top of page

Buchanan Warned Us

Updated: May 17

The old America is gone, and we let it slip away.

As torchbearer for the 'America First' ethos, Catholic conservative firebrand Pat Buchanan was a philosophical forerunner of Donald Trump, and laid much of the ideological groundwork for his political success.


The pair align politically in many ways, sharing similar views on American exceptionalism, interventionism, foreign policy, border security and the bipartisan betrayal of the working class.


But the United States of 2024 is a different beast than the country of thirty years ago, and as the November election edges ever closer, it's important to assess what has been lost, as we prepare for whatever may come in the fall.


Exhorting America 


Announcing his run for the presidency in December 1991, Buchanan warned that the America envisioned by the Founding Fathers was slipping away. Though he lost to George H.W. Bush in the GOP primaries, the strength of his message was such that he was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in August 1992. There, in Houston, Buchanan turned his sights away from Bush and took aim at a far more insidious foe — Bill Clinton.


His address, dubbed the "cultural war" speech, found instant fame for its audacity, candor and foresight. In it, Buchanan reflected on the clash of worldviews sweeping the United States, describing it as "a religious war ... for the soul of America." Sounding the alarm over the Clinton agenda, he warned Americans of the godless revolution they would suffer were they to hand power to the Democrats later that year. 


While applauding Bush as "a champion of the Judeo-Christian values and beliefs upon which America was founded," Buchanan forecast that Clinton would impose profane policies upon the country if he won the White House.


"Mr. Clinton," he observed, "has a different agenda. At its top is unrestricted abortion on demand." To illustrate his point, Buchanan reminded his audience of a scandal that had erupted a month earlier at the Democratic National Convention in New York — a clear demonstration that there was no longer a place for pro-lifers inside the Democratic Party.


"When the Irish-Catholic governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, asked to say a few words on behalf of the 25 million unborn children destroyed since Roe v. Wade, Bob Casey was told there was no room for him at the podium at Bill Clinton's convention," Buchanan noted.


He then pivoted to spotlight another moral blight Americans could expect to suffer if they elected Clinton their commander-in-chief — the normalization of homosexuality: "Yet a militant leader of the homosexual rights movement could rise at that same convention and say 'Bill Clinton and Al Gore represent the most pro-lesbian and pro-gay ticket in history.' And so they do."


Buchanan slammed Clinton and Company for their efforts to stymie school choice and preserve leftist control of US classrooms: "Bill Clinton says he supports school choice. But only for state-run schools. Parents who send their children to Christian schools, or private schools, or Jewish schools, or Catholic schools need not apply."


He also scrutinized the outsize influence those closest to Clinton would wield from their new perches in Washington. If 'Slick Willy' were to command the Oval Office, Buchanan warned, running mate Al Gore would use the vice presidency as a bully pulpit to proselytize his worship of Mother Earth:


"Mr. Gore made a startling declaration. 'Henceforth,' Albert Gore said, 'the central organizing principle of governments everywhere must be the environment.' Wrong, Albert! The central organizing principle of this republic is freedom! And from the ancient forests of Oregon and Washington to the Inland Empire of California, America's great middle class has got to start standing up to these environmental extremists who put birds and rats and insects ahead of families, workers and jobs."


Likewise, Buchanan highlighted the threat that Hillary Clinton — Bill's other running mate, of sorts — presented, skewering her contempt for traditional femininity and family life: "'Elect me, and you get two for the price of one,' Mr. Clinton says of his lawyer spouse."

"And what does Hillary believe?" Buchanan asked. "Hillary has compared marriage and the family as institutions to slavery and life on an Indian reservation. ... This is radical feminism!"


Summarizing the danger posed by the power couple from Little Rock, Buchanan declared:


"The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units — that's change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America needs. It is not the kind of change America wants. And it is not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call 'God's Country.'"


That was 32 years ago.

America, as it was then, is gone; no more can we call ourselves 'God's Country.'

Eleven weeks after Buchanan's "culture war" address, Bill and Hillary (and Al) won. They spent the next eight years overseeing the sowing of today's ruin: goading the expansion of globalism, yet ignoring the prospect of Islamist attack; facilitating fatherlessness, while softening the shame of adultery; advancing contraception, abortion, and all things LGBT; and poisoning the minds of our children through "progressive" programming in schools. 

