Actual quotes:

"multiculturalism is an across-the-board assault on our Anglo-American heritage."

"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."

A wonderfully complex and funny man. Once a "baby-faced assassin" of an editorialist and speechwriter (e.g. for Richard Nixon), he became a fixture as a columnist and talking-head show motor mouth - eventually becoming co-host of CNN's Crossfire, from which he takes quadrennial absences in order to run for president. He'd probably make a good prez - as long as the "Pat Buchanan" loose-cannon he plays on TV (and the campaign trail) stays locked in the attic. But what are the odds?

Writing off political rivals with a couple negative words and a sack full of out-of-conext quotes is not only the easy route to take, it's the result of decades of media brainwashing and fear-mongering. Popular thinking is that once you fit someone with a label, be it "bigot", "communist", "homophobe", "tree-hugger", "Nazi",or "bible-thumper", that their words and ideas dwindle into insignificance, and the individual becomes nothing more than a target for hate and ridicule. Not only does such labeling oversimplify a three-dimensional (and often colorful) individual, it smacks of closed-mindedness and simultaneous hate and fear of those whom you disagree with.

So-called "extremists" in every discipline (including politics) are saddled with this burden and labeled "stupid" and "dangerous" because of unpopular viewpoints. When I look at folks like Pat Buchannan, Ralph Nader, Louis Farrakhan, Rage Against The Machine, David Duke, Pat Robertson -- all people the media will identify as having some "extreme" opinions -- I see a group of people with conviction. I disagree with them all on numerous issues, and I find some of their words ignorant and offensive, but is this a reason to hate or fear them? I probably disagree with you about something too; it doesn't mean you're my sworn enemy. There is a certain honor in expressing beliefs which you know will turn you into a pariah. Often, I feel the true danger in politics comes from the center, where polls and lies are often placed above true beliefs. Despite my disagreements, I have infinitely more respect for Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader than I have for people like Al Gore, for whom the politics of meandering doublespeak, image rebranding, and personal attacks is an ideology unto itself. Bill Bradley's loss in this election's primaries exemplifies to me why Bill Clinton has done more harm to the Democratic Party than anyone else in recent history. But that's beside the point. One can have conviction in centrist beliefs, and many do, but those who seek agenda-less power for power's sake will always spring from the middle.

I see Patrick J. Buchanan as Jesuitism personified (and that's the first definition, Webster fans). His almost boyish patriotism and simple views of right and wrong belie his intelligence and knowledge of the issues he speaks about. He's no dummy; he posesses a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, has been a senior advisor to three presidents, and was for a time the youngest major newspaper editorial writer in the USA. His numerous views are nothing if not cohesive.

Nor is he a hateful man. Buchanan will attack venemously that which he considers to be sin, but he will never speak ill of the sinner. He will debate liberals (true idealistic liberals, not Clintonites) to death, but he's the kind of guy who takes his opponent to lunch afterwards and shares a few laughs. Crossfire is the perfect climate for Buchanan; it's always a fierce debate, but for such a program to work, there has to be mutual respect flowing between the participants.

So here is a man who undoubtably cares deeply about America and its citizens, but finds it difficult to see things the way others do. You get the feeling he'd be a great man if he could spend a few days in someone else's shoes. Yet for all his lack of compassion, he has an innate desire to be America's protector -- to "save" it from outside influence and lifestyle. His isolationist views mean relatively little in our shrinking modern world, but his thinking is closer to anti-globalization and pro-union leftism than either party would like to admit.

Buchanan's ideas flow from his interpretations of history and the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Regardless of how accurate his interpretations are, he believes that his ideas will elevate every American. Buchanan's ideal America is the America of indivuduals and individual opportunity, free of the corruptive influence of foreign or internal collusion. Almost admirable, but paranoid. He's recruited Ezola Foster as his running mate, and I'm hard-pressed to think of a more perfect choice for him. Make no mistake, Buchanan has no chance to win this election, and will never succeed in any election (second place in Alaska would be a good goal for him).

