He co-founded The American Conservative magazine and launched a paleoconservative foundation named The American Cause. He has been published in Human Events, National Review, The Nation and Rolling Stone. He is currently a political commentator on the MSNBC cable network including the show Race for the White House and a regular on The McLaughlin Group. He is sometimes a guest on the Fox News Channel show Hannity and Colmes on American television.
While studying at Georgetown Buchanan served in ROTC and received his draft notice in 1960. However, a District of Columbia draft board rejected him from military service due to reactive arthritis, declaring him 4-F. After Georgetown, Buchanan earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia in 1962. He wrote his master's project at Columbia on the expanding trade between Canada and Cuba.
Buchanan married White House staffer Shelley Ann Scarney in 1971. They have no children.
Buchanan traveled with Nixon throughout the campaigns of 1966 and 1968. He made a tour of Western Europe, Africa, and in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, the Middle East. When Nixon took the Oval Office in 1969, Buchanan worked as a White House adviser and speechwriter for Nixon and vice president Spiro Agnew. Buchanan coined the phrase Silent Majority and helped shape the strategy that drew millions of Democrats to Nixon; in a 1972 memo he suggested the White House "should move to re-capture the anti-Establishment tradition or theme in American politics." His daily duties included developing political strategy, publishing the President's Daily News Summary, and preparing briefing books for news conferences. He accompanied Nixon on his trip to China in 1972 and the summit in Moscow, Yalta, and Minsk in 1974. He suggested to Nixon to label Democratic opponent George McGovern as an extremist and burn the White House tapes.
Buchanan remained as a special assistant to the president through the final days of the Watergate Scandal. He was not accused of wrongdoing, though some mistakenly suspected him as Deep Throat. When the actual identity of the press leak was revealed as FBI Associate Director Mark Felt in 2005, Buchanan called him "sneaky," "dishonest," and "criminal." Due to his role in the Nixon campaign's "Attack Group," Buchanan appeared before the Senate Watergate Committee on September 26, 1973. He told the panel: "The mandate that the American people gave to this president and his administration cannot and will not be frustrated or repealed or overthrown as a consequence of the incumbent tragedy." When Nixon resigned in 1974, Buchanan briefly stayed on as special assistant under incoming President Gerald Ford. Chief of Staff Alexander Haig approved Buchanan's appointment as ambassador to South Africa, but Ford refused it.
Buchanan later referred to Watergate as "the lost opportunity to move against the political forces frustrating the expressed national will" and remarked: "To effect a political counterrevolution in the capital ... there is no substitute for a principled and dedicated man of the Right in the Oval Office." Long after his resignation, Nixon called Buchanan a confidant and said he was neither an anti-Semite nor a "hater," but a "decent, patriotic American." Nixon said Buchanan had "some strong views," such as his, "isolationist" foreign policy, with which he disagreed. While the former president did not think Buchanan should become president, he said the commentator "should be heard.
Buchanan supported President Reagan's plan to visit a German military cemetery at Bitburg in 1985, where among buried Wehrmacht soldiers, were 48 buried Waffen SS members. Over the vocal objections of Jewish groups, the trip went through. In an interview, author Elie Wiesel described attending a White House meeting of Jewish leaders about the trip,
"The only one really defending the trip," he said, "was Pat Buchanan, saying, 'We cannot give the perception of the president being subjected to Jewish pressure."
Buchanan said in response in an ABC interview in 1992,
"I didn't say it and Elie Wiesel wasn't even in the meeting. [...] that meeting was held three weeks before the Bitburg summit was held. If I had said that, it would have been out of there within hours and on the news.
In a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters in 1986, Buchanan said about the "Reagan Revolution," "Whether President Reagan has charted a new course that will set our compass for decades -- or whether history will see him as the conservative interruption in a process of inexorable national decline -- is yet to be determined." A year later, he remarked "the greatest vacuum in American politics is to the right of Ronald Reagan." While her brother was working for Reagan, Bay Buchanan started a "Buchanan for President" movement in June 1986. She said the conservative movement needed a leader, but Buchanan was initially ambivalent. After leaving the White House, he returned to his column and Crossfire. Out of respect for Jack Kemp he sat out the 1988 race, although Kemp later became his adversary.