The bloodletting didn't end there, of course. Bush 43 quickened the decline of the old America through naive neocon overreach. Obama killed off much of what remained through targeted Marxist agitprop. And today, through feckless, fumbling policy, Biden and his Blackshirts are burying the corpse.


Taking Stock


History has vindicated Buchanan. The dystopia he warned us we could become has arrived, and America — by our own choosing — is in free fall. The indicators are everywhere, and almost too many to count; but for a taste of just how much our society has soured, we need only examine a few key issues Buchanan highlighted in Houston, and see where they stand today.

First, abortion. Thanks to Trump, Roe v. Wade is dead. Without question, that is an astonishing victory, and one for which we must always be grateful.

On June 24, 2022 — the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, no less — the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that there is no constitutional right to abortion. Finally, after nearly half a century of slaughter and more than 63 million dead, the abortion regime imposed on America by its highest court in 1973 was overthrown. The issue was handed back to the states, many of which, through their legislatures, had already set in place "trigger" laws that would ban abortion if Roe fell. In short order, thirteen states outlawed abortion, with Missouri being the first, just minutes after Dobbs was handed down.

But in the nearly two years that have followed, an alarming trend has developed. Since the summer of 2022, pro-lifers have lost every state-level abortion-related measure put to ballot. Referendums in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Vermont — all were pro-life defeats. The losses in California and Vermont weren't surprising, but Kansas? Kentucky? Montana? Those are comfortably Republican states.

An 0-7 record indicates something very troubling: that after decades of "my body, my choice" conditioning, American voters are betraying their duty toward the nation's most vulnerable. Even in Red States, it seems, a majority will fight for their guns, lower taxes and the right to homeschool — but not for the unborn.

Meanwhile, the homosexual rights movement, still a fringe faction in Buchanan’s heyday, has morphed into a monster: the LGBT juggernaut. No movement has transformed the United States so radically, or so quickly, as this. In just one generation, homosexuality shifted from a subject of scorn to one of celebration. This was achieved through a massive increase in strategic lobbying, through which the gay rights movement was recast as a civil rights struggle.

In the 1990s, a targeted campaign of pro-homosexual propaganda was launched in classrooms across the country, indoctrinating young students first into accepting, then embracing, the homosexual lifestyle. This was underpinned by a relentless media blitz, with Hollywood saturating its programming with gay characters. Simultaneously, the churches were compromised, with "progressive" pastors introducing their flocks to a fashionable new mantra: "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

In the early years of the new century, the concept of "hate speech" took hold, with activists wielding this Orwellian weapon to hammer free speech — religious speech, in particular. Sodomy is sin? Not today, bigot. Recasting biblical truths as "hate" hastened the upending of social norms, and before long, "intolerance" was deemed depraved, and sexual deviancy, upright.

As this was happening, the sanctity of marriage came under attack. Buoyed by the "love is love" mentality coming into vogue, LGBT activists insisted that homosexual relationships were on par with heterosexual relationships, and demanded the right to wed. In 2004, the state of Massachusetts, by order of its Supreme Judicial Court, answered the call, becoming the first state to legalize so-called same-sex marriage. This sparked a cascading effect, and by mid-2015, homosexuals could "wed" in 37 states and the District of Columbia. The die was cast that summer when the Supreme Court imposed same-sex "marriage" on the whole country with its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. And that was the coup de grâce; with the sanctity of marriage overthrown, the normalization of homosexuality was essentially complete.

Obergefell marked a delineation point in more ways than one. Rather than mollifying LGBT activists, it emboldened them. Immediately after the ruling the "trans" tyranny erupted, and Americans responded by retreating into mass psychosis to play a collective game of make-believe. Ten years ago there were just two genders; since then, we've invented more than one hundred. Fake pronouns litter our lexicon, and newspeak is now the norm. Mutilated men dominate women's sports, and mutilated men are crowned "Woman of the Year." What is a woman? — You've come a long way, baby.

Complicit in all this was the US education system, now an unmitigated catastrophe. In the early 1990s, American schools were merely bad — lousy at sculpting students into scholars. Today, thanks to the rise of the education establishment complex, our classrooms are nothing more than communist training camps, churning out millions of malignant little Marxists every year. True, some progress has been made in the area of school choice, and homeschooling has skyrocketed since the “remote learning” disaster under COVID. But the decay is so complete, the rot so rotten, that our only hope may be that the system collapses in on itself under the weight of its own corruption.

