Buchanan and the Left
kbevans at panix.com
Sat Feb 24 01:45:59 MST 1996
The nut of the problem is revolutionary consciousness. Pat Buchanan
has one. The democrats don't. Like all fascists, Buchanan attempts to
organize and galvanize the electorate by creating an identity through
enemies. Nothing in Buchanan's package does anything but attempt to blame
people and limit their liberty. A notable exception to the circumscription
of liberty is the rich. Buchanan "criticizes" the "green eye-shades" at
Goldman Sachs, but proposes not a thing to limit their economic power.
The Democrats are essentially doing the same thing without the same nerve
and without identifying the problem with a clear and believable economic
message. They cannot logically attack Goldman Sachs without a logical
program to undermine their interests. Nobody believes that bureaucratic
reformism undermines their interests, and what reformism they propose is
not even intended to undermine their interests. Labor intends to
undermine their interests, but is so clearly embarrassed at having been
scooped by Buchanan and so desperately sniveling and weak, that they
knee-jerk to the Democrats.
The Buchanan trade stance gives him logical and rhetorical legitimacy
and is arguably valid, as far as it goes. Limiting foreign trade will do
little to take profit out of shareholders hands. It may bump up internal
demand and help stimulate production methods, but it might also create
recession without any benefit.
Buchanan is right on the money politically. He knows that the
"pro-growth" Republicans have shot their wad. NOBODY believes that tax cuts
and free trade will help their income because it hasn't in 20 years.
However, his "assault" on corporate America is, both logically and
rhetorically, a pure smokescreen for a near Nazi package. Buchanan is trying
to defeat Clinton and snuff the life out of the left, make no mistake.
On the up side his message (the part that's working) is pure
anti-thesis. He has shown US that working class Americans are beginning
to decouple their interests and the interests of the rich. They are
finally beginning to see that getting rich (as presently possible) and
having a prosperous nation are not at all the same thing. The tide is
turning for unions as well, I predict, because they have the basic,
undeniable logic of GETTING PEOPLE MORE MONEY on their side. This is an
essential time for us. We have to see that the power of logical rhetoric
is back. The careers of Buchanan and Gingrich have shown us that the
"suits" are out and the rhetoritician is in. Buchanan is hanging his
entire 4th Reich on the simple, economic argument that American
shareholders don't have the right to exploit their fellow citizens with
cheap, foreign labor, and that a country has to manufacture to prosper.
We socialists know that this logic is unassailable. It is a happy day for
us that it is working. It is also a slightly worrisome call to arms.
This is one of the reasons that I am going down to Trenton, NJ on
Tuesday to participate in the Labor Party Advocates meeting. If Buchanan can
use his limited political-economy argument to push such an obscenity-laden
campaign, I'm sure that an L.P.A. platform, however limited, can get some
press and make a worthwhile dent.
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