In 1992, Buchanan explained his reasons for challenging the incumbent, President George H. W. Bush: "If the country wants to go in a liberal direction, if the country wants to go in the direction of [Democrats] George Mitchell and Tom Foley, it doesn't bother me as long as I've made the best case I can. What I can't stand are the back-room deals. They're all in on it, the insider game, the establishment game -- this is what we're running against."
He ran on a platform of economic nationalism, immigration reduction, and social conservatism, including opposition to multiculturalism, abortion, and gay rights. Buchanan seriously challenged Bush (whose popularity was waning) when he won 38 percent of the seminal New Hampshire primary. In the primary elections, Buchanan garnered three million total votes.
Buchanan later threw his support behind Bush, and delivered a keynote address at the 1992 Republican National Convention, which became known as the culture war speech, in which he described "a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America." In the speech, he said of Bill and Hillary Clinton:
The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America--abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units--that's change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America needs. It is not the kind of change America wants. And it is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God's country.
The enthusiastic applause he received prompted his detractors to claim that the speech alienated moderates from the Bush/Quayle ticket.
Buchanan returned to radio as host of Buchanan and Company, a three-hour talk show for Mutual Broadcasting System on July 5, 1993. It pitted him against liberal co-hosts, including Barry Lynn, Bob Beckel, and Chris Matthews, in a time slot opposite Rush Limbaugh's show. To launch his 1996 campaign, Buchanan left the program on March 20, 1995.
1996 saw Buchanan's most impressive attempt to win the Republican nomination. With a Democratic President (Bill Clinton) seeking re-election, there was no incumbent Republican with a lock on the ticket. Indeed, with defeated President George H. W. Bush having made clear he was not interested in re-gaining the office, the closest the party had to a front-runner was the Senate Majority leader Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas, who was considered to have many weaknesses. Buchanan sought the Republican nomination from Dole's right, voicing his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Other candidates for the nomination included Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander and the multi-millionaire publisher Steve Forbes.
In February, the Center for Public Integrity issued a report claiming Buchanan's presidential campaign co-chairman, Larry Pratt, appeared at two meetings organized by white supremacist and militia leaders. Pratt denied any tie to racism, calling the report an orchestrated smear before the New Hampshire primary. Buchanan told the Manchester Union Leader he believed Pratt. Pratt took a leave of absence "to answer these charges," "so as not to have distraction in the campaign.
Buchanan defeated Senator Bob Dole by about 3,000 votes to win the February New Hampshire primary, getting his campaign off to an energetic start. He went on to win three more states (Alaska, Missouri and Louisiana), and finished only slightly behind Dole in the Iowa caucus. His insurgent campaign used his soaring rhetoric to mobilise grass-roots right wing opinion against what he saw as the bland Washington establishment (personified by Dole) which he believed had controlled the party for years. At a rally later in Nashua, he said, "We shocked them in Alaska. Stunned them in Louisiana. Stunned them in Iowa. They are in a terminal panic. They hear the shouts of the peasants from over the hill. All the knights and barons will be riding into the castle pulling up the drawbridge in a minute. All the peasants are coming with pitchforks. We're going to take this over the top. While campaigning, Buchanan used a slogan with his supporters, "The peasants are coming with pitchforks", occasionally appearing with a prop pitchfork, thus earning him the nickname "Pitchfork Pat."
In the Super Tuesday primaries however, Dole defeated Buchanan by large margins. Having collected only twenty one percent of the total votes in Republican primaries, Buchanan suspended his campaign in March. He declared however that If Dole were to choose a pro-choice running mate, he would run as the U.S. Taxpayers Party (now Constitution Party) candidate. In the event, Dole chose Jack Kemp and he received Buchanan's endorsement. After the 1996 campaign, Buchanan returned to his column and Crossfire. He also began a series of paleoconservative books with 1998's The Great Betrayal.
