Pat Buchanan Endorses Bush Re-Election

Pat Buchanan, who has transformed over the years from one of the more eloquent advocates of traditional conservatism to a reactionary isolationist and mercantilist with whom I seldom agree (although I still find him quite engaging), has reluctantly endorsed the re-election of President Bush in the lastest American Conservative.

If Bush loses, his conversion to neoconservatism, the Arian heresy of the American Right, will have killed his presidency. Yet, in the contest between Bush and Kerry, I am compelled to endorse the president of the United States. Why? Because, while Bush and Kerry are both wrong on Iraq, Sharon, NAFTA, the WTO, open borders, affirmative action, amnesty, free trade, foreign aid, and Big Government, Bush is right on taxes, judges, sovereignty, and values. Kerry is right on nothing.

While Buchanan can muster little zeal for Bush, he has no problem lowering his musket and letting Kerry have it:

With Kerry as president, William Rehnquist could be succeeded as chief justice by Hillary Clinton. Every associate justice Kerry named would be cut from the same bolt of cloth as Warren, Brennan, Douglas, Blackmun, and Ginsburg. Should Kerry win, the courts will remain a battering ram of social revolution and the conservative drive in Congress to restrict the jurisdiction of all federal courts, including the Supreme Court, will die an early death.

I cannot endorse the candidate of Michael Moore, George Soros, and Barbra Streisand, nor endorse a course of action that would put this political windsurfer into the presidency, no matter how deep our disagreement with the fiscal, foreign, immigration, and trade policies of George W. Bush.

As Barry Goldwater said in 1960, in urging conservatives to set aside their grievances and unite behind the establishment party of Eisenhower, Rockefeller, and Lodge, the Republican Party is our home. It is our only hope. If an authentic conservatism rooted in the values of faith, family, community, and country is ever again to become the guiding light of national policy, it will have to come through a Republican administration.

The Democratic Party of Kerry, Edwards, Clinton & Clinton is a lost cause: secularist, socialist, and statist to the core. What of the third-party candidates? While Ralph Nader is a man of principle and political courage, he is of the populist Left. We are of the Right.

Buchanan concludes with a rallying cry for passionate dissenters everywhere:

There is a final reason I support George W. Bush. A presidential election is a Hatfield-McCoy thing, a tribal affair. No matter the quarrels inside the family, when the shooting starts, you come home to your own. When the Redcoats approached New Orleans to sunder the Union and Jackson was stacking cotton bales and calling for help from any quarter, the pirate Lafitte wrote to the governor of Louisiana to ask permission to fight alongside his old countrymen. “The Black Sheep wants to come home,†Lafitte pleaded.

It̢۪s time to come home.

Buchanan’s gift for rhetoric is unsurpassed. It’s a shame that it’s so seldom used for good these days. But, as with Lafitte, one doesn’t turn away help when the battle’s raging. Welcome home, Pat, even though we all know your visit will be short.

Update: Leopold Stotch notes in the comments below that, “This endorsement will seem insignificant to many, but Buchanan has a strong and loyal following — which means his support for Bush could translate into several thousand votes in key states.” Quite right. Buchanan has already demonstrated the ability to draw heavily among elderly Jewish voters in Florida, for example.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. This endorsement will seem insignificant to many, but Buchanan has a strong and loyal following — which means his support for Bush could translate into several thousand votes in key states.

  2. Moe Lane says:

    “But, as with Lafitte, one doesn’t turn away help when the battle’s raging.”

    Nothing personal, James, but Buchanan can keep on shivering in the outer darkness, thanks. 🙂

  3. McGehee says:

    I’m sure Kerry is devastated. He was hoping Buchanan would send his Palm Beach County supporters to vote for him.

  4. Attila Girl says:

    Every vote counts in this election, and I’m glad Buchanan did this. I do not think he is a conservative; I think he is a populist. But he’s correct to point out to his followers that four years of Kerry would be a disaster for this country.

    In honor of this gesture, I’ll refrain from any more comments about the Buchananites.

  5. David Alan says:

    Buchanan has lost his senses, but so has Bush who can’t read, understand or obey the US Constitution he has pledged to uphold. He has embraced the ideal of all powerful centralized government, and outspent Klinton 2 to 1 ! He and the GOP have abandoned critical principles.

    Rights are “endowed by their Creator”, not the State. The main function of the State is to secure & defend these rights, not try to replace God in the guise of the “messianic state”, the bogus vision embraced by the Democratic party but popularized by GW Bush as never before !

    The party that I once fondly hoped Pat Buchanan would join, the only one that stands foresquare for a truly “American” understanding of Law & Government , is the Constitution Party. Pat was welcome to become their nominee in 2000, but passed on it, largely because of the $ 12 million in matching Fed election funds from the “Reform” party. He valued bucks above principle, a trait that runs strong in DC.

    Anyhow, I now have allegiance to the Constitution Party, and heartily endorse both it’s nominee, Michael Anthony Peroutka, and it’s theme of “Honor God, Defend the Family, Restore the Republic.” At, you can hear the substantive arguments in favor of this party whose candidate is honest and faithful to principle, and whose future is bright because they dare to point out that America is a nation founded on a Creed, of “inaleinable, God given rights, Constituionally limited government that stops robbling it’s citizens wealth and starts protecting both America first, and it’s citizens rights”… much to say here. If Buchanan’s tresonous support of GW Bush the Globalist galls you, find the real deal at

    God save America !

  6. G-man767 says:

    Mr. Buchanan’s grasp of history is unmatched amongst media political analysts. (Only Dick Morris and Thomas Friedman approximate his bandwidth.)

