Patrick Joseph Buchanan (born November 2, 1938), usually known as Pat Buchanan, is an American conservative journalist and a well known television political commentator. In 2000, he ran for President of the United States on the Reform Party ticket. He has previously sought, though never received, presidential nomination in primaries of the Republican Party.
Buchanan was born in Washington, D.C. and educated in Roman Catholic schools, including Gonzaga College High School, before attending Georgetown University where he graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy in 1961. He then attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City where he earned a Master's Degree in Journalism in 1962. That same year he became an editorial writer for the St. Louis Globe Democrat newspaper.
Buchanan was an early supporter of Richard Nixon's political comeback, from 1966 on acting as advisor to Nixon's campaigns and accompanying Nixon to the White House in the role of advisor and speechwriter until 1974. He briefly continued in this role with Nixon's successor Gerald Ford.
Buchanan has been mentioned as one possibility for the identity of "Deep Throat" in the Watergate scandal.
After leaving political office, Pat Buchanan became a syndicated political columnist and began his regular appearances as a commentator on various national television news shows, including The McLaughlin Group and Crossfire.
Buchanan returned to the White House in 1985, serving as White House Communications Director during the Ronald Reagan administration until 1987.
Buchanan has written five books on his political and religious views.
He and liberal Bill Press cohosted Buchanan & Press on American cable channel MSNBC until it was cancelled in November, 2003. Buchanan is still with MSNBC as an analyst and he occasionally fills in for Joe Scarborough on the nightly show "Scarborough Country". He is also one of the founding editors of and main contributors to The American Conservative magazine.
Campaigns for the Presidency
In 1992 he unsuccessfully challenged George H. W. Bush for the Republican Party Presidential nomination, garnering some 3 million votes in primaries. He again tried for the Republican nomination in 1996, finishing second behind Bob Dole. In 2000 he successfully gained the nomination of the Reform Party, although his nomination was tainted with allegations of unethical tactics and challenges from the John Hagelin camp in many states. His running mate was Ezola B. Foster. He finished fourth with 0.4% of the popular vote (Hagelin garnered 0.1%). Buchanan's nomination as Reform's leader was very controversial within the party, as many of the party's supporters, among other reasons, did not see Buchanan's image as a Nixon Watergate scandal "plumber" as consistent with the party's mission statement, championed by the party's founder and previous leader, Ross Perot.
Buchanan is generally considered to represent the far right of American politics. Although he was a long time member of the party, Buchanan now believes that the Republicans have largely abandoned their traditional conservative principles in favor of neoconservatism, and is often highly critical of the party. Many of his positions are in line with conservative U.S. Republicans of the first half of the 20th century, but have become uncommon in the Republican mainstream in recent generations. It is for these reasons that he has formally abandoned the Republican party in recent years.
Buchanan is decried as an isolationist, although in his book A Republic, Not an Empire he claims that this is meant to be a derogatory tag applied by political groups that tend to put foreign or global interests before the interests of the United States. Buchanan is in favor of ending treaties that do not protect the interests of the United States, such as one-way defense treaties where the USA must come to the aid of other countries when they are attacked, but the other country has no reciprocal obligation. He is in favor of severely restricting immigration into the United States, and of repealing NAFTA and raising tariffs on imported goods to protect domestic industry. He is also a critic of American foreign policy generally, and in his book A Republic, not an Empire he accused the United States of being over involved in the world to the point where it was committing imperialism. He has also argued that Islamic terrorist attacks, such as the events of September 11, 2001 come as a result of this "meddling" in foreign countries, saying "terrorists hate us for what we do, not what we are." Despite being a isolationist with regard to contemporary politics, Buchanan was a staunch supporter of the Cold War and the Vietnam War, positions he justified on the basis that Communism directly threatened the safety of the United States.
Though Buchanan refers to himself as a "traditional conservative," because of the way his views differ from those of "mainstream conservatives," he is often described as a paleoconservative, in contrast to the term Neoconservatism. In Britain, he was supported by the conservative journalist Auberon Waugh, whose position relative to Britain's Conservative mainstream post-Thatcher was very similar to Buchanan's position relative to the modern Republican mainstream.
The British political thinkers most similar to Buchanan in this respect - notably those in the Conservative Democratic Alliance - would be unlikely to acknowledge the similarity because they tend to be strongly anti-American, seeing the pro-US policies of the modern Tory party as its greatest betrayal.
Immigration policy, charges of racism
Pat Buchanan's position regarding immigration is controversial. Pat Buchanan has also called Multiculturalism and diversity as an "all-out" assault on American Culture and has, in the past, called on his supporters to purge America of foreign values.
Pat Buchanan has also been criticized for his advice. As a member of the Nixon administration, Buchanan urged President Richard Nixon not to visit Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, for he believed MLK to be a "criminal" and a divisive figure.
Buchanan argued in a controversial book that the United States did not need to enter World War II because Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would have destroyed each other. The book has led to accusations of him being a Nazi apologist (at best) or an Anti-Semite (at worst).
William F. Buckley has written, "I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism…"(National Review, December 30, 1991)
Pat Buchanan has vocally defended the innocence of some people accused of having been Nazi war criminals, most famously Ivan Demjanjuk. In a March 17, 1990 column defending Demjanjuk, he claimed that the diesel engines used to suffocate inmates at Treblinka could "not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody."
- Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2004) ISBN 0312341156
- The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (2001) ISBN 0312285485
- A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny (1999) ISBN 089526272X
- The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy (1998) ISBN 0316115185
- Right from the Beginning (1988) ISBN 0316114081
- Conservative Votes, Liberal Victories: Why the Right Has Failed (1975) ISBN 0812905822
- The New Majority: President Nixon at Mid-Passage (1973)