present Israeli government is even more extravagant than wasrnhis criticism of the former Likud regime. The charge of racismrnleveled at Buchanan seems likewise problematic. Not only havernblack liberals like Juan Williams rushed to his defense, but it isrnalso hard to find insulting comments by Buchanan about blacksrn(save for deviations from p.c). The charge that some of his followersrnare antiblack proves little indeed. It involves a standardrnof conduct that liberals would hardly apply to themselves. Afterrnall, they do not hold it against Clinton that he wins with thernsupport of outspokenly anti-Semitic black leaders. Besides,rnBuchanan appeals to all critics of his enemies, from Christianrnhomeschoolers and black evangelists to white supremacists.rnBut he has not set out to court specifically this last group,rnunless his kind references to Confederate bravery arc given anrnunjustifiably sinister meaning. At the same time, Buchananrnand his sister Bay have made special efforts to attract sociallyrnconservative blacks.rnThe media are right to fret about populists, but not for thernreasons they give. For 80 years or more, democracy in Westernrncountries has been increasingly identified with social planningrnand human rights agendas. Most of this democratic project hasrnassumed a captive public, and John Gray correctly observes thatrnfor modern liberals, all political first questions must be kept outrnof public contention. They are questions of fundamental rightrnor social policy, which liberals hojje to sec settled “prepolitically,”rni.e., in courts or by administrative experts. The media havernbenefited from this arrangement, by becoming powerfulrnguardians of “liberal democracy.” They set the parameters ofrn”sensitive” political discourse and bully politicians and judgesrninto accepting their private opinions. They also pretend thatrntheir undemocratic will is what the people really want. The)’rnare therefore free to ignore the discrepancy between their ownrnsocial morality and what most people seem to believe. And despiterntheir astronomic salaries and defense of entrenched bureaucraticrnpower, as S. Robert Lichter proves in The MediarnElite, media personalities and journalists think of themselves asrnthreatened champions of the dispossessed.rnPopulist leaders delight in going after such pretensions.rnThey ridicule journalists and mediacrats as royalists and, in thernsavage phrase of Sam Francis, “the priesthood of the managerialrnstate.” Most distressingly for their verbalizing enemies, populistrnparties are no longer on the electoral fringe. In France,rnItaly, and Austria, their candidates win between 15 and 40 percentrnof the votes cast in national elections. In Italy, both regionalrnpopulists and neofascists have entered ruling coalitions,rnand there the measures aimed at restricting immigration andrnparliamentary discussion about a decentralized Italian federalrngovernment underscore the impact of populist politics.rnDespite the electoral rise of populism, counterrevolutionaryrndemocrats must still define themselves coherently. They arernstill in some cases driven by those reactions that pushed themrninto prominence. In trying to woo protest electorates, at leastrnsome populist leaders too often oscillate between opposingrnstands. They talk about overthrowing the administrative staternwhile promising social programs and federal bans on abortion.rnThe same inconsistency plagues both Buchanan’s campaignrnand the National Front. Ten years ago Le Pen, who was then focusingrnon a largely upper-middle-class and professional electorate,rnfavored detatisation and a French federal administrationrnrestricted to listed and specific tasks. By now, as the French historianrnFranklin Adler demonstrates, the lepenistes have gonernfrom presenting themselves as opponents of crime and immigrationrnto replacing the collapsmg French left, as protectors ofrnsocial pensions. Though populists have recruited a blue-collarrnbase by appealing to traditionalist themes, they have also wonrnthis base in France and now in the United States by imitatingrnsocialists.rnBut can they play this card without surrendering even morernpower to an elite they claim to despise? And though one canrnmake an impeccably communitarian argument for tradernprotection, as Le Pen and Buchanan have done, would such arnpolicy leave a federal administration subservient to popularrncontrol? It is hard to see this happening, even if NAFTA andrnGATT arc as flawed as Buchanan suggests. And would Buchanan,rnby turning over the matter of abortion to the federal governmentrnin his best-case scenario, be resisting Washington?rnThis does not seem likely, when the constitutional alternative isrnhaving state legislatures decide a morally divisive issue.rnPopulists are also struggling to define identity in a futurernpopulist regime. Here, difficult choices must be made. Arnregionally based populism, as advocated by Northern Italianrnand Austrian populists, cannot be the same as a nationalistrnpopulist movement, as illustrated by the American Cause, thernF.N., or the Reform Party in Canada. Some populist leadersrnfudge the issue, by trying to have it both ways. Buchanan, forrnexample, has defended the use of the Confederate flag and celebratedrnhis own Confederate ancestors while campaigning inrnthe South; he has then turned around and made Lincolnesquernspeeches about a tightly unified American nation, whose federalrnadministration will be asked to protect family morality.rnIn Canada, Manning has championed Anglophone minoritiesrnin Quebec while calling for a stronger federal government; hernhas then denounced administrative overreach and promised tornend it.rnOutside of the well-educated and predominantly uppermiddle-rnclass Northern League and Freihcitlichc Partei, mostrnpopulists have blinked a question that will not go away. Is a retreatrnfrom administrative overreach possible without structuralrnchange? The answer seems to be no: unless citizens have arnsense of who they are and some way of reining in government,rnthe populist turn will not likely lead anywhere. Regional populism,rnit may be argued, is the only kind that can providerna counterweight to public administration. The smaller thernregion, as Aristotle taught, the more thoroughly will the inhabitantsrnresemble an extended household.rnBut there are circumstances working against the regional optionrnin the United States. With a mobile population, nationalrncommunications network, and an international economy, itrnmay be hard to recreate the kind of regional solidarity neededrnto curb federal administrators and federal judges. It is alsornquestionable whether the states can be made to play such arnrole. They, too, have footloose inhabitants, a dwindling culturalrnsense, and administrations which are often mere imitationsrnof their federal masters. Appeals to the Tenth Amendment andrndual federalism may hold off federal power from time to time,rnbut without a self-identified regional base, states and collectionsrnof states will not long resist central authorities.rnWithout a plan for getting these authorities off our backs,rnAmerican populists nonetheless try to pursue identitarian politics.rnGiven the diversity of the “American people,” this has notrnbeen easy; and for want of another tie that can bind, religion forrnthe time being has become the foundational identity aroundrnwhich Buchananitcs rally. They speak of cultural wars to bernJULY 1996/23rnrnrn