Supporters of Hagelin charged the results of the party's open primary, which favored Buchanan by a wide margin, were "tainted." The Reform Party divisions led to dual conventions being held simultaneously in separate areas of the Long Beach Convention Center complex. Both conventions' delegates ignored the primary ballots and voted to nominate their presidential candidates from the floor, similar to the Democratic and Republican conventions. One convention nominated Buchanan while the other backed Hagelin, with each camp claiming to be the legitimate Reform Party.
Ultimately, when the Federal Elections Commission ruled Buchanan was to receive ballot status as the Reform candidate, as well as about $12.6 million dollars in federal campaign funds secured by Perot's showing in the 1996 election, Buchanan won the nomination. In his acceptance speech, Buchanan proposed U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations and expelling the U.N. out of New York, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, taxes on inheritance and capital gains, and affirmative action programs. As his running mate, Buchanan chose African-American activist and retired teacher from Los Angeles, Ezola B. Foster.
In the 2000 presidential election, Buchanan finished fourth with 449,895 votes, 0.4 percent of the popular vote. (Hagelin garnered 0.1 percent as the Natural Law candidate.) In Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan received 3,407 votes -- which some saw as inconsistent with Palm Beach County's liberal leanings, its large Jewish population and his showing in the rest of the state. As a result of the county's now-infamous "butterfly ballot," he is suspected to have gained thousands of inadvertent votes. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer stated, "Palm Beach county is a Pat Buchanan stronghold and that's why Pat Buchanan received 3,407 votes there." However, Reform Party officials strongly disagreed, estimating the number of supporters in the county at between 400 and 500. Appearing on The Today Show, Buchanan said: "When I took one look at that ballot on Election Night. . . it's very easy for me to see how someone could have voted for me in the belief they voted for Al Gore."
Some observers said his campaign was aimed to spread his message beyond his white base, while his views had not changed.
Following the 2000 election, Reformers urged Buchanan to take an active role within the party. Buchanan declined though he did attend their 2001 convention. In the next few years, he identified himself as a political independent, choosing not to align himself with what he viewed as the neo-conservative Republican party leadership. Prior to the 2004 election, Buchanan announced he once again identified himself as a Republican, declared that he had no interest in ever running for president again, and reluctantly endorsed Bush's 2004 reelection, writing, "Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.
Although CNN decided not to take him back, Buchanan's column resumed. A longer variation of the Crossfire format was aired by MSNBC as Buchanan and Press on July 15, 2002, reuniting Buchanan and Press. Billed as "the smartest hour on television", Buchanan and Press featured the duo interviewing guests and sparring about the top news stories. As the Iraq War loomed, Buchanan and Press toned down their rivalry, as they both opposed the invasion. Press claims they were the first cable hosts to discuss the planned attack. MSNBC Editor-in-Chief Jerry Nachman once jokingly lamented this unusual situation, saying, "So the point is why does only Fox [News Channel] get this? At least, we work at the perfect place, the place that's fiercely independent. We try to have balance by putting you two guys together and then this Stockholm syndrome love fest set in between the two of you, and we no longer even have robust debate."
Just hours after his talk show debuted, Buchanan was a guest on the premiere of MSNBC's ill-fated Donahue program. Host Phil Donahue and Buchanan debated the separation of church and state. Buchanan called Donahue "dictatorial and teased that the host got his job through affirmative action.
After MSNBC President Eric Sorenson canceled Buchanan and Press on November 26, 2003, Buchanan stayed at MSNBC as a political analyst. He regularly appears on the network's talk shows. He occasionally filled in on the nightly show Scarborough Country during its run on MSNBC. Buchanan is now a frequent guest and co-host of Morning Joe as well as Race for the White House with David Gregory and The Rachel Maddow Show.
Some of Buchanan's contemporary positions reflect the influence of the paleoconservative magazine Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Many of his views, particularly his opposition to American imperialism and the managerial state, echo those of the Old Right Republicans of the first half of the 20th century. For example, Buchanan decries US entry into the Spanish-American War and every war since, and supports abolishing many government agencies, such as the Department of Education and the Bureau of Land Management. "We do not consider 'Big Government conservatism' a philosophy," Buchanan said in 2005. "We consider it a heresy.
