” he said. “I don’t think we’re [ever] going back to being one country.”

The U.S. may remain one unit politically, but there will be sections and factions that have their own loyalties. For one, he said, the rising Latino population in the Southwest soon will create a de facto merger with Mexico for that part of the nation.

Buchanan, who got his master’s degree from Columbia in 1962 and at 23, was the youngest editorial writer on a major newspaper – the St. Louis Globe-Democrat – in the nation, said economically America is not keeping up, either.

China’s economy soon will approach the U.S. economy, and it has the upper hand because right now it is sacrificing the present for the future, taking American consumer dollars and investing in long-term resources around the world.

America, meanwhile, is handing over the future for access to present-day consumer whims, he said.

Socially, the recent move by three states to move toward same-sex marriage is revealing about what people care about.

All of these factors, he said, “are the marks of a civilization in a very advanced state of decline.”

“The economy, the expenditures, the shift from manufacturing toward finance, the retreat of America, the death of faith, all of these things taken together are manifestations of a culture or civilization approaching its end.”

He noted, however, that such a conclusion might not come in 2013, or even in this generation.

“Civilizations can last thousands of years,” he said.

Then will America rebound or return in any way, shape or form?

“The American people are very resilient people. I think we’re going to go through some very difficult times, economic certainly, we can’t continue running trillion-dollar deficits indefinitely,” he said.

“And I think a lot of people woke up after the [2012] election.”

He said the immediate future – the nation over the next decade – will be determined by whether there is a sufficient “national jolt” that would convince people that Barack Obama and the Democrats “cannot lead us out of the economic morass.”

He said the danger would be if Americans don’t figure that out, and continue down the path where tax “consumers” eventually outnumber taxpayers.

Buchanan asks the tough questions, in “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” and explains in detail his concerns about “The Death of the West.”

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