Interview with Patrick J. Buchanan
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello to someone who knows far more about these issues than I ever will, and certainly is one of those great Americans that Sean Hannity likes to talk about all the time, my friend and yours, Patrick J. Buchanan. Welcome back.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the Dude Maker Hotline and say hello to someone who knows far more about these issues than I ever will, and certainly is one of those great Americans that Sean Hannity likes to talk about all the time, my friend and yours, Patrick J. Buchanan. Welcome back.
Patrick J. Buchanan: How you doing, Mike?
Mike: I am well.
Buchanan: It’s been a long time.
Mike: It has been a long time.
Buchanan: Goes back to your youth as I recall.
Mike: Well, I’m not quite that old yet but I’m working on it. I understand we only have a limited amount of time, so I have a couple things I’d like to just get to straight away with you. You, as am I, are the aforementioned Roman Catholic that I’m speaking of. Are you troubled with what you’re seeing here across the cultural and now political and legal landscape as it applies to your and my understanding and use of, as I said, the Magisterium that you were taught as a boy?
Buchanan: I am. When you take a look at what’s happening out here in Indiana and places across the country, I think what is going on is that the homosexual militants and the gay rights movement, they move from a request that they be left alone, and then a request that they be allowed to marry, to a demand that everybody recognize in their conduct and behavior and how they treat them that we all recognize and its legality and its morality by how we conduct ourselves. As many of us disagree with that lifestyle, and many believe it would be immoral to be complicit in any way, or to indicate that you really approve of that lifestyle – that would give scandal, which you’re not supposed to do. They’re saying: No, I won’t participate in it. I can’t control what the State says and does about what they allow, but I can certainly disagree if they demand that I participate in something that gives my assent to it. In that case, I think you move to a position of civil disobedience.
Mike: When you ran for president – the last time you ran was in 2000, I believe – this is one of the issues that you kept bringing up. You kept telling conservatives, correctly I believe, and you’ll be vindicated, my friend – you kept telling conservatives that the issues that mattered most were those social issues, were those issues of life and morality and how we conduct our personal lives and our faith, etc., etc. They mocked you, my friend. They made fun of you. They said you were radical and this, that, and the other. You have been vindicated. What has happened to all the other conservatives? They’re gone. There’s no one left but you.
Buchanan: Well, I don’t know that that’s true. I think there are an awful lot of people who were standing up, basically with the original motivation of that law in Indiana, and actually with what it said, which was protecting Christians’ right to behave according to their Christian beliefs in their jobs and their businesses. What’s happening in America is a much larger thing. I think we were deeply a predominantly Christian culture with a predominantly Christian country. That culture determined the laws very much. What has happened is, America has changed and there has been a social / moral / cultural revolution and secular humanism, whatever you want to call it, basically has displaced Christianity as the basis of law. It’s imposing its version of what is truth and what is right upon America. What you’re getting is a tremendous resistance from the residual part of America, which is devoutly and deeply Christian and traditionalists. That’s the great conflict of our time. America is changing. Aristotle said it’s a change within the form. We still may declare ourselves to be what we were, but we are not; we are something else. If you take a look at today’s society, it is totally upside down from what it was in the 1950s.
Mike: It’s irreconcilable. Patrick J. Buchanan is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Switching gears for just a moment here, you were also one of the few people back in the early 1990s that correctly identified this insurgency within conservatism that we now call neoconservatism, that we would be put on a path to never-ending war, that our foreign policy wouldn’t be a foreign policy but a war policy. That has also now played itself out. Reflect on that for a moment if you will.
Buchanan: Sure. I think my whole career, as a matter of fact, it was a motivation of my career in journalism and politics and government and campaigning with Nixon and Reagan, was the Cold War. I thought this was a war that had been declared upon us by global Communism, atheism, and Marxism. It meant to conquer mankind and conquer the world and we’re the main impediment. Contributing in the civilian sector of that conflict was the work of my lifetime. When it was over, the Russians had given up Bolshevism. They’d given up the Soviet Empire. The Soviet Union was broken apart into 14 countries. They’d gone home. The Red Army had gone home. And let’s us go home because the war is over. The neocons said: No, war is eternal. I said: Who’s the enemy? They had to go find enemies. Saddam Hussein was going to come over and use crop dusters to drop anthrax on me on my way to the beach. I didn’t believe it. There are bad people in Zimbabwe. There are bad people in Sudan. There are bad people all over the world, but as long as they don’t threaten my country or its vital interests, it’s not a cause for the United States to send its sons to fight and die.
We had a great battle over these things. I think George Bush came into office arguing many of these points, but he got caught up in the – after 9/11 we did right to go after Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda, and we still are right to do that. Going in and trying to remake Afghanistan and make it look like northern Virginia, or the idea of invading Iraq and throwing out the Sunnis and putting in the Shia, who are allies of Iran, it didn’t make sense, and it does not make sense. We’re in a horrendous situation now because of all this. These people, the neocons, there’s no doubt they’ve displaced traditional conservatives. I think in the leadership positions, or at least in positions in foreign policy and in these think tanks and op-ed pieces and among writers, they pretty much crowded out the traditional conservatives.
