The Buchanan Revolution,nPartinNothing churns the entrails of the professionalndemocracy priesthood morenthan the rancid taste of a little realndemocracy. Since one of the main dishesnon the 1992 political menu has been angenerous serving of authentic popularnrebellion, the sages have spent a goodnpart of the last year lurching for theirnlavatories. The very same Brahmins whondemand democracy in all its terrors innPeru and South Africa turned green atnthe prospect of Americans actually beginningnto think about and support candidates,nparties, and ideas all by themselves,nand the self-appointed caste thatntries to make sure nobody gets to see thenwizards who run the country in thenEmerald Cities of Washington and NewnYork put their noggins together to keepnthe masses at bay.nHaving worked themselves into a lathernover David Duke all fall, the Brahminsnwere disappointed that the formernKlansman failed to provide more sportnonce the campaign actually began, butnthe venom they had stored in their fangsnfor Mr. Duke they spent instead on whatnthey took to be a reasonable facsimilenin the person of Patrick J. Buchanan.nPerennial Men of the People such as JerrynBrown and Tom Harkin inspired onlynamusement, but Mr. Buchanan’s candidacynunleashed a flood of poison thatnrose higher every time he kissed anothernbaby.nThough Mr. Buchanan never won anprimary, he was the undoubted star ofnthe presidential campaign, and what hendid accomplish is something that fewnif any professional politicians havenachieved since World War II. It is rarenthat any candidate challenging an incumbentnPresident gains more than 10nto 12 percent of the popular vote in hisnown party’s primaries, but there arensome precedents for it. What is unheardnof is for a challenger who is not anprofessional politician to win that manynvotes and indeed to take no less than anthird of his party’s supporters against ansitting chief executive. Mr. Buchanannhas never held public office and has nev­nPrincipalities & Powersnby Samuel Francisner before run for election for anything,nyet in the primaries through Super Tuesday,nhe consistently won more than 30npercent of the vote against a man whonhas spent his entire life flapping fromnone public nest to another and who anyear before had enjoyed such high levelsnof popular favor that most Americansnwho didn’t support him probably didn’tnknow who the President was.nThe conventional Brahminic interpretationnof the Buchanan following is ‘nthat it was a “protest vote,” a phrase thatnexplains little and raises several morenquestions than it answers. “Protest”nagainst what exactly, and why shouldnany large number of voters be disposednto protest? To be sure, there are perpetualnmalcontents in every party who arenever disposed to vote against whoevernholds office, but no serious political observernbelieves that they compose anythingnlike a third of a major party thatnhas held the White House for 12 years.nThe reason for Mr. Buchanan’s strongnshowing in the primaries is closely relatednto the reasons for the extraordinarilynpoisonous verbiage directed at him fromnthe day he announced his candidacy.nIndeed, the one is a kind of mirror imagenof the other, for it was exactly whatnattracted the rank-and-file voters to himnthat repelled the Brahmins and their entourage.nOf course, there were severalndifferent specific elements that fed thensmear campaign against him. Zionistsnand many American Jews appeared tonbe obsessed by the delusion that Mr.nBuchanan was an anti-Semite, had deniednthat the slaughter of Jews by thenNazis had occurred, and had expressednadmiration for Adolf Hitler. For obviousnpolitical reasons, the Bush administration,nusually on the sly, seized everynopportunity to encourage such lies, evennas Mr. Bush and Secretary of StatenJames Baker were raked by similar accusationsnbecause of their opposition to Israelinhousing policy on the West Bank.nIn addition to the prepossessions ofnsome Jewish obsessives such as AbenRosenthal, Norman Podhoretz, andnCharles Krauthammer (but by no meansnall or even the general run of Jews, sincensome of Mr. Buchanan’s most outspokenndefenders against these lies werennnthemselves Jewish, such as HumannEvents’ Alan Ryskind, Murray Rothbard,nPaul Gottfried, Robert Novak, andnMichael Kinsley), there was the generalnfury directed by the left against any seriousnconservative or antiliberal. In thisnrespect, the vilification crusade againstnMr. Buchanan was not qualitatively differentnfrom those of the past directednagainst Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon,nBarry Coldwater, Ronald Reagan, andnJesse Helms.nBut the canards cast at Buchanannreached a pitch that earlier ones tossednat prominent conservatives had never attained,nand when supposed conservativenleaders such as William Bennett andnNewt Cingrich joined in the baying ofnthe pack, it was clear that something differentnwas going on and that the authorsnof these mendacities had perceived somenquality in the Buchanan movement thatndisturbed them more than usual.nWhat they perceived was in fact thenemergence of a new identity in Americannpolitics, one that the high sciencenof managed and manipulated democracynis not yet quite prepared to handlenand which is therefore more of a threatnto the established powers than almostnany previous challenge from the castratinof right and left. Despite his backgroundnas the nation’s most prominent conservativencommentator, Mr. Buchanan presentednhimself as a bit more than a conventionalnconservative candidate, andnthe really significant aspects of his campaignnwere precisely those that departednfrom the mainstream of what has declaimednitself as conservatism in recentnyears. The themes of “America First”nand the “Middle American Revolution”nthat Mr. Buchanan articulated appealednto a particular identity, embodied in thenconcepts of America as a nation withndiscrete national political and economicninterests and of the Middle Americannstratum as the political, economic, andncultural core of the nation. In adoptingnsuch themes, Mr. Buchanan decisivelynbroke with the universalist and cosmopolitannideology that has been masqueradingnas conservatism and that hasnmarched up and down the land armednwith a variety of universalist slogans andnstandards: natural rights; equality as anJULY 1992/11n