    This said, his latest column, despite its [always] superbly apt rhetoric, evades its own question: Isn’t a vote for Bush a de facto reward for Cheney und Carlyle cronies, AEI’s Richard Pearle, the Cato kooks, and other party hijackers? (Isn’t this a key reason why Colin Powell is leaving?)

    As a moderate pragmatist (versus libertarian), I’ve always been baffled as to why so many knee-jerk conservative supply-siders have never sufficiently answered Kevin Philip’s “Wealth & Democracy” thesis?

    Recall Ike’s National Highways Act. What, if under Pres. Bush’s watch (post 9/11), gov’t bond proceeds had been invested into upgrading public infrastructure (i.e. gov’t data communications nets, to include greater port/border security, etc.)…versus into [military personnel/materiel per…] Iraq? Might not more U.S. jobs have been created during this recent recovery? Might not ‘two birds…one stone’ have happened? (Consider, 9/11 happened as the bursted internet bubble was starting to sink in. Both Gore and Bush
    campaigning in 1999 knew a recession was immanent.
    Remedy: Tax-cut…or Massive Capital infusion into public infrastructure? Did Bush [and his Cato
    team] take the right path? Why have no major media
    analysts reviewed this?)

    Carlyle Group’s share values increased (beyond those of Nasdaq…recall Nasdaq at 1100?). Big oil did well. Are the Bush supply-side tax cuts now running out of steam? Were Reagan-era Laffer-curve tax cuts the right remedy for 2001’s global recession (which per Dr. Greenspan, was quite dissimilar to the 1992-93–Desert Storm-era–recession, and others before it)?

    I seriously hope that Mr. Buchanan in his next book will address the disconnect between America’s oligarchic policy class, and its professional middle class. (Republican Party voters span full spectrum.) (I frequently view C-Span and the various Economics presentations by groups such as Cato, AEI. I’ve found myself often scratching my head as I listen to some of these egg-head presenters…wondering: how can so many years of schooling result in such total lack of and disconnect with basic, ground level common sense and observational intuitions?) (Hey, my thesis, like most, required spending many hours reviewing/parsing/comparing statistics. But I discovered my best gut level insights were found by observing and taking to everyday people, especially small business owner/operators. Are the Cato clowns–perhaps–too insulated/isolated?)

    Speaking as a conservative, why have no top media conservatives been willing to address head-on the imbalances of pure Laissez-faire economics? Would Hayek have voted for Hoover? (Indeed, Market Capitalism has never been a flawlessly perfect system. Major generational [und ongoing]adaptations have been needed (i.e. Sherman Anti-Trust, New Deal, etc.)). Many extreme conservatives seem unwilling to acknowledge a need for gov’t regulation, however minimal. (I am a different breed of conservative.)

    Today’s [educated moderate common sensical conservative, moderate…] media consumers are largely fed platitudinous pablum by Sean Hannity’s, who for ratings daily over-simplify and reduce to extreme either/ors (and lump Global Companies/Individual Entrepreneurs/Freedom…all into the same singular interchangeable lexicon. I own/operate a small business…earn avg. $200K/yr. More than most, also significantly less than many. No complaints.) Still…

    America has a vast underclass. Wal-Martization is making unfeasible retirement saving (for vast numbers). Factory Automation–which is my profession–is also playing a serious role here.
    These days, I work primarily with companies whose engineers direct prototype teams. Once the automation process is made operational here and documented, it is then transferred offshore–typically Asia–to be implemented.

    Perhaps Mr. Buchanan will devote a portion of his next book to America’s labor/education/baby boomer demography problems…maybe float some sensible possible policy remedies. (Perhaps Mr.
    B–in lieu of his far sighted wisdoms–would soon opt to shift, and/or thereby offer reactive, coping strategies…means to slow leaks in our dike and stave off eventual impending inevitable flood.)

    What would Mr. B have done differently…as Captain of the Titanic, after collision?:)


  7. Paul Richard Strange Senior says:

    I gladly and proudly voted for Pat in 1996 in the Texas Republican Primary, even though I do not agree with all of his views. He earned a reputation for saying what he means and meaning what he says. After the 1992 defeat of Bush 41, the wimpo-locked-inside-the-beltway-never possessed a vision based on principle wing of the Republican Party held a CSPAN televised meeting. On one side were the panderers to BIG MEDIA REPUBLICANS who ridiculed the sanctity of life and the theme of family values as viciously as the most God-hating among hardcore leftwingers. There, on the side of heartland values, with Henry Hyde, was good ole Pat, defending principles when the chips were down against the Arlen Specter and Alan Simpson RINO’s!!! God bless this man.

    I could not support Pat when he went to the party of Ross the Boss. If he were leaving the GOP for their weakness on values, why didn’t he help Howard Phillips with his name recognition to put the Constitution Party on the map?

    In spite of this, Pat’s example of straightforward discussion of things that he is willing to be slandered for on principle makes him one of my favorite Americans. America needs alot more brave souls who are capable of speaking what their nation needs to hear, just as Churchill did, even though vindication may not come for a generation!

    I am pro-Bush since 9/11. Before that, it was not easy to tell whether he possessed great moral courage. He does. That settled it for me.

    What Buchanan critics in the GOP fail to ever be able to appreciate, however, is that lockstep addiction to unquestion neocon dogma is a liability for the GOP and the Country, and a sad cause of an evil form of “political correctness” not any kinder nor gentler than the Leftwing brand on taxpayer funded campuses!

    With deep love to all who try to be consistent in conviction, and to all my fellow citizens who care,

    Waxahachie Texas 75165