B O B D O L E is the last of the Taft Repubhcans,rnaceording to Murray Kemptonrn—if only it were so! Isolationistsrn(that is, Middle Americans who do notrnwant our sons or brothers sent to die orrnkill on foreign sands) eherish Dole’s remarkrnin his 1976 vice presidential debaternwith the dreary Mondale: “I figured uprnthe other day, if we added up the killedrnand wounded in Democrat wars in thisrncentury, it would be about 1.6 millionrnAmericans, enough to fill the city ofrnDetroit.” But the grim fact is that BobrnDole has supported every war the Empirernhas stumbled into, from Vietnam tornNicaragua to Panama to the Gulf, andrnwhatever wholesome Taftite impulses hernonce had were purged when he dumpedrnhis dowdy first wife for the calculatingrndressed-for-suecess Liddy.rnThe “Democrat wars” crack stillrnhaunts Dole. He has abjectly apologizedrnfor it countless times, most recently onrnMeet the Press, but it will not go away, becausernit so vividly bespeaks an “isolationism”rnwhich has been forbidden since therndeath of Senator Robert A. Taft usheredrnin our poisonous bipartisan Era of GoodrnFeelings. At his best, Taft upheld thernnonentanglement doctrine of Washington’srnFarewell Address, which is whyrnTaft’s heirs are not turning their lonelyrneyes to Bob Dole—the Bosnia hawk, thernsenator from Archer-Daniels-Midland.rnYes, in 1972, Dole rightly called thernDemocrats “traditionally this nation’srnwar party” (conveniently forgetting 1861rnand 1898, but then here in the UnitedrnStates of Amnesia the 19th centuryrndoesn’t count), yet the only 1996 Republicanrnhopeful with even a trace of arnTaftite accent is Pat Buchanan.rnBuchanan’s case is instructive. He isrnthe lone Republican candidate to opposern—loudly, tub-thumpingly—thernGulf War, NAFTA, GATT, and thernMexican bailout, and for these populistrnstands he is reviled by the corporate media.rn”Isolationist!” is the epithet—whichrnis just another way of saying “someonernwho is opposed to killing or subsidizingrnforeigners.”rnUnfortunately, Buchanan seems tornhave muted the pacific tones of the antiwarrnAmerica First theme he ran on inrn1992. He recently rattled sabers whenrnSaddam Hussein—taking his turn againrnas our Hitler of the Month—jailed thoserntwo Baedeker-less wanderers, and he canrnstill utter the phrase “liberation ofrnGrenada” with a straight face. Nevertheless,rnBuchanan’s thunderbolts againstrnthe corporate state and world governmentrncontain more genuine populistrncurrent than a thousand mewlings fromrnthe Gephardts and Daschles and otherrnpaladins of… I almost wrote “the oppositionrnparty,” but we do have a DemocraticrnPresident, don’t we?rn(Unsolicited advice to Buchanan:rncombine your enthusiasm for nationalrnreferenda with Ross Perot’s electronicrntown hall to produce a new version of thernLudlow Amendment of the 1930’s,rnwhich would have required a declarationrnof war to be ratified by a nationwidernvote. An eady supporter of the war referendum,rnWilliam Jennings Bryan—andrndoes anyone care to wager that nextrnyear’s centenary of the Cross of Goldrnspeech will go unobserved?—once declared,rn”I so believe in the right of thernpeople to have what they want that I admitrnthe right of the people to go to war ifrnthey really want it. There should be arnreferendum vote about it, however, andrnthose who voted for war should enlistrnfirst, together with the jingo newspaperrneditors.” Oh, to see William F. Buckley,rnJr., parachuting into Kuwait City, andrnSusan Sontag charging with her bayonetrnthrough the streets of Sarajevo!)rnBuchanan the irresponsible demagoguern—he has the bad manners to exercisernthe musty right of dissent—is oftenrncontrasted with the oh so sober and responsiblernSenator Richard Lugar, a kindrnof McCeorge Bundy Republican whornhas never met a foreign involvement herndidn’t like. “Sane and serious,” the WallrnStreet Journal judges Lugar. “He’s veryrnsolid on foreign policy,” gushes BrentrnScowcroft, the military bureaucrat whornadvised George Bush on the most effectivernway to slaughter Iraqi mothers andrnchildren and conscripts and is thereforernan “expert” on defense matters. “He’s arnvery sound, very thoughtful and conservativerninternationalist.” This describesrnevery national Republican since the noblernTaft’s death, and it is the most irritatingrnsymptom of our one-party system.rn(Can we agree in advance to view Lugar’srnpathetic showing in the primaries asrna referendum on the New World Order?)rnCredit Lugar, at least, with validatingrneverything the left says about Republicans:rnto kick off his presidential campaignrnhe proposed to scrap the incomerntax (hurrah!) and substitute for it a noxiousrn17 percent national sales tax—thusrneffectively shifting the tax burden off thernplutes who finance the Republican Partyrnand onto the backs of the working slobsrnwhose sons would fill the body bags underrnPresident Lugar.rnThere are plenty of Taft Republicansrnand Bryan Democrats out here in exoticrnplaces like Kansas and Ohio, wherernMadison Avenue imagines us to havernphysiques “like a rock” and the permanentrngovernment treats us like Iraq. ThernRepublicans among us will probablyrnvote for Buchanan in the primaries andrnwe Democrats will go with Jerry Brownrn(if he runs; run Jerry run!), then inrnNovember we will switch to the Libertarianrnor Perotista candidate. But as thernchanteuse once asked, it that all there is?rnThe Emporia oracle William AllenrnWhite—”fatboy,” Hamlin Garlandrncalled him in his diaries—used to sayrnthat Kansas was “the low barometer ofrnthe nation. When anything is goingrnto happen in this country, it happensrnfirst in Kansas.” What is happening inrnKansas today has nothing to do with BobrnDole. In 1992 Perot won 27 percent ofrnthe Jayhawker state’s votes; a rambunctiousrnsecession movement is kicking uprndust in the southwestern counties, wherernlocals are sick of being exploited by Topekarnand Wichita.rnOut of this wonderful roil and boilrnmight we finally get the third party werndeserve? One that will stand for the individualrnagainst the state, for the neighborhoodrnagainst the nation, for the villagernagainst the globe, for the localrnagainst the international, for the smallrnagainst the big, and for good old Americanrnself-reliance, mutual aid, and voluntaryrncooperation against the wickedrnacronyms (GATT, NATO, NAFTA, andrnanything beginning with “U.N.”) sornbeloved by the forces of consolidation,rnconformity, and worldwide standardization?rnA party in which a Bob Dole whorncravenly begs pardon for telling the truthrnis pitied rather than nominated?rn—Bill KauffmanrnT H E NATIONAL ACADEMY of Sciences,rnin a 500-page tome, has redefinedrnpoverty. Since 1963, the definition ofrnpoverty has been based on a family withrntwo children and the family’s cash incomernbefore taxes and what they spentrnon food. In 1963, a family earning belowrn$3,100 was “poor.” Now the figure isrn$14,228. Because of inflation, what arndollar will buy has not changed much inrnthe past three decades, so the I3-memberrnNAS panel proposes “a new measurernthat will more accurately identify thern6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn