David Horowitz

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Posted on January 3 2011 6:45 am
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities

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This article was originally published by Salon on November 8, 1999.

Like many other Republicans, I was not sorry to see Pat Buchanan leave the Republican fold and go for the Reform Party gold. For years, Buchanan has pushed agendas - tribalist, protectionist, isolationist - that one associates with the old America First movement (whose slogan he has actually revived).

America Firsters felt that the Axis powers were not really our enemy (a thesis Buchanan has recently rehashed) and that the salvation of America depended on the preservation of its Anglo-Saxon complexion. It is the face of what some have called an American fascism. Whether it merits such grave concern is a debatable question. America is not the Weimar Republic and Pat Buchanan is no Fuehrer.

Pat’s lonely departure is a sign of the health of the Republican Party, its commitment to democratic aspirations, ethnic inclusion and old-style liberal values. It is striking that no one has followed him out of the party — not a Republican senator (not even Bob Smith), not a congressman, not a single local elected official. I didn’t see much commentary on this in the national media, but then much of the media has an ideological stake in the demonic aura it has helped to create around Republicans in order to keep the left in power.

Despite Republicans’ disdain for much of what Buchanan and his followers believe, the departure is necessarily a mixed omen. Although Buchanan’s constituency has been shrinking of late, there is no doubt that it is significant. If he is able to secure the Reform Party nomination, he will acquire $13 million in taxpayer funds courtesy of the delusional efforts of the campaign finance reformers.

With this artificially created war chest, it is possible that he might pull enough votes to jeopardize Republican hopes in 2000 and create the prospect of a Democratic victory. If this victory were to produce a Democratic Congress and a leftist Supreme Court, it would be a cure worse for the nation than the Buchanan malady has already been for the Republican Party.

For it is among Democrats that we find an even larger caucus for the kind of politics that Buchanan represents on the right end of the political spectrum. This recognition will come as a hard pill to many in the Democratic coalition who think of themselves as “progressive.”

But the corporatist economics (Hillary’s health plan), protectionist prejudices (socialist diehards, government unions) and racial politics of the Democratic left add up to an anti-libertarian, anti-democratic, anti-pluralistic dose at least as lethal as that of the Buchanan brigade. (If the idea still seems indigestible, think of Buchanan’s newfound Reform comrade, Lenora Fulani, who has spent her political life as a totalitarian cultist in the progressive left.)

The left-wing caucus in the Democratic Party is more protected than its Republican cousin and consequently even more aggressive. The lopsided bias of the nation’s media guarantees that a left-wing fanatic and all-weather race-hater like Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., will have few restraints on her poison tongue.

Who is going to call the former head of the Black Caucus to task for spreading conspiracy theories about the CIA seeding the crack epidemic in America’s inner cities? Waters, of course, lacks the innate good manners that have made Buchanan an effective combatant in the political wars and the potential leader of a third party. For this reason alone a Waters presidential candidacy would be, well, risible.

On the other hand, Waters and her political soul mates constitute a formidable force inside the Democrat coalition (powerful enough to be called on by an impeached and disgraced president to pull his chestnuts out of the fire).

Because the racial demagoguery of Democrats like Waters is given free rein by a friendly media, it has spread through the ranks of the party right up to its leadership levels.

Whereas Republicans are ashamed when publicly called on their use of the race card, Democrats have converted that same card into a usable political currency.

Is there a minority candidate so biased, so incompetent or so corrupt that he or she should not be appointed to a federal judgeship or an ambassadorial post? To listen to President Clinton and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., these days, only a racist would think so.

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