Pat Buchanan is either the most misquoted or most misunderstood man
on the planet. As a presidential speechwriter, columnist, television
host, author of five books and, most recently, presidential candidate,
Pat Buchanan has more words on record than almost any man alive.
Following the release of his book, "A Republic Not an Empire," a new
round of controversy about this man and his views has spun completely
out of control. The issue of whether Pat should stay in the Republican
Party or leave no longer seems to be as important as how the major
candidates feel about it. Sen. John McCain is making a lot of political
hay criticizing GOP frontrunner George W. Bush, just for asking Mr.
Buchanan to stay.
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Sen. McCain maintains that the radical views of Pat Buchanan do not
belong in the Republican Party, which has left many who have followed
Buchanan closely over the years, and agree with at least some of his
views, wondering if they should go, too.
If Buchanan does jump to the Reform Party, Minnesota Governor Jesse
"The Mindless" Ventura is urging business tycoon Donald Trump to enter
the race in order to deny the radical Buchanan even a third party
Pat Buchanan has been called an isolationist, an anti-Semite, and
since the release of his latest book, someone who believes that the U.S.
should not have gone to war against Nazi Germany. Those who are
characterizing Mr. Buchanan in this way would seem to be stupid,
malicious or badly misinformed.
In terms of trade, there is a big difference in being an isolationist
and someone who believes in giving American farmers and manufacturers a
level playing field. The charge that Mr. Buchanan is anti-Semitic is
equally ridiculous and largely sprang from his defense of John Demjanjuk
who falsely was accused of being a Nazi concentration camp guard
nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible." During this man's ten-year ordeal,
Buchanan tore apart the arguments of his prosecutors. Buchanan's
detractors have lifted out of context many of his statements about the
trial. In the end, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned Demjanjuk's
conviction and set him free.
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Over the years, Buchanan has not been shy about his disagreements
with the Israeli lobby. However, one can have legitimate disagreements
with Israeli policies without being an anti-Semite. After all, friends
do not spy on friends, and friends do not take sophisticated weapons
from their friends and sell the technology to their friends' enemies.
Pat Buchanan did not say that the United States should not have gone
to war against Germany. In "A Republic Not an Empire," Buchanan takes a
critical look at the policies that empowered Hitler. He believes that
it was "liberal interventionism" that created the "moral political swamp
in which fascism, Hitlerism and Stalinism were spawned."
He also believes it was immoral for British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain to have given Poland a war guarantee that "he had neither
the capacity nor the will to honor." Buchanan points out that now "our
country is handing out war guarantees all over Eastern Europe,
guarantees a future generation of Americans may refuse to honor,
guarantees that are driving a defeated, demoralized, divided and
democratic Russia, with 20,000 nuclear weapons, straight into the arms
of a Chinese Communist regime whose rulers bristle with hatred and
resentment at hubristic American attempts to create some arrogant
A legitimate disagreement over foreign policy is one thing, but why
this sudden tirade against Buchanan and why the deliberate
misrepresentation of this man's views from some of the same people who,
a few months ago, had shown him tolerance, if not respect? Are they
fearful of what might happen if Pat Buchanan were to become the Reform
Party candidate and force the probable "cookie cutter" Democrat and
Republican nominees into a real debate on the issues?