Pat Buchanan has a long list of political accolades. As a former adviser to multiple Republican Presidents he has years of experience on Television as well as Radio. Currently a regular on MSNBC and syndicated columnist, Buchanan is as experienced politically as anyone and is an influential voice in today’s body politic. I often read his columns on townhall.com with an appreciation for his experience and willingness to say what he believes. Unfortunately today I wanted to highlight two of his recent columns as I believe his logic and tone do nothing to advance the debate on two touchy subjects. Until we can get clearer thinking regarding Race and Radical Islam, our collective relations with both will continue to be hampered.
On January 12th, 2010, Buchanan wrote “Why Are They At War With Us?” The basic premise of this piece is that Obama has made it clear with his recent comments and troop escalation in Afghanistan that we are at war with al-Qaeda. And the reason that these thugs seek to kill us now is the same reason they sought to kill us before 9-11; Because we are tyrannical imperialists who support Israeli “occupiers.” You might ask how this can be. How can someone steeped in Presidential familiarity, with decades of experience and knowledge, make such simple justifications for brutal tactics employed by evil irrational people? I wish I could tell you.
Some of his quotes include,
“On Sept. 11, they were over here — because we are over there.”
“Nothing justifies the massacre of Sept. 11. But these are the political goals behind the 9/11 attack, and this is why Islamists fare well in elections in the Middle East. Tens of millions of Muslims, who may despise terrorism, identify with the causes for which Osama declared war — liberation of Muslim peoples from pro-American autocrats and Israeli occupiers.”
“Americans are being killed for the reasons Osama said we should be killed — not because of who we are, but because of where we are and what we do.”
“Hamas has used terrorism, but not against us. Hezbollah has used terrorism, but not against us since the bombing of the Marine barracks, a quarter-century ago.”
“as long as we take sides in their wars, those we fight and kill over there will come to kill us over here. This is payback for our intervention. This is the price of empire.”
It pains me to believe a seasoned insider, especially one who is commonly recognized with Republicans, can hold these views. I understand he is not entirely blaming Americans for the hatred against us, nor is he questioning our entire response, but to think if we completely withdrawal from the region that all of the ill-will will vanquish, is patently absurd. Does he honestly believe Hezbollah with their regular “Death to America” chants are just for show? Does he take the uber Libertarian Ron Paul type view that we should never make moral judgments for good and evil and if we focus entirely on ourselves that the perils of the world will become harmonious? I could be taking him out of context or not understanding his aim completely, but to me the struggle with al-Qaeda and Radical Islam is much deeper and complex and involves many more historical and prophetic contexts. Their hatred is unjust, misguided and only promulgated by appeasers who choose to place ill-advised blame and offer excuses instead of a difficult realization that WE, along with Israel, are not the root cause of the world’s problems.
Column 2. Buchanan’s article from last Friday was titled, “Has Obama Lost White America.” He decided the main reasons for the past few months shifting political winds are due solely to white voters changing their minds for what I consider to be largely racial reasons. It’s not so much in his idea that white voters bailing on their parties have the power to influence every election (Whites make up 75% of the voters), it’s in his reasoning behind why that majority group is disaffected with our leadership.
A few of his initial points are valid ones, quantifying the electorate by racial breakdowns and asking, “What explains the white surge to the GOP?” He explains that white support for Democrats is decreasing as Obama is seen as not doing enough in ending the recession or job losses. A fair point but why do only white voters allegedly believe this in Buchanan’s eyes? His next point says whites are beginning to believe he is biased. Not overly biased ideologically, as in a far left liberal, but biased racially. His examples were the treatment of Sgt Crowley, and his appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. Again these points are fair but hardly what I believe are the cause of the political upheaval Obama and Democrats are facing.
The next part of his article seems to invoke the popular cartoonish version of both white voters and conservatives. Buchanan asked why John McCain lost the three states that have had recent Republican revivals, i.e. New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts. His answer; Whites were upset that Bush and McCain were too soft on illegal immigration, and Obama pushing for healthcare reforms would cover mostly minorities. Huh? Then he says, “Any wonder why all those Tea Party and town-hall protests seem to be made up of angry white folks?”
This is just another example of an old establishment guy being out of touch with what real people believe. If anything this supposed turning of white voters to me is more of an awakening to what liberal policies really are. People are finally getting an opportunity to see liberal policies defined as most people simply do not understand them, and the media does a poor job of explaining.
I just don’t buy that the average American sees things through such a paralyzed racial prism that most liberals and Pat Buchanan believes. Yes many white voters, liberal and republican were duped into believing that Obama was not a hard-line ideologue who’d previously made a name for himself and a career on hyper partisanship. But in this past year those truths, which I was scolded for in the run up to the election, have become blatantly clear to previously uninterested citizens. Those who saw Obama’s historic rise as an opportunity to forge ahead in a post-partisan and post-racial America are simply realizing what constitutes liberal policies, and they aren’t buyin.
In order to have a real discussion on topics as dicey as Radical Islam and Racism, we must first start with intellectual honesty. And as I’ve shown before, both sides are guilty of irrational posturing and skewing reality in lieu of political correctness. If our elected leaders and political pundits don’t realize this soon, Scott Browns will be popping up all over America, whether Pat Buchanan understands it or not.