Following his return to the Republican Party, he maintains the Republican party has largely abandoned traditional anti-war, anti-imperialist conservative principles for neoconservatism. On MSNBC before the 2006 State of the Union Address, he characterized President Bush as a "Great Society" Republican. "He is Woodrow Wilson in foreign policy, FDR in trade policy, he's LBJ on immigration, but he's Reagan on judges," he said.
He says both parties are now barely distinguishable. "The Republican Party in Washington D.C. today are the sort of people we went into politics to run out of town," he told a public radio interviewer.
At least against conservative Catholics, Buchanan charges the New York Times with Anti-Catholic bias. He has referred to John Kerry and other Catholics who claim views on abortion and homosexual unions which dissent from official Catholic Doctrine, as scandalous heretics. On the direction of the Catholic Church since Vatican II, he has stated:
"The Church is in crisis today not because it failed to adjust its teaching and practices to the sexual revolution, but because it tried both to be true to its teachings and to keep in step with an immoral age, which is an impossibility. The way for the Church to restore its lost moral authority is to retrace its steps."
Buchanan praised Pope John Paul II's views on abortion, homosexuality, and extra-marital sex, calling him "the most politically incorrect man on Earth." Buchanan says post-Vatican II liberalism is hurting Mass attendance and reducing the numbers of priests and nuns. He later praised the pope's successor, Benedict XVI, as uncompromising on Catholic doctrines, including divorce, contraception and women's ordination. On the other hand, he said Pope John Paul II was wrong on the death penalty, saying "it is the Holy Father and the bishops who are outside the Catholic mainstream, and at odds with Scripture, tradition and natural law.
"Because of the over-the-top attacks on Gibson, millions who see 'The Passion' will also come to see the slur of 'anti-Semite!' for what it has all too often become, an attempt to smear, silence, intimidate, ostracize and blacklist.
Responding to charges Pope Pius XII remained silent during the Holocaust, Buchanan called the claim, "a blood libel that is Hitlerite in dimension." He notes the Nazis despised the Pontiff, while the victims of Nazism (and the 1940s New York Times) praised him. He says Pius XII reigned during "a time of explosive growth in the Church and supports proposals to have him declared a saint.
When Buchanan ran for president in 1996, he promised to fight for the conservative side of the culture war, saying, "I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency of the United States, to the full extent of my power and ability, to defend American traditions and the values of faith, family, and country, from any and all directions. And, together, we will chase the purveyors of sex and violence back beneath the rocks whence they came". In a 2004 column, he wrote, "Who is in your face here? Who started this? Who is on the offensive? Who is pushing the envelope? The answer is obvious. A radical Left aided by a cultural elite that detests Christianity and finds Christian moral tenets reactionary and repressive is hell-bent on pushing its amoral values and imposing its ideology on our nation. The unwisdom of what the Hollywood and the Left are about should be transparent to all".
Buchanan says pornography is a symptom of society's displacement of Christianity. He argues capitalism's power should not extend to such material. He referred to hardcore pornography as ”the sort of squalid, grungy stuff that, not long ago, would have had the men who produced and distributed it sent to prison for years, after being denounced from the bench as perverts”.
Filmmaker Michael Moore, as part of his book Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American, mailed several hundred dollar checks to various 1996 presidential candidates, written under the guise of fictional support groups with names and agendas antithetical to the particular candidate's ideology, "just to see if politicians would take money from anybody." Buchanan was the first to cash his check, which was from the fictional group "Abortionists for Buchanan." This is featured in Moore's film The Big One.
Buchanan believes the right to die does not exist, and compares Euthanasia to the culture of the pre-Christian Roman Empire, calling euthanasia a "crime against humanity. He claims Florida murdered comatose woman Terri Schiavo by starving her to death. He argues such practices will physically destroy Western civilization. "In coming decades," he predicts, "involuntary euthanasia will be commonplace in Europe, and Generation X battles to stay alive into old age will be treated with the same cold contempt as they treated the silent screams of the unborn. Millions will be put to sleep like aged and incontinent household pets. Since the 1960s, the radical young have pleaded for a world free of the strictures of the old Christian morality. They are close to getting what they have demanded... and my sense is that they will not like what they get".
