eptitude, which make him more prone to stumble every timernhe tries to cHmb upon the world’s stage, and all things consideredrnit is probably a good thing he won the election, since thernquicker the crisis arrives, the more likely we shall be to survivernit.rnPatrick Buchanan fears, quite rightly, that the Republicansrnare handing the NAFTA issue to Ross Perot, and he has criticizedrnboth Bob Dole and Jack Kemp in a speech that could bernthe opening shot of the 1996 presidential campaign. For thernrest of the decade, the most important issues are all nationalist:rnimmigration that threatens to change the character of thernnation; trade measures that sell out American workers to multinationalrnbusiness; multilateral treaties and international organizationsrn(the U.N. COMINTERN) that undermme nationalrnsovereignty.rnThese are the issues on which Mr. Buchanan based hisrn”America First” campaign of 1992, but the time was not thenrnripe for a nationalist crusade, and although it is still too early tornmake any accurate predictions, one can see, already, the politicalrnlines of force that are about to split open the parties andrncoalitions. Here is the evidence.rnItem one: the enduring success of Ross Perot in appealing tornlarge numbers of disaffected Americans. What is most significantrnabout Perot is that rather than toning down the nationalistrnnote in his sermons, he has amplified and sharpened it. Irnam writing the week before Labor Day, which Mr. Perot hasrndesignated as the day on which he will launch his counterattackrnagainst NAFTA.rnItem two: the disarray of the political parties, who cannotrnkeep their factions in line. The cowardly and unscrupulousrnRichard Gephardt continues to challenge the Democraticrnleadership on NAFTA, and if it were anyone but Gephardt, onernmight be tempted to ascribe his persistence to principle.rnGephardt might be wrong, but he must be calculating on thernunpopularity of NAFTA to propel him, at the least, into thernSpeaker’s chair, and mavbe even into the White House.rnItem three: California. All three of California’s leading politicalrnfigures have begun to talk about nationalist issues. All myrnlife I have been hearing that California is America’s future, thatrnsome day we shall all be deracinated consumers living in developmentsrnthat are neither neighborhoods nor communities,rnforming households without marriage, and worshiping inrnchurches whose only faith is in the future and whose only doetrinernis self-satisfaction.rnCalifornia’s current troubles arc a paradigm for the rest ofrnthe nation: high taxes driving employers out of state, an influxrnof aliens that is overburdening the state’s prisons, swelling itsrnwelfare rolls, and turning its schools into a multicultural Babel.rnDianne Feinstein, California’s liberal pragniatist senator, recentlyrnwent to the border to deliver this simple message: thernUnited States can no longer afford to be Mexico’s welfare system.rnShe could be the first woman President.rnThroughout her career, Feinstein has been a political realist,rnand her conversion is not too surprising, especially since thernstruggle to control immigration has been led by such pragmatistrnDemocrats as Dick Lamm. What is more surprising is thernrapid evolution of Governor Pete Wilson from liberal Republicanrnto an arch-nationalist who wants to stanch the flow of immigrants.rnWilson has even adopted the position that the childrenrnof illegal immigrants should not be made citizens. Thisrnis cutting-edge nationalism—German law and now Pienehrnpolicy—but it is rarely seen in the United States outside thernpages of Chronicles. If Dianne Feinstein ever does run forrnPresident, it is just possible she will be opposed by Pete Wilsonrn—if his newborn nationalism is enough to get him reelectedrngovernor.rnIf NAFTA passes, as it probably will, that may well prove tornbe a good thing in the long run. As the American eeononivrngoes sour, more and more of what we used to call ReaganrnDemocrats will blame both Clinton and the Roekefeller-Ford-rnBush-Dole Republicans for the hard times, and NAFTA will bernthe symbolic act of betrayal, around which a nationalist politicalrnmovement will be organized. People may begin to equaterntheir own hard times with American boys dying in Somalia andrnwith the national humiliation we shall inevitably be sufferingrnas sovereignty oozes out of the United States and into thernUnited Nations.rnHow big such a movement will be and who will jump onrnboard and try to steer it, is anybody’s guess. However, there isrna parallel we might look to for hints of things to come. WhenrnJimmy Carter decided to ratify the Panama Canal treatv, hernhad the support of the leadership of both parties and the endorsementrnof the multinational corporations, the big unions,rnand the major media outlets, but it was the last straw forrnRichard Viguerie, Howard Phillips, and Paul Weyrich, the leadersrnof the New Right coalition that changed, for a time, therncomplexion of the Republican Party and put Ronald Reagan inrnthe White House.rnAs things turned out, they might have saved their energy,rnbut the New Right established a number of “conservative”rnthemes that will not go away, and the most important of thesernthemes is the conjunction of Christian populism—life issues,rntextbook and school battles, pornography—with nationalist foreignrnpolicy. The reaction of the conservative establishment wasrna mixture of opportunism and contempt. New Right leadersrnproved they could get candidates elected and galvanize popularrnprotest, but they refused, at least at first, to kowtow to thernbillionaires who owned the Republican Party. The symbolicrnleader of the conservative movement was, at that time, WilliamrnF. Buckley, whom some of our readers will remember as a wittyrnpolemicist in his youth, a sort of Rush Limbaugh with a YalernB.A. When Patrick Buchanan was writing that the PanamarnCanal was “the right issue at the right time in the right placernto say, ‘Thus far and no farther,'” Mr. Buckley took the lead inrnsupporting the giveaway.rnSome of Buckley’s reasons were sound—the canal was arnpotent symbol of American colonialism and a source of our unpopularityrnin Latin America, but what he could not understandrn(and never will) is the American character. Even those of usrnwho opposed American colonialism were irritated by the easernwith which a communist thug was able to bully the UnitedrnStates into giving up a piece of strategic real estate. Some of usrnmight have been willing to give the whole country back tornColombia, from whom we stole it—but to surrender it forrnsome vague principle of internationalism was a shameful act ofrncowardice, no matter how “just,” that is expedient, it mightrnhave seemed in the eyes of the international business community.rnThe Republican elite, which includes most Manhattan conservativernleaders, was challenged by the 70’s New Right, andrnthey arc still going about the business of selling their countryrnto tile highest international bidder. The editors of National Reviewrnand the Wall Street journal are wildly enthusiastic forrn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn