GRABBING AN EXCERPT FROM Pat Buchanan's latest essay on the state of the 2008 presidential election: Philosophically and culturally, we are a divided people. Across the spectrum there are us-versus-them folks who see politics as a zero-sum game between Middle America and a global elite. Below the upper-income brackets and along the center-right are the folks the late columnist Sam Francis, citing sociologist Donald Warren's 1976 study, called Middle American Radicals.
Richard Nixon brought the "MARs" to national attention when, as David Broder then wrote, the "breaking of the president" was underway in October 1969. Nixon went on television and called for the Great Silent Majority to stand with him against antiwar demonstrators and rioters in the streets, and for "peace with honor" in Vietnam. When TV anchors trashed Nixon's speech, he unleashed Spiro Agnew on the establishment media. No White House had ever before attacked the networks or national press for ideological and political bias. In a month, Nixon hit 68 percent approval, the apogee of his presidency, and Agnew was the third most admired man in America.
Ronald Reagan, by opposing the surrender of the Panama Canal to a leftist dictator, also rallied the MARs. He lost that battle, but his consolation prize was the GOP nomination and the presidency. In recent years, we have seen the MARs rise again and again in roaring rebellion. But, invariably, when these rebellions occur, John McCain may be found inside the castle walls.
In 2007, McCain rushed to Washington to support George Bush, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post in the drive to grant amnesty to 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens. A national firestorm killed the bill and almost killed McCain's campaign. A year earlier, a MARs uprising killed the Dubai ports deal. The power elite was stunned by the explosion of outrage over the leasing of six U.S. ports to Arab sheiks. Nationalism remains a more potent force than globalism, and not only in America.
In Clinton's first term, McCain stood with the establishment for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO and the Mexican bailout. Middle America opposed them all.
In the past decade, the MARs have opposed free-trade deals, and lost, but won virtually every referendum on gay marriage, affirmative action or welfare for illegal aliens. Invariably, the MARs are portrayed as bigots, nativists, xenophobes, protectionists and isolationists, and their leaders as demagogues. In McCain's words from 2000, they are "agents of intolerance." This is fine if you wish to be beloved in this city, but it may be a fatal impediment if you want to be president.
McCain's problem is that, in 2008, when his old press idolaters have found a new favorite, these are the people who hold his key to the presidency. They are the Democrats who voted against Barack Obama by wide margins in Pennsylvania and Ohio and landslide margins in West Virginia and Kentucky.
These Democrats can still win this race for John McCain. Many admire his war record. But not only is he not one of them, he has taken pride and pleasure in having been their great antagonist.
Unfortunately, that's not the only news to cross my desk this morning. Read this Brigitte Gabriel interview on another rather critical issue facing the American republic todaythe stealth Islamization of America.