We can't stand Pat and let Buchanan capture the grass roots sentiment for protest against the system of corporate dominance. Pat Buchanan is the stalking horse for friendly fascism. Shame on Ross Perot and the Reform Party. Picking Pat is to magnify hate in 2000; it would be like the Greens choosing the Unabomber to head their ticket in 2000.
We don't want to go from an exploitative capitalism to a fascist theocracy. Buchanan represents today a grim combination of the fascist, l930s "Radio Priest" Charles Coughlin, George Wallace and the modern forces of intolerance. Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School reminds us that Buchanan is an admirer of Francisco Franco, Hitler's war on the eastern front, Joe McCarthy and the modern day gay bashers.
It is time for the Reform Party to condemn Buchanan's hate record. He admires Hitler's "great courage," "extraordinary gifts," and "genius" and doesn't seem to care that if Hitler had conquered the Soviet Union, he would have murdered 2 million more Jews. Even the conservative George Will has characterized Buchanan's sensibilities as fascist.
America and many other nations in the 20th century are again threatened by the far right which has long sought state power by fear, anger and scapegoating. Populists must embrace tolerance and cultural pluralism along with populist economics and democracy.
Failure to defend against the religious and cultural right is a blind spot of the left, worldwide. This neglect has allowed the rise of a conservative era that has permitted capital to exploit its advantage. The is a cynical alliance between the world bankers and the world bigots. Thus, to challenge capital, populists must have a more attractive and realistic world view than fundamentalism. Otherwise, 1984 will unfold, all in the name of GOD. A fascist GOD.
The Alliance must include a politics of meaning which is more attractive and realistic than that of the world's fundamentalists. This must mean adding tolerance for diversity, human rights and individual liberty to the agenda of economic democracy. The world needs social democracy and personal freedom/privacy as much as economic justice. Populists and pro-freedom groups need to form a common front, worldwide, to withstand the fast moving theocratic world view that seeks to reject the limited tolerance and pluralism currently under attack. Concretely, this means cross-networking the Alliance with women rights, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, all ethnic and minorities movements for democracy worldwide and the many religious liberals for all sorts who offer tolerance for pluralism.
Holding out for a populist revolt is not enough. We need a immediate, short-term defense against theocracy while we organize and push for fundamental change.
This requires a variety of strategic and tactical responses. First, to whatever degree we have the ability to block the Buchanan takeover of the Reform Party we should invest attention and rhetoric against the Perot/Buchanan block seeking a broader vehicle for hate. Second, we must campaign within the white working class, small farmers and the confused swing voters to unmask the dishonesty of Buchananism comparing him to the mass agitators of America's dark past. No, Buchanan is not pro-labor or pro-worker. He hates unions. He uses trade issues only to get the attention of the crowd just as the fascist Radio Priest attacked the bankers, Jews and Communists during the Great Depression. Victimized workers don't need a new George Wallace offering gays, Jews and minorities as new substitute scapegoats for the current period.
Finally, if the economic left and the anti-corporate forces do not quickly reach out to the pro-freedom, anti-hate and civil liberties community in a broader alliance of progressives their common enemy, the far right that hates all we stand for will triumph in the coming century.
Only a popular front of all progressives forces, both economic and social, can overpower the fear based theocracy of Buchananism. We can't stand Pat and let theocratic fascists wag the dog. Remember the good Germans of l933. Fight Buchananism now before it is too late.
Michael Whitty is a labor activist and teaches international business at a Detroit-area college. He lectures on behalf of the Alliance for Democracy on the dangers of right-wing populism. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or or call 248-594-7596.