Mike: They’ve done a pretty thorough job of it, too. I think we have time for one more question. I know you’re been writing a lot about this lately because I read you – you stay busy, my friend.
Buchanan: I never leave my basement, Mike.
Mike: You’re very busy.
Buchanan: They move the food in under the door.
Mike: You’ve been writing a lot about Iran lately. It seems in our relationships with Iran, it seems as though the Obama administration has successfully negotiated some sort of an agreement with five other countries and the Iranians. Even if the United States didn’t get everything that it wanted, isn’t it better to accept the deal and keep pressing for another one than to just reject it and threaten to bomb them back to Xerxes II?
Buchanan: You’re exactly right. Look, I think the deal – even the Wall Street Journal, which is militantly neocon, said: Look, this is a better deal than we expected. I won’t go into the details, but they bolt down each of these facilities pretty well with inspectors and cameras and reducing what they’re doing and rolling it back. It’s a good deal, and it’s certainly better, I think, than no deal because then they go back to enriching uranium to 20 percent and they’ve got no controls on them. This is what I’m going to write about today. Republicans ought to say: Tell them where we disagree, what we would like to see better. I think if you got no deal, then the Republican Party will put us on the road to war. They’re not going to take all the demands of Bibi Netanyahu, Iran is not, or of the Republicans, McCain and those folks. So you’re on the road to war, and I think that would be a complete disaster for America.
Iran is a country of 80 million people, three times the size of Iraq. We really don’t want another generation of wounded warriors. The deal may work. Let Obama take responsibility for it. The United States is an enormously powerful nation, far more powerful than Iran in strategic weaponry and all the rest. If they cheat on the deal, we will know it and go forward together. But the idea of scuttling it and blowing it up and breaking apart the alliance we’ve got that negotiated it, and having the UN Security Council lift sanctions but the Congress saying no to American sanctions, and everybody else lifting sanctions and going in there, I think that’s a mistake. I think we ought to lead it. It’s Obama’s deal. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, then the Republicans say: We told you so.
Mike: But if they say “We told you so,” at least you have a point of negotiation. You had something in writing. You can say: Okay, this is what didn’t work about the last one.
Buchanan: Sure. And if Iran makes a sudden dash for a bomb, which the American intelligence agencies, Admiral Clapper, says they’re not doing, they don’t have an active bomb program. We will know if they try to break out. We will have plenty of notice. If they do that, you’ve still got your same options everybody is talking about. My view is, and few people seem to concur with it, Iran is better off without having a bomb. It is true if they get a bomb and test it, the Saudis will get the bomb from Pakistan. The Turks will build one. They will be no more safer than they were and even less so. Whereas, if there’s no nuclear weapon in the Persian Gulf, who’s going to become the dominant power? It’s going to be the largest country, Iran, which has as its ally now, thanks to George W. Bush, Iraq.
Mike: Incredible. Patrick J. Buchanan is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us and he has to go. As always, my friend, I thank you for your time.
Buchanan: We’ve got a few more minutes if you want a couple more, if I’m not taking up your time.
Mike: You can take all my time. I don’t even want any time, Pat. You can have it all.
Buchanan: I’m not going back to talk radio, been there, done that.
Mike: Staying on the same subject then, and on the subject of diplomacy, back in your day when you were working for Richard Nixon, there was a saying that came about in the 1970s that “only Nixon could go to China.” We obviously had a horribly confrontational situation with the Chinese, yet Nixon, to his credit, was actually able to go into that communist country and was able to negotiate with them. Not only that, afterwards we were actually able to negotiate with the communists or the residual government that was left over in North and South Vietnam. We trade with these people today. We had diplomats who could do these things. Do you think we still have diplomats that are even capable of this?
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Buchanan: I think we’ve got diplomats that are capable of it, but I think there’s a real – the neocon influence in this city, especially in the Republican Party and in various newspapers on its op-ed pages like the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal and their magazines and the rest of it is very, very strong. You had some American diplomats who secretly negotiated with Iran and talked to them to get these talks started. I think we’ve got folks who are capable of that, but we also have an enormous force in this town. One of the reasons, of course, is that Barack Obama is seen correctly as a liberal and as someone who can’t be trusted as much in foreign policy as people thought Nixon could be trusted because of his reputation as an anti-communist.
I think you’ve got folks there, but there’s no doubt there’s an awful, huge force in this city which constantly keeps pushing us into these unnecessary and unwise wars against nations that, however nasty their regimes are, do not threaten the United States of America. These endless wars, this is how the British Empire came down. The Russian Empire came down going into Afghanistan, overdoing it, overextending itself. I think we watch the Chinese today and they’re building themselves up domestically. They’re building a silk road on land and sea. They’re building up the South China Sea. They’re building up their military. They’re staying out of these wars. I think the United States, if you read history, I think you’ll see the United States behaving like Britain before World War I and the Chinese behaving more like Bismarck’s Germany.
End Mike Church Show Transcript