In announcing his 1996 presidential campaign, he said:
Today, in too many of our schools our children are being robbed of their innocence. Their minds are being poisoned against their Judeo-Christian heritage, against America's heroes and against American history, against the values of faith and family and country. Eternal truths that do not change from the Old and New Testament have been expelled from our public schools, and our children are being indoctrinated in moral relativism, and the propaganda of an anti-Western ideology.
Buchanan deplores that Christianity and the Ten Commandments were "expelled" from public education. To allow state-sanctioned prayer in public schools, he supports passing a constitutional amendment. In a 1999 interview, he said "ever since the judges have gotten heavily into education, and the National Education Association has gotten into control of that Department of Education, test scores go down, there’s violence in classroom, things are going wrong." In Right from the Beginning, he said, "A National Day of Prayer, conducted inside the classrooms of America's public schools, by Christian teachers, in open defiance of Supreme Court edicts, would send a message of political strengths the Secular City could not ignore.
Buchanan writes the theory of evolution, which he calls 'Darwinism', "contains dogmas men may believe, but cannot stand the burden of proof, the acid of attack or the demands of science." He endorses the concept of intelligent design, and argues the laws of science "imply the existence of a lawmaker.
"Someone's values are going to prevail. Why not ours? Whose country is it, anyway? Whose moral code says we may interfere with a man's right to be a practicing bigot, but must respect and protect his right to be a practicing sodomite?"However, Buchanan does not reject gays as political supporters. Notably, due to their common Old Right anti-war views, he developed professional ties with gay paleolibertarian Justin Raimondo.
In Right from the Beginning, Buchanan wrote: "The real liberators of American women were not the feminist noise-makers; they were the automobile, the supermarket, the shopping center, the dishwasher, the washer-dryer, the freezer." He went on to explain these conveniences allowed "Mom" to spend more time reading, teaching or getting involved in the community. He vocally opposed the policy of allowing women to serve in military combat. In Death of the West, he wrote that early campaigners for women's rights such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton held social views distinctly different from those of second-wave feminists of the 1960s. He has expressed his belief that the latter hold much of the responsibility for imperiling Western civilization.
During a heated 2008 debate with fellow MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews over the media's coverage of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Matthews claimed Buchanan's views on women and feminism had unconvincingly changed ever since the 2008 Democratic primaries, when Buchanan defended longtime foe Hillary Clinton from what he considered unfair treatment by the media. "When did you become Dr. Phil?... Now you've become the foster father of all women politicians," said Matthews. "What's your problem with strong women, buddy?" retorted Buchanan, noting that Matthews once had to publicly apologize for what was widely perceived as a sexist comment about Hillary Clinton. Buchanan added that "The 'M-S' in 'NBC' should not stand for 'misogyny'.
The Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to own, possess, and use personal firearms, and as President I will ensure that this right is not compromised. People convicted of violent crime should forfeit their right to own firearms, but sportsmen, hunters, & law-abiding Americans should be allowed to use guns for pleasure or personal or family safety. Private ownership of guns gives citizens of this free republic the means to protect life, liberty and property -- and I will fully & faithfully protect that right.
Buchanan endorsed armed resistance to urban unrest, saying, "There is one root cause that is common to all riots: rioters. When such people -- as they did early in May -- attack a bus carrying terrified commuters, they do not need to hear a lot of bullhocky about 'communicating' and 'dialogue.' They need to hear through a local bullhorn the three little words that say it all: 'Lock and load!'
Buchanan supports the war on drugs and, opposing marijuana legalization, he has said marijuana use is not a victimless crime. On the other hand, he has also declared that marijuana use for medicinal purposes should be a matter between patient and doctor. "If a doctor indicated to his patient that this was the only way to alleviate certain painful symptoms," Buchanan told the Charlotte Observer, "I would defer to the doctor's judgment".
In 1992, he said: "if we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia? He says an open Mexican border invites the drug trade, which he does not consider a victimless crime. In Where the Right Went Wrong he claimed "the Communist Chinese government has the secret loyalty of millions of 'overseas Chinese' from Singapore to San Francisco." He opposes Muslim immigration to the United States and Europe.
