The Buchanan Revolution,nPart IInThe greatest irony of the periodic politicalnrevolutions that occur in Americanndemocracy is that most of the votersnwho make them possible have not thenfoggiest notion of what they are doing.nIn 1932, Franklin Roosevelt won thenWhite House by promising to balancenthe budget and reduce the scale andnpower of the federal government, andn, there is no doubt that most of thenAmericans who sent him to Washingtonnsupported him simply because of thendesperate economic straits in which theynfound themselves and their country, notnbecause of any passion they shared withnhim for the socialist and internationalistn”experiments that he and his brood immediatelynimposed. The same couldnbe said for almost all the major presidentialnelections in our history. Thentruth is that the concepts of the “people’snwill” and the “mandate” are largelynpolitical fictions that serve to masknthe ambitions of the small cadres whonrun governments at all times, regardlessnof the forms and rhetorical dressingnthese elites assume.nThe same is true of the Buchanannrevolution of the 1990’s, and the claimnby its opponents that most of the votersnwho supported Mr. Buchanan in the Republicannprimaries did so as a “protestnvote” and not because of any serious endorsementnof the candidate’s ideas isnthus largely irrelevant, even if true. Letnus say that only some 10 percent of thenaverage 30 percent vote Mr. Buchanannreceived before Super Tuesday this yearnactually agreed with his ideas, while thenothers who voted for him were merelynprotesting the state of the economy andnthe lackluster leadership of the incumbentnor simply pulled the wrong lever orngot Pat Buchanan mixed up with thenpredecessor of Abraham Lincoln. Thatnmeans that Mr. Buchanan’s meaningfulnsupport was still comparable to the totalnvote received by one of his principal ideologicalnrivals. Jack Kemp, whose averagentake of the Republican primary vote inn1988 was less than 5 percent. Nevertheless,nthe fans of Mr. Kemp to this daynactually believe that his eagerness to re­n10/CHRONICLESnPrincipalities & Powersnby Samuel Francisndefine conservatism so as to win thenplaudits of the left and the urban underclassnis just the ticket for the politicalnfuture, both within the Republican Partynas well as in the country at large. Younmay not have to fool all the people allnthe time in order to make a political revolution,nbut you do have to befuddlenmore than one out of twenty. So far onlynMr. Buchanan has been able to comenclose to building a new national politicalncoalition that not only offers an alternativento President Bush’s centrist establishmentarianismnbut also seeks to articulatena political myth that can bridgenor transcend the obsolete categories ofnright and left entirely.nWhat has happened in the Buchanannrevolution, as I argued in this space lastnmonth, is the emergence of a new politicalnidentity that focuses on the concreteninterests of the nation and of anparticular cultural and political force—nMiddle America—as the defining core.nMr. Buchanan was by no means the firstnto give political expression to this force,nand he may not be the one who carriesnit to a successful revolutionary fulfillment.nPerhaps it was David Duke whonactually initiated it in recent times, andnperhaps it will be H. Ross Perot whonbrings it to fruition. But Mr. Duke, fornobvious reasons, was not an acceptablenspokesman, and Mr. Perot, for all thencharm of his accent, will probably benunable to accomplish its agenda. ThenTexas billionaire has all the political sophisticationnof a man who watches thenToday show at least three times a weeknand believes everything he hears on it,nand his unwillingness or inability to tellnanyone what he would actually do aboutnthe various crises he has cribbed fromntelevision and weekly news magazinesnsuggests that he would be quickly devourednby existing political elites if he reallynarrived in Washington. Mr. Perotndisplays the typical naivete of businessmen,nwho always suffer under the delusionnthat government operates just likenthe enterprise they and their golfingnpartners command. He may succeed innwinning the Buchanan vote, and he maynwin the White House, but if he does, henwill discover that giving orders tonCongress, federal officials, lobbies, interestngroups, and foreign powers is notnnnthe same as peddling computers orntelling secretaries to retype his letters.nYet regardless of who began it andnwho will finish it, the Middle AmericannRevolution is not going to go away.nNone of its political leaders created thensocial movement on which it rests, andnit will survive their own personalities andncampaigns. Indeed, it was predictable asnlong ago as the early Reagan administrationnthat something like the movementnwould emerge sooner or later andnthat it would displace “conservatism,” ifnnot also “liberalism.”nThe Reagan movement also was to anlarge extent a political expression of theneconomic and cultural frustrations ofnMiddle Americans, but no sooner hadnMr. Reagan settled himself in thenWhite House than his administrationnwas captured by the “Soft Right”—notnonly neoconservatives but also the RepublicannEstablishment and the wholenswarm of Court Conservatives whonsought employment of their otherwisenunemployable talents in the vast publicnrelief system known as the federalngovernment. The Court Conservativesnincluded almost all the policy eggheads,ndirect-mail tycoons, 50-year-old youthnleaders, and hack journalists who hadnpassed themselves off as the MainstreamnRight for the last generation. Theyncame to imagine that their occupationnof office, their endless series of soireesnand roasts dedicated to congratulatingnthemselves, and their rapid abandonmentnof every significant politicalnprinciple they had entoned for the lastntwenty or thirty years constituted an”conservative revolution,” no matternhow many new government agenciesnwere created or old ones preserved tongive them the jobs and social glamournthey had always been denied in theirnmuch-ballyhooed private sector.nIt was hardly surprising, therefore, thatnthe apparatchiks of the Soft Right corenof the Reagan administration at oncenforgot, if they had ever been cognizantnof, the Middle American constituenciesnthat had elected Mr. Reagan and madentheir fortunes for them, and for the remaindernof the I980’s, Court Conservativesndevoted themselves to figuringnout how they could betray their MiddlenAmerican base and, as they liked to putn