Pat Buchanan’s new book  is another tour de force.  Suicide of a Superpower builds on the prophetic warnings first articulated in such earlier books as The Great Betrayal; A Republic, Not an Empire; and, most importantly, Death of the West.  The current work exhibits the most famous paleoconservative’s trademark word-crafting verve, encyclopedic knowledge of history and politics, and emotional power.

I discovered Buchanan’s books and columns in my senior year of high school, about a year after first listening to “conservative” talk radio, watching Sean Hannity, and reading National Review.  I had quickly grown tired of the latter’s intellectually shallow, globalist, interventionist, and pro-mass-immigration, milquetoast “conservatism.”  The reaction of my teachers and professors to my discovery was predictable.  “Pat Buchanan is the devil, Eugene!” shrieked a young leftist history professor when I quoted Buchanan on the destruction of U.S. manufacturing jobs by NAFTA.  Another professor, an arrogant Rockefeller Republican, threw back my essay arguing for immigration limitation and control: “This reads like Pat Buchanan’s 1992 speech.”  His face fell when I thanked him for the compliment.

Nonetheless, many of my peers were surprisingly receptive to paleoconservative views on immigration and affirmative action.  As Buchanan points out in Suicide of a Superpower, recent polls indicate that college students have rejected special preferences for minorities, driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, and state-university financial aid for illegals by double-digit margins.  In addition, many of them favored English-only laws and limiting our military presence in the world.  This is particularly remarkable given the day-to-day inundation of U.S. college students with the poison of multiculturalism and diversity.  Buchanan convincingly argues that instead of pandering to the young through the adoption of liberal, multiculturalist positions, Republicans should appeal to youth’s outrage about discriminatory racial quotas and the unfair advantage given to illegal immigrants.

Pat Buchanan shows that the seemingly irreversible decline of the Republicans’ electoral success is a result of three cardinal factors.  The first is Washington, D.C.’s acquisition of the suffrage in 1961.  Because of its dependence on government handouts and its majority nonwhite population, D.C.’s three electoral college votes (equal to those of Vermont, Montana, and Delaware) have always been in the Democrats’ hands.  Buchanan points out that, by granting the District votes in the Electoral College, Congress opened the door to the possibility of electoral votes for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands—all territories that would reliably be in the Democrats’ column.  The second reason for the GOP’s decline is the dreadful Immigration Act of 1965, which demolished America’s demographic balance and flung open the gates to Third World immigrants.  While many of these immigrants are conservative on issues like abortion and “gay marriage,” their dependence on government benefits and support for open borders make them reliable Democratic voters.  And the third is the expansion of the vote to 18-year-olds by a congressional addition to a 1970 bill.  As Buchanan demonstrates, this act was unconstitutional—and the Supreme Court declared it so.  However, the states assumed that voting for 18-year-olds would be granted eventually and did not wish to alienate prospective voters.  Thus, a category of voters that is disproportionately Democratic was added to the rolls.  (As Buchanan points out, a person’s lifetime voting habits are usually established in his first few elections.)

Pat Buchanan’s advice for the GOP is characteristically simple and blunt: Concentrate on the white Christian vote.  Buchanan demonstrates that incessant pandering by the Republicans to black and Jewish voters does not, and will not, lead them to embrace the Republican Party.  In the last presidential election, McCain secured only 21 percent of the Jewish vote, even though Obama had a highly questionable record on Israel and attended a “church” led by an openly antiwhite and anti-Jewish preacher.  George W. Bush won 9 and 11 percent of the black vote in 2000 and 2004 respectively, even though his stances on “gay marriage” and school prayer were supported by many black voters.

A further problem is the Republicans’ cowardly refusal to champion controversial issues.  The main reason for George H.W. Bush’s victory in 1988 was his campaign’s targeting of Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis on his furloughs for brutal murderers like Willie Horton and on his veto of a bill favoring school prayer.  Dukakis was exposed for what he was: an East Coast leftist patently out of touch with the social views of most Americans.  In 1992, Bush decided to forgo controversy in favor of concentrating on the economy and foreign policy, and handed the presidency to Bill Clinton.  John Mc­Cain made the same mistakes.  Instead of hammering Obama for his longtime association with the racist, antisemitic, and America-hating Jeremiah Wright, McCain emphasized his own support for the disastrous Iraq war and mass immigration.  He even prevented the North Carolina GOP from running ads attacking Obama for his relationship with Wright.