Buchanan has vocally criticized large-scale immigration, both legal and illegal, especially coming across the Mexican border. He supports increased border security and opposed President Bush's guest worker program (which he labeled amnesty) for illegal immigrants.
He states many left-wing Mexican-Americans have a revanchist view on territories lost to the United States in the Mexican-American War. He declares their high birthrates threaten the social cohesion of certain parts of the country. In State of Emergency, he warned that the American Southwest could "become a giant Kosovo", still part of the United States, but Mexican in "language, ethnicity, history and culture."
Buchanan says immigration poses a security risk and porous borders is making America vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
In State of Emergency, he writes, "Any man or any woman, of any color or creed, can be a good American. We know that from our history. But when it comes to the ability to assimilate into a nation like the United States, all nationalities, creeds, and cultures are not equal. To say that is ideology speaking, not judgment born out of experience." During an interview promoting the book, Buchanan said he did not prefer only white immigrants, yet lamented changes in demographics of the United States. "I'd like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., – 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country". Asked if he believed the country should try to keep such ratio he replied "No, no. What I believe is that people should not deliberately alter the character and composition of the country without consulting the American people. If you adopt two children, Alan, you're going to go in and you're going to decide who comes. Who should decide who comes and who doesn't? First, illegals should not come. Secondarily, the American people should be consulted about how many immigrants come, what are the criteria. – And we haven't been consulted.
Buchanan writes in State of Emergency, "Race matters. Ethnicity matters. History matters. Faith matters. Nationality matters. While they are not everything, they are not nothing. Multiculturalism be damned, this is what history teaches us."
He attacked President Clinton for profiting from blacks' votes, yet relegating blacks to political "Section Eight housing - secondary cabinet positions which have no influence in the inner core of an administration".
In his 2006 book State of Emergency, Buchanan writes having the federal government repeal the Jim Crow laws were the right decisions, but racial quotas and busing are/were not. He maintains Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy was a good idea, and dedicates an entire chapter called "The Suicide of the G.O.P." to his view the Republican Party's new strategy of courting minority votes at the expense of its traditional base will spell doom.
State of Emergency also details his take on the importance of race, statistics dealing with race, crime and education, and America's history concerning race. In the book, Buchanan praises the anti-immigration positions of black leaders like Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, his favorite black American leader, and W.E.B. DuBois. He has especially praised Washington's pleas with industrialists to hire Blacks instead of immigrants. He attacks modern day African-American leaders (along with today's union and business leaders) for not taking the same position. The book's view of the African-American community in general is critical in some instances and supportive in others, often taking the contemporary black community to task for the country's high crime rates but also portraying blacks as victims of illegal immigration and at times taking a sympathetic historical view of black Americans.
America did not listen [to Booker T. Washington's concerns]. Millions of jobs in burgeoning industries went to immigrants who poured into the United States between 1890 and 1920. These men and women enriched our country. But they also moved ahead of and shouldered aside black men and women whose families had been here for generations and even centuries. Not until immigration had been dramatically cut in the Coolidge era, and World War II created an all-consuming demand for industrial workers, were black Americans brought by the hundreds of thousands north to the manufacturing cities of America. And when they were, a Black middle class was created upon which the civil rights movement was built. When immigration stopped, Black America advanced, as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and A. Philip Randolph said it would.[p.231]
In a 2000 public radio interview, Buchanan said King was a divisive figure.
[I said that in] a memo in 1969 whether we should recognize the day or go down and see Mrs. King, and I suggested we not see Mrs. King. I said, ‘Martin Luther King was one of the most divisive men. Some see him as the messiah of the nation, others think he’s a dreadful person. He is a divisive figure.’ Look, I knew Martin Luther King. I am the only candidate who was at the march on Washington. I was in the Lincoln Memorial. I was in Mississippi covering the civil rights demonstrations... Like every great movement, the civil rights movement had things that were attractive and things that were not. And for my history, friends, we make no apologies.
Death of the West displays a more positive view of King and State of Emergency quotes him with approval.
