opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Patrick Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
25 Apr 2014
On Treating Putin as Pariah

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and … Read More.

22 Apr 2014
Nationalism, Not NATO, Is Our Great Ally

With Vladimir Putin having bloodlessly annexed Crimea and hinting that his army might cross the border to … Read More.

18 Apr 2014
NED's Chickens Come Home to Roost

When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Empire an "evil empire," the phrase reflected his conviction that while … Read More.

The Rooted and the Rootless


Does Barack Obama understand the people he leads? Do his aides?

These may seem cheeky questions to ask of a team that just won the presidency. But there is something in their cool, insouciant, blase demeanor, in the face of insults to their country, that suggests there yet exists a chasm — between them and us.

Now, the change since the 1960s in the character of the nation has been great. The moral and social sappers spawned by that decade have done their work well. But Middle America yet remains a blood-and-soil, family-and-faith, God-and-country kind of nation.

We are not Europe — yet.

Most Americans remain visceral patriots. It's in the DNA.

What almost cost Bill Clinton the presidency in 1992 was not that he had opposed the Vietnam War, but that, it was said, he marched against his country while in a foreign country.

When Barack confided to friends in San Francisco that he was having trouble in Pennsylvania because these folks "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them ... as a way to explain their frustrations," he revealed that he does not really understand a part of the nation he now leads.

It is this part of America that does not comprehend how the president could sit in Trinidad and listen to the scrub stock of the hemisphere trash our country — and say nothing.

To Obama's supporters, he may have behaved as a rational leader ought: Be pleasant and friendly, smile, ignore taunts and insults, rise above all that, communicate, seek common ground.

That is who Obama is, friends say. On a personal level, there is surely nothing wrong with so conducting oneself. But Obama is now president of the United States. He represents our country, not just himself.

The other America is hardwired another way. It believes, as Merle Haggard sang, "If you're running' down my country, man, you're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."

At Columbia, Harvard Law and the University of Chicago — where Barack, the son of a single mom, shuttled from Hawaii to Indonesia and back — a black kid in a strange Muslim world, then in a white world, by his own admission unrooted, learned how to get along. And he is surrounded by aides with advanced degrees from elite colleges who react just like him.

But if they don't wish to lose the country, they had better begin to understand the rest of America — as the 1960s' liberals never did.

When columnist Tom Wicker famously wrote, after the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention, "These were our children in the streets, and the Chicago police beat them up," a Gallup poll recorded that 56 percent of Americans interviewed approved of the Chicago cops.

To most Americans, it was the cops who were "our children," and the country was delighted the obnoxious and over-privileged brats had gotten what they deserved.

When students marched down Wall Street in 1969 to protest the "dirty immoral war" in Vietnam, the construction workers of Pete Brennan's building trades waded in.

Liberals could not understand how the working class — the proletariat, for Pete's sake! — so detested them.

Ever since the Social Democrats voted to a man for the Kaiser's war credits in 1914, the left has felt itself repeatedly betrayed by the economic class in which they have always invested so much hope.

This divide here is not Republicans versus Democrat, so much as it is NASCAR versus The New York Times.

When the Dubai Ports deal became public and America exploded, Times neocon columnist David Brooks was as stunned as his neoliberal colleague Tom Friedman. The "pitchfork-wielding xenophobes" were out of their cages, and a new Dark Age was upon us.

When during the Panama Canal debate Ronald Reagan declared: "We bought it. We paid for it. It's ours. And we're gonna keep it," and crowds came roaring to their feet, the elites could not comprehend it, because they do not understand what Pascal meant when he said, "The heart has reasons that the mind knows not."

Rooted people love the things of the heart: God, country, family and faith. The weapons of the mind have been given to us, they believe, to defend the things of the heart.

Knowledge follows love; it does not precede it.

Most Americans have grown to love America long before they read the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers. There are heroes in Arlington who never learned to read. A true nation is an extended family. If fathers or sons do not defend it, it is their conduct that is indefensible.

Obama may be popular today, but he will lose the country and his presidency if he lets the perception take hold that he, the personification of American sovereignty, does not react as a normal patriot.