Pat Buchanan’s strategy for the Republicans could be summed up as “two thirds of three fourths.”  White voters are currently three fourths of the electorate, and if a Republican candidate receives close to two thirds of the white vote, his victory is assured.  The simple fact is that white Christians are the steadfast base of the Republican Party, no matter how hard Ken Mehlman and Michael Steele try to prove otherwise.

Why should the Republicans be ashamed of concentrating on their white Christian voter base, asks Buchanan, when the Democrats openly and unashamedly excoriate white Christians?  Did not Obama show his and his party’s true feelings when he derided Middle American white Christian voters for “clinging to their guns or their religion”?  And is it not, after all, the aim of the Democrats’ open-borders policy to make European-Americans a minority in the country that their fathers founded, built, and defended?

As for the Democrats, Buchanan demonstrates that they were not always the paladins of diversity, affirmative action, and multiculturalism they pride themselves on being today.  Until FDR’s presidency, most blacks were dedicated Republicans, while Southern Democrats were steadfastly opposed to integration.  Even Roosevelt, however, depended on the allegiance of Dixie Democrats.  He wanted to nominate Sen. James Byrnes of South Carolina for vice president in 1940, despite the fact that the senator’s racial views make David Duke look like a San Francisco liberal.  Byrnes was a staunch segregationist who led the successful filibuster against the antilynching law and declined the nomination because he was afraid his opinions would cost the Democrats Northern votes.  When Truman succeeded FDR, he made Byrnes secretary of state.

Woodrow Wilson, another Democratic president beloved by liberals and neoconservatives, nominated the openly antisemitic James McReynolds to the Supreme Court.  McReynolds refused to sign opinions written by Louis Brandeis, the first Jew appointed to the Supreme Court, and, when Benjamin Cardozo was nominated, he urged President Hoover “not to afflict the Court with another Jew.”  During Cardozo’s swearing-in ceremony, McReynolds ostentatiously buried his head in a newspaper.  When McReynolds retired, Roosevelt replaced him with James Byrnes.

Buchanan demonstrates how the current obsession with equality and diversity is both contrary to this nation’s founding philosophy and detrimental to its survival.  Equality of result, which is championed by today’s ruling elites, was utterly alien to the founders of this country.  The words equality and democracy appear in neither the original Constitution nor the Bill of Rights.  Jefferson and Adams agreed that there was a “natural aristocracy” among people.  Madison made no reference to “equality” whatsoever in The Federalist.  Abraham Lincoln, the left’s and the neocons’ favorite president after FDR, expressly stated his opposition to equality.  He argued that the Declaration of Independence did not mean that everyone is equal in such things as intellect, morality, or “social capacity.”

The egalitarian radicalism that was championed by Lyndon Johnson and Earl Warren’s Supreme Court is utterly alien to the Constitution, the 14th Amendment, and the civil-rights laws of the 1960’s.  The socialist expansion of the state, which could very well bring on the death of America, is the direct result of the utopian big-government socialism of the Johnson administration.  Buchanan provides a sobering list of the consequences of this malevolent egalitarianism.  The busing of school children to other neighborhoods mandated by the Supreme Court in the name of racial equality destroyed American public education, sparked racial conflict where little previously existed, and ruined America’s cities by provoking white flight into suburbia.  In the name of religious equality, Christianity has been thrown out of schools and public places.  In the name of “gender” equality, men are discriminated against in hiring and university admissions, and the traditional family is relentlessly attacked, the results being disproportional male unemployment and the collapse of the traditional family.

This radical activism is not only destructive, but downright ridiculous.  Can anyone believe, Buchanan asks, that same-sex “marriage” is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?  Can anyone claim with a straight face that the Founding Fathers ever intended the government to mandate that Wicca and Rastafarianism be accorded the same treatment as Christianity, or that the U.S. Postal Service would spend taxpayers’ money commemorating Muslim holidays?

The ruling elites’ obsession with diversity is equally harmful.  Buchanan demonstrates that, while diversity in cuisine, political opinions, intellectual views, and societal functions are surely beneficial, the modern cult of diversity that leads to ethnic, religious, linguistic, and cultural fragmentation in America is baneful.  Diversity of this type is contrary to the vision of the Founding Fathers and the later concept of America as a “melting-pot nation.”  That concept was not about diversity being “our greatest strength.”  Rather, it aimed to dissolve diversity in favor of a new American identity.  That goal was partially accomplished through the championing of American cultural values and immigration controls, but today it is condemned by multiculturalists as oppression and “cultural genocide.”

