In the flap over Larry Pratt and other unsavory characters associated with the Patrick Buchanan campaign, journalists typically framed the question: Is Buchanan linked to extremists and bigots? But there is a more basic question journalists should ask: Is Patrick Buchanan himself an extremist and bigot?
Here is a sampling of Buchanan's views:
After Sen. Carol Moseley Braun blocked a federal patent for a Confederate flag insignia, Buchanan wrote that she was "putting on an act" by associating the Confederacy with slavery: "The War Between the States was about independence, about self-determination, about the right of a people to break free of a government to which they could no longer give allegiance," Buchanan asserted. "How long is this endless groveling before every cry of 'racism' going to continue before the whole country collectively throws up?" (syndicated column, 7/28/93)
On race relations in the late 1940s and early 1950s: "There were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The 'negroes' of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours." (Right from the Beginning, Buchanan's 1988 autobiography, p. 131)
Buchanan, who opposed virtually every civil rights law and court decision of the last 30 years, published FBI smears of Martin Luther King Jr. as his own editorials in the St. Louis Globe Democrat in the mid-1960s. "We were among Hoover's conduits to the American people," he boasted (Right from the Beginning, p. 283).
White House advisor Buchanan urged President Nixon in an April 1969 memo not to visit "the Widow King" on the first anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination, warning that a visit would "outrage many, many people who believe Dr. King was a fraud and a demagogue and perhaps worse.... Others consider him the Devil incarnate. Dr. King is one of the most divisive men in contemporary history." (New York Daily News, 10/1/90)
In a memo to President Nixon, Buchanan suggested that "integration of blacks and whites -- but even more so, poor and well-to-do -- is less likely to result in accommodation than it is in perpetual friction, as the incapable are placed consciously by government side by side with the capable." (Washington Post, 1/5/92)
In another memo from Buchanan to Nixon: "There is a legitimate grievance in my view of white working-class people that every time, on every issue, that the black militants loud-mouth it, we come up with more money.... If we can give 50 Phantoms [jet fighters] to the Jews, and a multi-billion dollar welfare program for the blacks...why not help the Catholics save their collapsing school system." (Boston Globe, 1/4/92)
Buchanan has repeatedly insisted that President Reagan did so much for African-Americans that civil rights groups have no reason to exist: "George Bush should have told the [NAACP convention] that black America has grown up; that the NAACP should close up shop, that its members should go home and reflect on JFK's admonition: 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country.'" (syndicated column, 7/26/88)
In a column sympathetic to ex-Klansman David Duke, Buchanan chided the Republican Party for overreacting to Duke and his Nazi "costume": "Take a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles, [such as] reverse discrimination against white folks." (syndicated column, 2/25/89)
Trying to justify apartheid in South Africa, he denounced the notion that "white rule of a black majority is inherently wrong. Where did we get that idea? The Founding Fathers did not believe this." (syndicated column, 2/7/90) He referred admiringly to the apartheid regime as the "Boer Republic": "Why are Americans collaborating in a U.N. conspiracy to ruin her with sanctions?" (syndicated column, 9/17/89)
"There is nothing wrong with us sitting down and arguing that issue that we are a European country." (Newsday, 11/15/92)
Buchanan on affirmative action: "How, then, can the feds justify favoring sons of Hispanics over sons of white Americans who fought in World War II or Vietnam?" (syndicated column, 1/23/95)
In a September 1993 speech to the Christian Coalition, Buchanan described multiculturalism as "an across-the-board assault on our Anglo-American heritage."
"If we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or Englishmen, and put them up in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia?" ("This Week With David Brinkley," 1/8/91)
Buchanan referred to Capitol Hill as "Israeli-occupied territory." (St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/20/90)
During the Gulf crisis: "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." ("McLaughlin Group," 8/26/90)
In a 1977 column, Buchanan said that despite Hitler's anti-Semitic 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." (The Guardian, 1/14/92)
Writing of "group fantasies of martyrdom," Buchanan challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody." (New Republic, 10/22/90) Buchanan's columns have run in the Liberty Lobby's Spotlight, the German-American National PAC newsletter and other publications that claim Nazi death camps are a Zionist concoction.
