I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pat Buchanan

Continuing with our Top Ten Series featuring my favorite authors:

#2: Pat Buchanan

If you aren’t interested in politics, then this post probably isn’t for you. But truthfully, this is about more than politics. It’s about a journey I took.

I became active in politics in 1992. I considered myself to be a conservative. I listened to talk radio—mostly conservative. I voted conservative. And it was a good time to be a conservative. The Republican Revolution took place in 1994 and the GOP took the House of Representatives—touting the Contract with America as their agenda. They promised to bring bills up for a vote that would balance the budget, make our streets safer, reform welfare, include tax incentives for families who adopt, cut taxes on the middle class, place no troops under U.N. command, repeal the 1993 tax increases on social security, cut the capital gains tax, reform liability laws, and a limit the terms of elected representatives. For the most part, these were and are conservative ideas. I’ll leave it to history to determine how successful the GOP was in implementing their plan, but in some form or fashion, they did bring all ten items up for a vote in the House.

Fast forward to 1999. Pat Buchanan’s book A Republic, Not an Empire was released. I was already growing weary of the conservative movement because of their support for trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT. And I was starting to become uneasy with America’s growing desire to become interventionists in conflicts all around the world. Buchanan’s A Republic, Not an Empire stunned me. He pointed out that America had agreed to defend fifty nations around the world by signing various agreements with NATO and other treaties. He made as strong a case against empire building as I’ve ever heard and that’s when I realized that the GOP wasn’t my political home any longer. The election of George W. Bush convinced me even further. Gone were the conservative ideas espoused in the Contract with America and in their place we saw skyrocketing budgets and increased empire building—especially after 911.

In 2002, Buchanan released his next book, The Death of the West. This one challenged me personally more than it did politically. He said that if the West doesn’t begin taking marriage and children serious again, then the West would die by 2050 due to collapsing birth rates. In one section of this book he said this, “As Christianity began to die in the West, something else occurred: Western peoples began to stop having children. For the correlation between religious faith and large families is absolute. The more devout a people, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, the higher its birthrate.” This message touched me deeply. I’ve wanted to be married for a long time, but as I thought about this message, I think my priorities fell into line for the first time regarding marriage. I finally wanted to be married because of what I could bring to a marriage instead of what I could receive from one. I wanted to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Singleness per se is not the problem, but remaining single for the purpose of doing whatever pleases a person is a problem. Cultures cannot survive once this type of thinking becomes the norm. Up until this point, I was one of those singles. After I finished this book, I was not one of those singles.

By 2004, I was sickened by what I saw in the GOP—arrogance, pride, support for a bloated bureaucracy, and a foreign policy that embraced the crazy notion of democratizing the Middle East. That same year, Buchanan released a book entitled Where the Right Went Wrong. He went after President Bush’s attempt at empire building hard and I agreed with most of his conclusions. And he pointed out that from 2002 to 2004, the national debt increased by $1.3 trillion under President Bush’s watch. And by 2004, the deficits were growing by leaps and bounds—55% of which were unrelated to defense spending and 911.

Most recently, in 2006, Buchanan released State of Emergency—a book that challenges Americans to rethink our current immigration policies.

I love Buchanan’s writing for many reasons. He’s not bound to a political party. He’s bound by his conscience. He’s one of the few remaining conservatives who haven’t crossed over the line to neoconservatism—which in my opinion, has nothing to do with conservatism. But beyond all that, I’m challenged to live my life differently after reading his books. He changed my motivation for wanting to get married. He’s helped me to appreciate history like I never have before. And the funny thing is, I don’t feel as angry about politics as I once did. I think he’s behind that too. My convictions haven’t changed, but my attitude toward people has. If you get a chance, watch Pat Buchanan on MSNBC as he interacts with people he disagrees with as debates the issues. He’s personable, jovial, and smiling—sometimes to the point of exuberant laughter. He’s also firm in his convictions. He seems to be the perfect example of a person who truly loves his political enemies.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...