As Buchanan argues, more diverse societies are also more unstable ones; uncontrolled diversity leads to conflict and collapse.  In private life, most people do not favor social diversity.  This is a wholly natural proclivity that no congressional bill or Supreme Court ruling could possibly change.  The Soviet Union collapsed to a large degree owing to diversity of the sort now championed by American elites.  Even before its formal abolition, the Soviet Union was rent apart by ethnic conflicts.  Azeris and Armenians massacred each other in the scores of hundreds, while the Soviet Army and the KGB stood helplessly by.  In Soviet Moldavia, a language dispute erupted into bloody clashes between pro-Rumanian radicals and their opponents.  Compare this unrest and mayhem with the tenor of countries like Finland and Japan, where little diversity exists.  Even during the catastrophic tsunami of 2011, there was no looting or chaos in Japan.  And when was the last time a riot occurred in Finland?  Already, there are signs of Soviet-style ethnic warfare in America.  In California, urban neighborhoods and state prisons are an out-of-control battleground between blacks and Hispanics, and certain predominantly Mexican parts of Los Angeles are now off limits to black people.

In his chapter “The Triumph of Tribalism,” Buchanan shows how the world is becoming more fragmented along ethnic lines.  He describes how countries from Bolivia to Switzerland, and from China to Britain, are suffering from ethnic conflict.  Events as varied as the Uighur uprising in China and the Italians’ backlash against mass immigration are described in this survey of awakening ethno-nationalism.

An especially poignant part of the book has to do with the collapse of the Catholic Church in recent decades.  The author himself is a devout and dedicated Catholic, raised in the strong, confident American Catholicism of the 1950’s, “America’s Catholic moment.”  Church attendance, conversions, and the number of active priests were at their peak.  Buchanan describes nostalgically this era, dominated by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who captivated both Catholic and non-Catholic television viewers, when the lines outside confessionals were long and the churches filled to capacity with eager worshipers.  All that changed after the passing of Pope Pius XII and the accession of John XXIII.  The latter’s decision to convoke Vatican II for the purpose of modernizing the Church proved to be a costly error.  Even John F. Kennedy, hardly a paragon of Catholic virtue, was bewildered by the decision to summon a council when the Church was stronger than She had been in years.

Indeed, Vatican II has proved nothing short of catastrophic for American Catholicism.  In 1965, over 1,500 priests were ordained in the United States, compared with 450 in 2002.  Two thirds of existing seminaries at the time of Vatican II are now closed, and the number of seminarians has fallen by “more than 90 percent,” according to Buchanan.  In 1968, 338 annulments were granted, a figure that soared to 50,000 in 2002.  Most tragically, a third of all those brought up as Catholics had left the Church by 2007.

The pedophile scandals in the post-Vatican II Church resulted in the loss of Her moral authority and financial losses in the billions of dollars.  As Buchanan writes, “the shepherds Christ has entrusted with his flock had been the enablers of wolves and secret wolves themselves.”  The rush to modernize the Church by misguided reformers left Her defenseless against the perversions of modernity.  Pope Pius XII was the last truly great pope, while “Neither Paul VI nor John Paul II was able to arrest the ensuing epidemic of heresy, defections, and disbelief.”

Judaism in America faces its own crisis.  While Orthodox Judaism is growing steadily and the majority of American Jews will soon be Orthodox, the Reform movement is sinking beneath the weight of the liberalism it advocates.  Reform “rabbis” champion intermarriage and abortion, while Orthodox rabbis call for large families and a socially conservative lifestyle.  In Buchanan’s words, “Secular Jews are a vanishing tribe.”

Elsewhere in this book, Buchanan builds upon ideas he articulated in previous works to show how current military interventionism, unsecured borders, and out-of-control government spending are destroying the country.  He concludes by offering some practical and realistic solutions to this national crisis.  They include a moratorium on immigration, military withdrawal from abroad, and a tariff on imported goods that would both rejuvenate American manufacturing and bring in much needed government revenue.  Given the state of contemporary American politics, it is doubtful whether any of these highly sensible solutions will be adopted in the near future.


[Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, by Patrick J. Buchanan (New York: Thomas Dunne Books) 496 pp., $27.99]