But, in his own mind, Buchanan will always be America's Jesuit freedom fighter, standing up for an America that doesn't exist and never has. Sometimes Buchanan is so wrong, but I can't fault the man for doing what he truly feels is best for all of us. He's not evil; the stars and stripes just mean something entirely different to him, something very personal.

The two national parties in Washington, DC, have become virtual Xerox copies of one another. They've got sort of a phony battle that goes on like professional wrestling, and then they all move on to the next town.
- CBS This Morning, September 14, 1999
Pat Buchanan is a conservative, in case you haven't already picked that up, who's into protectionism and realpolitik-style defense. He has run for President several times, and currently appears on a number of talk shows, including MSNBC's twice-daily "Buchanan and Press" and PBS's "The McLaughlin Group."

He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1938 and went to Georgetown University, graduating with a B.A. in 1961. At Georgetown, he was in ROTC for some time before a sports injury disqualified him from service. He then completed his M.S. in journalism at Columbia University in 1962.

His first gig was writing editorials for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, a right-wing newspaper despite its misleading title. Buchanan caught the attention of presidential hopeful Richard Nixon, who signed Buchanan on as an executive assistant: when Nixon won the election in 1968, he made Buchanan a speechwriter. They worked together for the rest of Nixon's presidency, and it was here that Pat met his future wife, Shelley Ann Buchanan, who was Tricky Dick's secretary.

Buchanan defended Nixon through the Watergate scandal and continued to work in the White House through Gerald Ford's takeover. He then started again as a columnist and began a radio show with Tom Braden that became one of the first conservative-liberal debate shows in the country.

In 1985, Ronald Reagan brought Buchanan back into the White House as communications director, but he left after just two years, mostly because he was too conservative for Reagan. Again, he went back to writing columns, and soon found himself on television, co-hosting CNN's "Crossfire" and "The Capitol Gang."

Eventually, Buchanan was popular enough to be a viable presidential candidate. He ran against the incumbent George Bush for the Republican nomination in 1992, and flopped. In the 1996 election, however, he won the primary election in New Hampshire, soundly defeating Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, Lamar Alexander, and Alan Keyes. That was the limit of his success, though, and Dole ultimately won the nomination.

Later, Buchanan left the Republican Party and became the candidate of the divided Reform Party in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. While he didn't win, some believe that his position on the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County, Florida took votes from Al Gore and allowed George W. Bush to win.

In addition to his political and talking head work, he also runs a foundation called The American Cause, which is dedicated to pushing federalism, industrial and agricultural tariffs, and immigration controls to "keep America first." He has no children, but won't hesitate to shout out to his wife.

One of the scariest and most interesting people in American political culture. Although he's probably best-known as the man for whom three thousand elderly Jews accidentally voted for, he is much more than that.

As an advisor to Richard Nixon, he was a prime player in the Southern Strategy that brought him to two consecutive victories, one of them a 49-state sweep. He also coined the term Silent Majority(ironic, given that they then sided with the loudest and least justified screamers of all).

In 1992 and 1996 he attempted to run for President in the Republican Party primary, losing both times. He left the GOP due to its increasing embrace of neoconservatism, and in 2000 he won a bitterly-contested match with John Hagelin for the nomination of the Reform Party previously run by Ross Perot. He returned to the Republicans in 2002, and endorsed George W. Bush in his re-election attempt. At this point he now works with MSNBC and appears frequently with liberal commentator Rachel Maddow, who appear to be good friends despite Maddow being an open lesbian and Buchanan being homophobic.

What really intrigues me about Buchanan, though, is the way that he can say things that are mostly reasonable much of the time on MSNBC but then he can go on The Colbert Report and make Stephen Colbert look like the straight man by coming within inches of defending Adolf Hitler. A Slate article about snubs quotes Buchanan's Crossfire colleague Michael Kinsley(most notable for the Kinsley gaffe) that a lot of people refuse to come on TV with him not because of his views but because he's just that good at debating.

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