Judgement Day Coming -- For The Neocons
by Patrick J. Buchanan - August 18, 2006 - Townhall.com
What are the elements of Bushite neoconservatism?
First, an interventionist foreign policy, using U.S. power to impose democracy and "end tyranny on this earth." Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon are the laboratories and proving ground.
Second, "Big Government Conservatism," as seen in the deficits, the dearth of vetoes, soaring social spending in wartime, the bulking up of the Department of Education and "faith-based initiatives" -- LBJ-style cash grants to pastors and parsons for Social Gospel work, to reap a harvest of gratitude from the pulpits in elections to come.
Third, a La Raza immigration policy, featuring amnesty and a "path to citizenship" for 12 million illegal aliens, pardons for all businesses that hired illegals, and outsourcing of immigration policy to Corporate America to go abroad and hire workers for jobs here Americans cannot take at the wages offered.
Fourth, a trade policy rooted in the belief that it does not matter where goods are produced or whether Americans produce them. What matters is unimpeded global commerce, where the consumer is king and gets all the goods he wants at the cheapest possible price.
On these four mega-questions, Republicans are as divided as they were in the days of Rockefeller and Goldwater.
Pat Buchanan smells blood in the water. After having abandoned the Republican Party in the last two elections (mostly because the majority of the party did not want him), Buchanan is now trying to claim that his view of the party is coming back, and he wants back in.
His summary of Bush's positions is a distorted view, especially his attempt to claim the mantel of Goldwater's conservatism while placing the mantel of Rockefeller on Bush. These labels are not the divide that we find in the Republican Party today. However the 4 issues on which Buchanan attacks Bush are the four issues where the Republican party does not find agreement across all the ideologies that comprise the party. Lets take each issue.
There is a world wide movement that some call islamofascism. It is driven by the horrible record of the dictatorships of the middle east. However it has the bizarre context that the western world has been blamed for defending the dictatorships, and therefore the islamofascists blame not their leaders, but the western world. They have found in the Koran, and various other Islamic writings, the justification for a dream of a return to the world wide caliphate of the glory days of Islam.
This movement is a reality. In a world where these extremists can see a chance to get their hands on nuclear bombs, some kind of plan to make sure this does not end with the destruction of American cities seems reasonable. Buchanan (like the anti-war socialists of the democratic party) doesn't believe that trying to spread democracy has the chance for success. The argument that unless it is easy, we must declare failure and leave the current horrible mess in the middle east to the people there is absurd. Buchanan and the democrats do not feel a plan is necessary.
The strategy of democratization in the middle east is complicated by the Israeli conflict and the history of Muslim-Jewish hatred. Since Buchanan is on the same side as the Muslims in that conflict, it is not surprising that he feels leaving the dictatorships alone is okay. If the dictatorships are left alone, what ends the islamofascist movement and stops the nuclear blackmail that surely results?
Buchanan actually speaks for the majority of the party (and for me) when he decries Bush's acceptance of Big Government. However you cannot say Bush did not proclaim this as his goal. If you paid attention to Bush's claim of Compassionate Conservatism, this was exactly how he said he would govern.
I am discouraged by the idea that we are headed to an ever greater role for the federal government in everything it is currently involved in, including both education and health care, but this is what people are voting for. I see no popular philosophy that can stop it, no matter how much I decry it.
Bush sees immigration as unstoppable. Go back and read the history of the fall of the Roman empire, and you will find that immigration there was an overwhelming force. In America today, there are powerful forces that insist that illegal immigration must continue. Some are opposed to America and can easily be decried as traitors. Some are simply naive and don't see the consequences of the trends. I believe Bush is one of the later. He has in his own family some truly talented and decent people who came to America through this illegal immigration path. Bush seems to be unable to criticize a process that brought into this nation people he loves. It blinds him to what the majority of the Republican Party, and the majority of the nation, want done.
It is ironic that many people who fight him on the next issue, trade and its exporting of jobs, have no problem with importing workers to take the same jobs. It provides Bush with some rationale that his opponents on both issues do not have a consistent plan.
Bush has bought in to the concept that free enterprise and free markets, unconstrained by the classical mercantilism of managed trade, provide the best environment for people over time to make a good living. There is logic to this position. It does not however work when only America is practicing free enterprise and free markets. There are a select number of American citizens who are bearing the brunt of this policy. For them it is unfair and discriminatory.
The question that must be addressed is how to end the practice of taking a select portion of America's workers and saying that the costs of our current prosperity are they must start over from scratch. They and they alone must pay the price.
I agree with Buchanan that Bush has not worked out the details of a fair free enterprise and free markets philosophy, however neither has Buchanan.
It is interesting to me that as much as I disagree with Buchanan, he is at least participating in the major intellectual challenge of our time, presenting his views on the major issues and talking about solutions. The democratic party and its liberals are not. They continue to insist that their failed policies of the past are the only "politically correct" view and that the discussion must stop.
The only final comment I will make is that most of these policies besides foreign affairs have nothing to do with neocon philosophy, and Buchanan is trying to smear the policies with the neocon label since he thinks it has fallen out of favor at this moment.