Buchanan says while he wants endangered species to survive, regulations protecting habitats are unconstitutional takings from private landowners. During his 2000 presidential campaign, he explained:
We have a Biblically-based obligation to be good stewards of the land as “keepers of the commons.” However, the modern environmental movement has been co-opted by globalists who use international treaties to regulate our industries, and violate property rights by converting private holdings into public “habitats”. No one is more qualified to conserve land than the people who live on it. The government should not trample states' rights by turning local land into public property.
In The Great Betrayal, Buchanan argues that free trade contributes to environmental destruction. He blames multinational corporations, saying they do not have the same vested interest in respecting nature as "economic patriots". He also opposes the Kyoto Protocol.
Buchanan says that being a lifelong "cat fan" is what sparked his interest in the issue of animal cruelty. "I've always been disgusted by that," he remarked, "even though I'm not a vegetarian".
During the 2000 campaign, he elaborated on his interpretations of the roots of WWII:
"It was Wilsonism, liberal interventionism, not 'isolationism,' that created the moral-political swamp in which fascism, Hitlerism, and Stalinism were spawned. Unable to deal with the truth - that their own heroes produced the disasters that may yet ring down the curtain on Western Civilization - the blind children of Wilson now scapegoat Pius XII and America First. Do those attacking me realize they are defending the policies that produced World War II and virtual annihilation of the Jewish population of Europe? While the West is busy erecting Holocaust museums, it has failed to study the history that produced it.
In a 1977 column, Buchanan said despite Hitler's anti-Jewish and genocidal tendencies he was "an individual of great courage...Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.
In A Republic, Not an Empire, he refers to Auschwitz and Katyn as places "where SS and NKVD killers roamed free and labored long into the night." In another column, Buchanan mentions the Holocaust as one of the horrors of World War II along with "the collapse of the British Empire, the Stalinization of 11 nations of Eastern Europe, 50 million dead and half a century of Cold War.
In his book State of Emergency, Buchanan blames Hitler and the Holocaust for contemporary "white guilt" and political correctness. He quotes several Jewish voices in support of the melting pot concept contrary to multiculturalism, and gives examples of anti-Jewish sentiment on the part of some Mexican immigrants.
In defending himself against charges of Nazi sympathies, Buchanan calls Hitler a "monster" guilty of "ugly actions and discriminatory laws". He says the Holocaust did not become a Final Solution until the Wannsee conference in 1942, after the Pearl Harbor attack ended the debate over U.S. involvement in World War II. Until then, the Holocaust was no more of a concern for U.S interventionist leaders than it was for the isolationists. Buchanan says America fought on the right side of the conflict -- and after Hitler declared war on the United States, had no choice but to fight.
Though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide, he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him...Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.
Slate's Jacob Weisberg takes credit for finding this quote as one evidence of Buchanan's alleged bigotry. Buchanan supporters say the paragraph is easily taken out of context. They point out that in the same review Buchanan praised Winston Churchill for seeing that "Hitler was marching along the road toward a New Order where Western civilization would not survive" and concluded that modern-day statesmen were not following that example.
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, in an October 11, 1999, letter to the Washington Post claimed that A Republic, Not an Empire "defends Charles Lindbergh against charges of anti-Semitism, not mentioning the infamous 1940 [sic] speech in which he accused the Jews of warmongering." Buchanan denies this and points out Foxman's error, saying that he mentioned the 1941 speech to say it "ignited a national firestorm," which lingered after the aviator's death, and shows "the explosiveness of mixing ethnic politics and foreign policy". Buchanan also said in 2002:
There was nothing immoral, or unwise, about the isolationists’ position of 1940-41. Because of the courageous efforts of Lindbergh and America First, the United States stayed out of the war until Hitler threw the full force of his war machine against Stalin. Thus, the Soviet Union, not America’s young, bore the brunt of defeating Nazi Germany.