Buchanan called for closing the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which prosecuted Nazi war criminals, because it was "running down 70-year-old camp guards." (New York Times, 4/21/87)
Buchanan was vehement in pushing President Reagan -- despite protests -- to visit Germany's Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi SS troops were buried. At a White House meeting, Buchanan reportedly reminded Jewish leaders that they were "Americans first" -- and repeatedly scrawled the phrase "Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews" in his notebook. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan's line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were "victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." (New York Times, 5/16/85; New Republic, 1/22/96)
After Cardinal O'Connor criticized anti-Semitism during the controversy over construction of a convent near Auschwitz, Buchanan wrote: "If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O'Connor of New York seeks to soothe the always irate Elie Wiesel by reassuring him 'there are many Catholics who are anti-Semitic'...he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith." (New Republic, 10/22/90)
The Buchanan '96 campaign's World Wide Web site included an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad -- and alleging that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies. (The campaign removed the article after its existence was reported by a Jewish on-line news service; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/21/96.)
In his September 1993 speech to the Christian Coalition, Buchanan declared: "Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free." (ADL Report, 1994)
In a 1972 memo to Richard Nixon, Buchanan referred to one of George McGovern's leading financial contributors as a "screaming fairy." (Newsday, 2/8/89) Buchanan has repeatedly used the term "sodomites," and has referred to gays as "the pederast proletariat." (Washington Post, 2/9/92)
"Homosexuality involves sexual acts most men consider not only immoral, but filthy. The reason public men rarely say aloud what most say privately is they are fearful of being branded 'bigots' by an intolerant liberal orthodoxy that holds, against all evidence and experience, that homosexuality is a normal, healthy lifestyle." (syndicated column, 9/3/89)
In a 1977 column urging a "thrashing" of gay groups, Buchanan wrote: "Homosexuality is not a civil right. Its rise almost always is accompanied, as in the Weimar Republic, with a decay of society and a collapse of its basic cinder block, the family." (New Republic, 3/30/92)
"Gay rights activists seek to substitute, for laws rooted in Judeo-Christian morality, laws rooted in the secular humanist belief that all consensual sexual acts are morally equal. That belief is anti- biblical and amoral; to codify it into law is to codify a lie." (Buchanan column in Wall Street Journal, 1/21/93)
On AIDS, Buchanan wrote in 1983: "The poor homosexuals -- they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution (AIDS)." (Los Angeles Times, 11/28/86) Later that year, he demanded that New York City Ed Koch and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo cancel the Gay Pride Parade or else "be held personally responsible for the spread of the AIDS plague." "With 80,000 dead of AIDS, our promiscuous homosexuals appear literally hell-bent on Satanism and suicide," Buchanan wrote in 1990 (syndicated column, 10/17/90). In the 1992 campaign, he declared: "AIDS is nature's retribution for violating the laws of nature." (Seattle Times, 7/31/93)
"Rail as they will about 'discrimination,' women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism." (syndicated column, 11/22/83)
"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." (Right from the Beginning, p. 149)
"If a woman has come to believe that divorce is the answer to every difficult marriage, that career comes before children ... no democratic government can impose another set of values upon her." (Right from the Beginning, p. 341)
Attacking what he considers the "democratist temptation, the worship of democracy as a form of governance," Buchanan commented: "Like all idolatries, democratism substitutes a false god for the real, a love of process for a love of country." (Patrick J. Buchanan: From the Right, newsletter, Spring/90)
In a January, 1991 column, Buchanan suggested that "quasi- dictatorial rule" might be the solution to the problems of big municipalities and the federal fiscal crisis: "If the people are corrupt, the more democracy, the worse the government." (Washington Times, 1/9/91) He has written disparagingly of the "one man, one vote Earl Warren system."
In Right from the Beginning, Buchanan refers to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco as a "Catholic savior." He called Franco, along with Chile's Gen. Pinochet, "soldier-patriots." (syndicated column 9/17/89) Both men overthrew democracy in their countries.
Buchanan devotes a chapter of his autobiography -- "As We Remember Joe" -- to defending Senator Joe McCarthy. He advocated that Nixon "burn the tapes" during Watergate, and he criticized Reagan for failing to pardon Oliver North over Iran-contra.
Buchanan, shortly before he announced he was running for president in 1995: "You just wait until 1996, then you'll see a real right-wing tyrant." (The Nation, 6/26/95)
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