Pat Buchanan 1992 Announcement Speech

 

A Crossroads in Our Country's History

New Hampshire State Legislative Office Building

December 10, 1991

My friends, we come to New Hampshire at a crossroads in our country's history.

The long Cold War between Communism and freedom, in which many of us invested lives and careers, is ending. Some of us thought we would never see the day that Communism was defeated, and the empire of Lenin and Stalin dismantled. By the grace of God, America won the Cold War.

But victory has not brought with it an end to history.

Beyond these shores, a new world is being born for which our government is unprepared, and we are unprepared. The dynamic force shaping that world is nationalism.

From Ukraine to Croatia, old nations are breaking up, new nations are being born. And as we Americans have always stood for freedom and self-determination, we should not fear the future. We should be the first to welcome them into the family of nations. For they all look to America as the ideal of what they too might one day become.

In the Far East, however, nationalism has taken on a different and harder aspect. The rising economic power of Japan has filed a claim to displace the United States as the dominant power of the 21st Century. In Europe, many of the ancient states are signing up to exchange their national birthright for a limited partnership in an economic co-op called the EC. In Holland, a conservative prime minister is today being pressed to lead the Mother of Parliaments into yielding up to bureaucrats in Brussels what generations of British soldiers fought to preserve.

We Americans must not let that happen here.

We must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushioned seat at the head table of anyone's New World Order.

The first challenge we face, then, is economic, presented by the rise of a European super state and a dynamic Asia led by Japan. The 20th Century was the American Century, but they intend to make the 21st, the century of Europe or the Century of Asia.

So, as we Americans congratulate one another on the victory for freedom that we, first and foremost, won, and won together for all mankind in the Cold War, we must begin to prepare for the new struggles already underway.

All the institutions of the Cold War, from vast permanent U.S. armies on foreign soil, to old alliances against Communist enemies that no longer exist, to billions in foreign aid, must be re-examined. With a $4 trillion debt, with a U.S. budget chronically out of balance, should the United States be required to carry indefinitely the burden of defending rich and prosperous allies who take America's generosity for granted as they invade our markets?

Whenever there is a natural disaster, anywhere, from Armenia to Kurdistan to Bangladesh, we Americans will be there, first, with aid and relief. That is our tradition, a tradition that will never change. But it is time to end these routinized annual transfers of our national wealth to global bureaucrats, who ship it off to regimes that pay us back in compound ingratitude. It is time to phase out foreign aid, and start looking out for the needs of the forgotten Americans right here in the United States.

So, today, we call for a new patriotism, where Americans begin to put the needs of Americans first, for a new nationalism where in every negotiation, be it arms control or trade, the American side seeks advantage and victory for the United States.

The people of this country need to recapture our capital city from an occupying army of lobbyists, and registered agents of foreign powers hired to look out for everybody and everything except the national interest of the United States.

It is time also to take a hard look at the welfare state.

Over a quarter century we have poured hundreds of billions of dollars into Great Society programs. Whatever the motives of those who built this mammoth state enterprise, our financial loss has been exceeded only by the social catastrophe it created. High school test scores drop almost every year, as the levels of violent crime reach new heights. Narcotics have ravaged a generation. Our popular culture of books, movies and films is as polluted as Lake Eerie once was. The welfare state has bred a generation of children and youth with no fathers, no faith and no dreams - other than the lure of the streets.

To our economic crisis, however, we Americans know the answer.

It is to end the steadily rising drain of wealth and resources to Washington; to ease up on - not add to, Mr. President - the tax burden on American business; to unleash, not tie down, the genius and energy of American enterprise. As for the predatory traders of Europe or Asia, who have targeted this or that American industry for dumping and destruction, if I am elected, they will find themselves on a collision course with the President of the United States.

When we say we will put America first, we mean also that our Judeo-Christian values are going to be preserved, and our Western heritage is going to be handed down to future generations, not dumped onto some land fill called multi-culturalism.

At the root of America's social crisis - be it AIDS, ethnic hatred, crime or the social decomposition of our cities - lies a spiritual crisis. Solzhenitsyn was right. Men have forgotten God. Not in the redistribution of wealth, but in the words of the Old and New Testament will be found not only salvation, but the cure for a society suffering a chronic moral sickness.

But as we search for the answers we all used to know, we need to take back our streets from the criminals. We need to persuade pastors and preachers to return to their pulpits to reinstruct us in the Commandments and the truths of our traditional faiths, and to leave government to the politicians. We must do what we can to reconstruct the old conscience-forming and character-forming institutions of society - family and church, home and school.

We need God's help, and we need your help.

Why am I running? Because we Republicans can no longer say it is all the liberals' fault. It was not some liberal Democrat who declared, "Read my lips! No new taxes!," then broke his word to cut a back room budget deal with the big spenders. It was not Edward Kennedy who railed against a quota bill, then embraced its twin. It was not Congress alone who set off on the greatest social spending spree in 60 years, running up the largest deficits in modern history. No, that was done by men in whom we placed our confidence and our trust, and who turned their backs, and walked away from us.

What is the White House answer to the recession caused by its own breach of faith? It is to deny we even have a recession.

Well, let them come to New Hampshire.

My friends, we are the sons and daughters of the men and women who brought America through the Depression and crushed fascism on two sides of the world. We ourselves are the men and women who won the Cold War with Communism. We can win the future and we can hand down to those who come after us a country as great and grand and good as the one that was given to us. But first we must take America back.

So we are taking this campaign not just to Republicans, and not just to conservatives. Every American is invited to join, the middle-class of both parties, and of no party. For the establishment that has dominated Congress for four decades is as ossified and out-of-touch with America as the establishment that resides in the White House.

This race will not be about personality; and this campaign will not get into personalities.

George Bush served bravely in America's great war. He is a man of graciousness, honor, and integrity, who has given half a lifetime to his nation's service. But the differences between us now are too deep.

He is yesterday and we are tomorrow. He is a globalist and we are nationalists. He believes in some Pax Universalis; we believe in the Old Republic. He would put American's wealth and power at the service of some vague New World Order; we will put America first. So, to take my party back and take our country back, I am today declaring my candidacy for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States.

Source: Field Guide to the 1992 Presidential Campaign Democracy in Action