In a 1990 column defending Demjanjuk, Buchanan also claimed, "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody. In 1988, 97 kids, trapped 400 feet underground in a Washington, D.C., tunnel while two locomotives spewed diesel exhaust into the car, emerged unharmed after 45 minutes. Demjanjuk's weapon of mass murder cannot kill". When asked for his source, Buchanan said, "somebody sent it to me." Critic Jamie McCarthy says this claim may have come from the German American Information and Education Association's newsletter, a publication he accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. He also argues that "unlike the locomotive engineer in Buchanan's example, who was concerned with saving the lives of trapped people, the Nazis had no qualms about opening the engine's throttle and restricting the air intake". The Washington Post reported in 1989, before the controversy, that, "An Amtrak train had been stalled in a tunnel for half an hour, and smoke from the diesel engine had filled the first car, where there were 97 fifth-grade pupils and 27 adult chaperones. [EMT Cynthia] Brown boarded the train, guided the passengers -- most of whom suffered from smoke inhalation -- from the car and assisted those who needed immediate attention.
Buchanan argues that much American "meddling" in the Middle East is not to protect the U.S. national interest but largely done to support Israel. Buchanan has referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory. In 1991 he wrote Congress has become "a Parliament of Whores incapable of standing up for U.S. national interests if AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is on the other end of the line. He accuses Israel of spying on the U.S. in many instances other than the well-publicized case of Jonathan Pollard, about whom he wrote, "Israel suborned Jonathan Pollard to loot our secrets and refuses to return the documents, which would establish whether or not they were sold to Moscow. When Clinton tried to broker an agreement at Wye Plantation between Israel and Arafat, Bibi Netanyahu attempted to extort, as his price for signing, release of Pollard, so he could take this treasonous snake back to Israel as a national hero". In the 1990s, he endorsed the "land for peace" policy in the Middle East. He also strongly praised Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, calling him "the statesman who brought peace after a half century of fighting for Israel's place in the sun".
The first widespread accusations of anti-Semitism against Buchanan concerned the September 15, 1990, McLaughlin Group program. On it, Buchanan said that "there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East -- the Israeli defense ministry and its 'amen corner' in the United States." He also said, "The Israelis want this war desperately because they want the United States to destroy the Iraqi war machine. They want us to finish them off. They don't care about our relations with the Arab world." This sparked New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal to complain of "venom" and a "blood libel" against Jews, saying "that to be silent about anti-Semitism would be a sin with which I could not live." ("Amen corner" is a slang term used by some American Protestants to describe a group of people who sit in near one another in church and shout "Amen!" whenever the preacher makes a point.)
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said before the 1990 invasion of Iraq, Buchanan made "an appeal to anti-Semitic bigotry" and "accused Israel's American supporters of goading the United States into the Persian Gulf War by writing in one column, '"The civilized world must win this fight,' the editors thunder. But, if it comes to war, it will not be the 'civilized world' humping up that bloody road to Baghdad; it will be American kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales and Leroy Brown." Buchanan doesn't see anything anti-Semitic about this statement, and he responded, "If it is the lack of Jewish names among those soldiers, why is my list not also anti-Italian, anti-Greek, and anti-Polish?"
Buchanan also denies the neoconservative maxim that the United States is "the first universal nation, one that embodies rational, democratic principles about freedom, equality and virtue that are applicable everywhere. He says "every true nation is the creation of a unique people", sharing a common heritage, culture and language. Further, "Americans are a people apart from all others, with far more in common than political beliefs. He also says that America's modern-day sexual immorality and "imperial decadence" are not worth emulating: In his opinion, "A society that accepts the killing of a third of its babies as women's 'emancipation,' that considers homosexual marriage to be social progress, that hands out contraceptives to 13-year-old girls at junior high ought to be seeking out a confessional – better yet, an exorcist – rather than striding into a pulpit like Elmer Gantry to lecture mankind on the superiority of 'American values.'
In March 2003, Buchanan wrote an American Conservative cover story arguing that neoconservatives want "to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interest." He claimed that Lawrence Kaplan, David Brooks, Max Boot, Robert Kagan and others used anti-Semitism charges to intimidate Iraq War critics. Buchanan wrote that the American national interest is at stake and "warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon." He argued that a group of "polemicists and public officials" was "colluding with Israel" to start wars, wreck the Oslo Accords, damage U.S. relations with Arab states, alienate Western and Islamic allies, and threaten the peace won by winning the Cold War.
United States presidential election, 1996 (Republican primaries):
United States presidential election, 2000 (Reform Party primaries)
2000 Reform Party National Convention