Buchanan on Fulani

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Sun Nov 14 18:54:30 PST 1999

Pat Buchanan's Statement Welcoming Lenora Fulani to his campaign

"Lenora spoke from the heart, and let me do the same. I want to thank you very much, Lenora, for this endorsement.

"Let me say, in political terms this a giant step toward the Reform Party nomination. I have known Lenora for a long time, mainly through 'Crossfire,' when I do not believe we were on the same side of the fence. We're going to have those tapes recaptured and take a look at them before we put them out.

"But Lenora is a tremendous force in the Reform Party. She has a tremendous organization in the Reform Party, and you see a lot of these good folks here, who are extraordinarily effective in politics. As Bay said in her introduction, Lenora got herself on 50 states on the ballot in 1988 which is an incredible accomplishment for her party, especially when you consider that other parties, even my friend Howard Phillips, who has a fine organization, was unable to get himself on the ballot on more than 40 states in 1996. So this is a tremendous accomplishment. She is the first woman to have ever done this, and she is the first African American ever to have gotten on 50 states and to run for the presidency of the United States. She is a great force in her own right, and we welcome her to this campaign.

"I think this moment opens a new page in this campaign and it sends a new message. And it is that this coalition is open to all; that you do not have to agree with this candidate 100 percent of the time or 90 percent of the time or 80 percent of the time or 70 percent of the time if you want to join us and try to accomplish together the goals toward which we are all moving -- the common goals that we are all agreed upon. I think that this campaign is going to be a voice for the voiceless, and it's objective is to give power to the powerless in America.

"Let me talk about some of this common ground. I have come to the conclusion that it is essential that we break the iron grip the two parties have on power and the presidency of the United States, the idea, in this great and diverse country, that somehow the presidency of the United States belongs either to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, and anyone else who challenges for that presidency, or any party that seeks the highest office in the land, is somehow stealing from one or the other parties. That is not America. Power and the presidency belong to those who seek it and achieve it. It is not the inherited right or the entitlement of these two national parties. In my judgment, one of the goals of this campaign is really to break the two-party monopoly on power in America because the two parties no longer reflect the tremendous diversity of the American people.

"I believe also, in political terms, that the system is breaking down already. If you look closely, you can see it. Let's take a look at the presidential race. Lenora ran as far back as 1988, and got on 50 state ballots and got a significant number of votes. Today, we have on the presidential line, the Constitution Party of Mr. Phillips, which broke away from the Republicans; the Libertarians; the Greens, which broke away from the Democrats; the Reform Party, which was very much the creation of Ross Perot, and we have got its vice presidential candidate from '96 here with us. You have in New York the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Right to Life Party. And there are friends of mine, who I am trying to dissuade, who are putting together a Party of the South, which frankly believes that maybe the breakup of the union is the proper course.

"Our system is breaking down, and we need the parties to begin to reflect more of what this diverse country believes. We need to bring everybody back into this system, whereas the two parties are lopping off groups and individuals constantly and narrowing themselves and setting up politically correct rules of the road, and telling us that there are certain issues -- trade, foreign policy, immigration -- that are off the table, that are no longer subject to legitimate discussion. We believe all issues are open, and should be open, as we cross the threshold of a new century and a new millennium. And that's what this campaign is about.

"And this campaign also believes that the great goal of social justice is not being served in America today by this economy and the way it is functioning. We all know the successes of the stock market. Many in this room have probably benefitted from it. But how many of you have been down there and taken a look at the people who are left out and left behind? I can't tell you how many textile mills or steel mills I've visited where men who were working have lost their jobs and now work as bartenders while their wives have to go out and find work just to maintain the family standard of living.

"Now, I am told by journalists and others, Well, those issues don't work any more, Pat. Well, go out and talk to the farmers of America. I've been on cotton farms and wheat farms and hog and corn and beans and apples. You will be hard pressed to find a farm in America today where the family farmer is getting the price for his commodity to equal the cost of his production, and he wants to know why, when he's the most efficient worker we've got in America, he can't make a living or keep his family farm? I would ask my conservative friends, what in Heaven's name is it we want to conserve any more, if not towns and communities and country?

"Now, let me say, I'm not and never have been a believer in the politics of envy. I don't believe we ought to take away the money or the wealth of those who have earned it legitimately. But I do believe the disparities in income in this country are becoming too great. They're becoming too outrageous, and that is not healthy. They are far greater in this society than any other democracy or democratic republic on Earth. That is not healthy.

"My campaign is committed to a living wage for every family. What does that mean? It's not an outrageous concept. It goes back a long way, in my tradition. A hundred years, as a matter of fact, if you go back to some of those encyclicals. It means that one member of the family, one spouse, a husband or wife, ought to be able to earn enough to enable the entire family to live in decency while the other spouse, if they choose, stays home with the younger children or raises the children, as was true in my household, or the one I grew up in. And that's not so wild a dream, but it's our dream.

"Finally, I think Lenora and I are agreed -- we certainly probably didn't agree during the Cold War. I supported every military action of my country in the Cold War. And I believe we were right, and I am proud of my service in the Nixon White House and in Ronald Reagan's White House, and I was there with him at Reykjavik. But now that the Cold War is over, we cannot let America suddenly, because we are conquerors or victors in the Cold War, become an empire.

"We are a republic, and the patriot sons of America, whether they're from Anacostia or Harlem or Idaho or West Virginia or Alabama, are not going to be the imperial troops of anyone's New World Order.

"So, having said that, I gave you my word a week ago at a press conference that I shall go to Seattle to the WTO trade talks, and now, I will also go to Harlem. Thank you very much."

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list