Commenting on the state of the American presidential race and of US politics more broadly, veteran political commentator Pat Buchanan took aim at a mainstream media’s attempts to crucify Donald Trump for the candidate’s suggestion that the November election might be “rigged”.
Last week, Donald Trump told voters at a campaign event in Ohio that he feared the election “is going to be rigged,” prompting a firestorm of criticism from the media complaining that Trump was effectively threatening to ‘delegitimize’ the 2016 election results and US democracy itself.
Commenting on the controversy in his latest piece in The American Conservative, Buchanan suggested that actually, Trump may just have a point.
Pointing out that the 2016 presidential cycle “has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider,” in the course of which both the Republican and Democratic parties have seen a “surge of economic populism and patriotism,” Buchanan emphasized that “this was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.”
From the left there was Bernie Sanders, “a 74-year-old Socialist senator [who] set [Democratic] primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton.” Ironically, WikiLeaks has confirmed that the anti-establishment candidate faced collusion between the Clinton campaign and the DNC throughout the entirety of the Democratic Party primary process.
From the right was Trump, “a non-politician” who “swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout” sending “more than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980…packing.”
American voters, Buchanan suggested, had sent the country’s political elites a message – that they were tired of the status quo. “But if it ends with a Clintonite restoration and a ratification of the same old Beltway policies, would that not suggest that there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?” the commentator asked.
One thing is clear, Buchanan noted. “If 2016 has taught us anything, it is that if the establishment’s hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity – for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power.” Today, “all the elements of that establishment –corporate, cultural, political, media –are…issuing an ultimatum to Middle America: Trump is unacceptable.” And this applies equally to both political parties.
“Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power. It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out those instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump,” the commentator noted.
“But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone? Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around? Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?” Buchanan asked.
“The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?” the commentator pondered. “Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for ‘regime change’ in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect ‘regime change’ here at home?” he added.
Trump’s message of an ‘America First’ foreign policy, “to keep us out of wars that have done little but bleed and bankrupt us,” together with “an economic policy where the Americanism of the people replaces the globalism of the transnational elites and their K Street lobbyists and congressional water carriers,” is what resonated with much of the public, the commentator noted.
Recalling the words of John F. Kennedy, who said that “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” Buchanan warned that another victory for an establishment candidate may push many Americans’ patience to the breaking point. “If Hillary Clinton takes power, and continues America on her present course, which a majority of Americans rejected in the primaries, there is going to be a bad moon rising,” he suggested.
“And the new protesters in the streets will not be overprivileged children from Ivy League campuses,” the columnist concluded.
A veteran political commentator, columnist and writer, Pat Buchanan served as the White House Communications Director during the Reagan Administration, and has run as both a Republican and Reform Party presidential candidate.
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