The Obamaites may not like Sarah Palin's phraseology. But they need someone in their councils who is rooted in the Real America.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



3 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;...The Question you pose, more than just about any thing you have ever said makes me realize you will never get at the meat of the problem no matter how much you hammer at the shell... ... To have power our parties have sacrificed unity, and that is the difference between our form of government that is democratic, and one that is a democracy...All true democracies seek consensus... This was true of the Iroquois Confederacy, and of many smaller gentile democracies...The reason is simple, that the solution to any particular problem should not result in a larger problem of disunion, that is potentually harder to resolve, and more dangerous... Some idiots, to have political power set out to divide this people almost from the start, on the model of England, long divided by her parties...These are not legal, and not constitutional, except in the sense that free association is legal, and while free association is legal and should be legal, parties should not be... But since they have led us into disunion, they have led us to ruin, and they are both absolutly correct to point the finger at the other party... They are both to blame, and equally to blame, and since all are party animals, no one in government can conceive of living without them... But we must... ... Mr. Obama is no true leader, but he is not a leader in any democratic sense either, because such a man under such a government concedes the power to the people and follows their will... He is stuck wanting to do as he is pushed to do, and unnable to do against the rightious indignation of the people for the goal he has in mind.... Many people want to see guns banned... Others buy Ammo, and plan insurrection...Some want social and economic Justice, and others meet that want with taunts of "Socialist, or Communist"... Since we have had this country we have had people trying to tear it limb from limb, and heart from soul... It does not make leaders free to lead, but makes them the prisoners of their office, and the victims of their circumstances... Any of them could do great good, if they would only forget about re-election, and bet all on a single throw of the dice.... They do not, and because they dare not... So they do not lead, but follow, and not the will of the people, but the path of least resistence like wind or water...They have divided us, and now they fear that division... Now they fear the slightest shift in public opinion, and what that means is that you lead, and I lead, and Rush leads, and every tom and dick with a voice and a will leads -on the basis of a frustrated and fickle middle which grows larger as we speak, that will not set still, but moves this way and that threatening always to dump the boat if something good does not happen for them... This is why the East so rejoiced when the stronger brother killed the weaker, and took the thrown... They were spared civil war, and divided leadership...No country can go two ways at once, so whether you like it or not, Mr. Obama only leads those who voted him into office; and if that is true, Mr Obama should not waste a moment placating the rest...He will not bring them along... They will not hear reason...They may even try to kill him....This is the result of the parties... This is where partocracy leads... Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:39 AM
Mr. Buchanan: Speaking of what's in DNA, it's the kind of stubborn refusal to adapt, grow, and turn one's head away from the seemingly attractive but never-again-reachable past that's causing the likes of you and the failed leaders of the Republican party to go down the path of the Neanderthals. It's about evolution. You know, the science that folks like you just can't seem to get.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:28 AM
Re: Masako;... Sir,... Mr. Buchanan misses the point with his statement about DNA... It is not DNA that determinse our destiny and how we shall behave; but something much more profound... It is DYNA, our lives, lived in detail, vibrant, responsive, reflective, and fluid... Everyone has DNA, but few have DYNA... Those people who want to live by the book; the law book, the Bible, the Holy Q'uran, or what ever you call your principals or ideology are stuck just as people are stuck with their DNA..If they do not see that they can change it; they cannot change it...Most people live that way, with a small P philosophy... They cannot break free of bad habits or tradition, and their lives are a form of madness where what never worked is oft repeated...Look at us as a nation... We are still debating the merits of the new deal... Could there possibly be some finite picture of that reality??? Is it all lies and counter lies???We choose to be certain rather than to know, but even if we could know, and what we know does not work, why stick with it out of principal???We have good ideas instead of good thoughts... Then we let our ideas do our thinking, and if our ideas fail, we blame the human beings charged with making it work... What if our grand ideas are wrong... What if errors, just as with DNA, keep replicating???Isn't it better to look at all we do in terms of the life we see affected???If we could judge all our bright ideas in terms of life, in terms of DYNA rather than some fixed star like DNA; we could be fine... Instead, ideas and principals and false ideas like DNA afflict us... And I am not saying DNA does not have some truth to it...Yet, if it means biology is fate, it still tells us nothing... What is wrong with this society, hate and greed, for an example, are not genetic... They are the ways miserable people play against the force of their lives, and try to punish all within their reach...It is totally reactive: feel pain, express pain...There is no life in it, and no dynamic...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:12 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Pat Buchanan
Apr. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 28 Apr 2014
Patrick Buchanan
Pat BuchananUpdated 25 Apr 2014
Erick Erickson
Erick EricksonUpdated 25 Apr 2014

23 Sep 2011 Is the Window Closing on Israel?

5 Feb 2013 The Republican Obsession

15 Jun 2010 Bailing Out Politicians Now?