Meanwhile, as America’s faith has withered, the new "nones" have sought new devotions to fill their inner void. Pornography, drugs, and social media have become popular substitutes, but for many "spiritual, not religious" types, something deeper was needed to satisfy the hungry Self.

Enter environmentalism. For millions in post-Christian America, the Green Gospel has become a proxy faith, with Mother Earth displacing Father God, and CO2 supplanting Satan. 


From positions of power in Washington and New York, these impassioned apostles are crafting new commandments to govern our lives. Meanwhile, in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, creative co-religionists are abuzz inside studios and tech spaces, producing and transmitting "information" to "raise awareness" and "educate." After all, for most Americans the new paradigm will be bitter; it must be made more palatable to the malleable among us.

And so, pipelines are out; electric cars are in. Meat is passé, and bugs are all the rage. Say goodbye to gas stoves (they’re too indulgent). The straw that broke the camel's back? It was made of plastic. The price of fuel got you down? It's OK — you should be biking more, anyway. And over the airwaves and through the wires comes the refrain: climate change, climate change, climate change ... .

At every level, environmentalists are remaking (or better yet, wrecking) American life. Their designs dovetail perfectly with the goals of fellow travelers in Davos, Geneva — even Rome. Ostensibly to "save the planet," eco-agents and their allies are working in tandem to disempower the United States through domestic policy and international protocol. And that is the goal: America must be curtailed for them to achieve their larger plan — which, in the light of day, appears more red than green.

Looking Ahead

This is a snapshot of a few of the troubles we face.

There are more: runaway feminism, the "toxic masculinity" myth, young men alone and adrift, rampant crime, do-nothing prosecutors, the border crisis, the housing crisis, the energy crisis, the overdose crisis — the list is almost beyond comprehension.

Some of these problems will likely never be solved, barring a widespread return to God. But others are correctable, if we choose wisely in November.

In a 1986 speech to the National Religious Broadcasters, Buchanan reflected on what the long-term impact of the Reagan Revolution would be. "Whether President Reagan has charted a new course that will set our compass for decades — or whether history will see him as the conservative interruption in a process of inexorable national decline — is yet to be determined."

Looking back from the spring of 2024, it seems as though the latter prospect has come to pass. But, it didn't have to be that way. Frankly, it still doesn't.

Reagan restored America to greatness over the course of two administrations, reversing a decade of steep decline. Likewise, in his four years in office, Trump did much to reverse a quarter-century of decay. He could do it again, if given the opportunity; he could begin making America great again, in less than a year.

If we let him.

Writer, editor and producer Stephen Wynne has spent the past seven years covering, from a Catholic perspective, the latest developments in the Church, the nation and the world. Prior to his work in journalism, he spent eight years co-authoring “Repairing the Breach,” a book examining the war of worldviews between Christianity and Darwinism. A Show-Me State native, he holds a BA in Creative Writing from Pepperdine University and an Executive MBA from the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

To support articles like this, please consider a donation to Souls And Liberty.

655 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All

5 komentarzy

Sorry but Donald Trump is nothing like Pat Buchannon politically or morally.


Trump already had Four Years and couldn't keep his most basic campaign promises when his First Two Years had a Republican controlled House AND Senate.

Why on earth would anyone think Trump will do anything with only a slim majority of Republicans in the House?

That is just propaganda.

Let's not forget that Trump has now said he's open to Abortion and he supported the $95 Billion Dollar Taxpayer funded Bill to Foreign Countries !

Trump is Not America First. Don't waste your vote on Trump, Vote for someone else.



Tell me one issue that Trump and Buchannon agree on.


Sorry but Donald Trump is nothing like Pat Buchannon politically or morally.

Pat Buchannon advocated small government and a Pro Family moral agenda (Anti-Abortion, Anti- Same Sex Marriage, Anti- Sodomite adoption of children, Anti- LGBTQ+, Anti-Torture, Anti-Assassination of foreign leaders)

Trump, by contrast with his actions as President and now as a candidate, has proven to be Pro Big Government, and Anti- Family.

Trump CELEBRATES Sodomy and Same Sex Marriage, has approve ved of assassin's nating foreign leaders, appreciate ves of torture of prisoners while Trump increased the size of Government exponentially adding more programs and Agencies.

To say "Pat Buchanan was a philosophical forerunner of Donald Trump" is a ridiculous and false statement.


Excellent analysis; all of it.

bottom of page