In his writings and television appearances, Pat Buchanan has a long history of bigotry. Buchanan's efforts have found a fan base with a certain fringe segment of the country: white nationalists. A Media Matters review of some of the largest white nationalist groups shows that Buchanan's work is frequently cited and praised.
Buchanan's support isn't a one-way street. In addition to his bigoted rhetoric, Buchanan has appeared on a leading "pro-white" radio program twice; supported a prominent member of a leading white supremacist group; and has cited research from white nationalists in his work.
Buchanan's backing among fringe racists previously surfaced as an issue in his presidential campaigns. Buchanan ran for the GOP nomination for president in 1992 and 1996 and was the Reform Party's 2000 presidential nominee. Since that time, however, Buchanan has remained in the spotlight thanks to his nationally syndicated column, regular books, and regular appearances on TV. Buchanan is a political analyst for MSNBC, where he frequently discusses issues of race, immigration and culture.
Flashback: Buchanan's Support From Fringe Racists In His Presidential Campaigns
In July 2000, the Washington Post reported that Buchanan's presidential bid has attracted a "flood of support from the extreme right, including groups that are intensely anti-black, anti-Jewish and anti-immigrant" such as the National Alliance, the Liberty Lobby, the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South. The Post added that Buchanan's rhetoric has "resonated with groups that see Jews as corrupters of American culture and that see blacks and Hispanics as threats to white majority rule of the United States." [Washington Post, 7/23/00, via Nexis]. Buchanan responded to the article in 2000 by writing, in part:
For the record: I have never been a member of any of these organizations; nor have I ever spoken to any. Nor, to my knowledge, does any leader of my campaign belong to any, though my good friend Sam Francis, the columnist, writes for the CCC, and Sens. Jesse Helms and Trent Lott have reportedly spoken to it, fine folks all three.
As for the American Friends of the British National Party and "Stormfront," I never even heard of them before this squall arose. But six weeks ago, when a Reform leader sent me racist filth put on two Web sites by men claiming to be Reformers, I wrote our party chair to urge him to dump them and dissociate us. [Washington Post, 7/29/00, via Nexis]
Buchanan's issues in 2000 have surfaced repeatedly in prior campaigns. In a February 1996 article, The New York Times reported of Buchanan:
Despite efforts to keep at least a minimal distance from extremists like Mr. [David] Duke, Mr. Buchanan's campaign has attracted a number of workers and volunteers aligned in the past with Mr. Duke and other extremists. Adherents of a variety of right-wing organizations have rallied to Mr. Buchanan's side, finding common cause in his insistent message of economic nationalism and a rebirth of America's "cultural heritage."
It is not clear how much Mr. Buchanan and his top aides know about the backgrounds of the extremists who have joined their campaign as volunteers and staff members. It is also unclear whether those extremists who have left the campaign were dismissed or suspended because the Buchanan staff had just learned about their views, or because the staff was embarrassed because their views were made public.
Besides Mr. Duke, the Buchanan campaign has tried to distance itself from other supporters. Last week, one of four campaign co-chairmen was forced to take a leave of absence after the disclosure of his association with white supremacists. Since then, campaign workers in Florida and South Carolina have been asked to resign.
In a March 1996 article, USA Today reported that "Buchanan says there's no room on his platform for people associated with racial division, anti-Semitism or violence. But a USA TODAY computer analysis of his financial supporters and campaign organization reveals activists at the heart of some of the nation's most radical political and social movements - white supremacists, anti-Semites, violent abortion protesters and militia leaders" [USA Today, 3/7/96, via Nexis].
In 1992, The New York Times reported that "Buchanan's angry conservative campaign is being embraced by many of the white-power and neo-Nazi groups at the darkest corner of American politics. Many are showing more interest in Presidential politics than at any time since George Wallace's Presidential campaign in 1968":
No one suggests such backers make up more than a tiny fraction of Mr. Buchanan's support. And he is quick to say he has neither sought nor wants such support.
"I don't welcome the support of anyone who is voting out of hatred of any group or out of bigotry," he has said. "We don't want it."
But critics and organizations who follow far-right groups say Mr. Buchanan, who has stolen the conservative thunder from the former Klansman David Duke, has done nothing to repudiate his most extreme admirers or to distance himself from Mr. Duke.
And some say that at a time when far-right groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, are openly pursuing an electoral strategy, Mr. Buchanan, consciously or not, is sending a message that goes far beyond a challenge to President Bush.
"What Buchanan has catalyzed is a racist movement, whether or not he is personally anti-Semitic," said Leonard Zeskind, research director of the Center for Democratic Renewal, a group that monitors the activities of so-called hate groups. "I don't know exactly what it will produce, but one of the things I expect it to produce is an extremist, conservative movement, in which race, ethnicity, nativism, nationalism, play a greater role than the anti-communism of the past."
Council Of Conservative Citizens
The Council of Conservative Citizens is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the "largest" "white supremacist" "hate group" in the United States. The ADL similarly describes the group as having a "white supremacy, white separatism" ideology. On its website, the CofCC posted a statement of principles written by Samuel Francis, who edited the group's newspaper and sat on its board of directors. The principles states, in part: "We oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called 'affirmative action' and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."
Buchanan himself is very familiar with Francis, who died in 2005. Buchanan eulogized Francis in his column in May 2005, writing, "When God created him, He endowed Sam with a great gift - one of the finest minds of his generation. Sam did not waste it." The ADL noted that in 2006, Buchanan authored the foreword to a book compiling Francis' works and "also referenced the work of Francis several times in State of Emergency, his 2006 anti-immigrant book" (Buchanan thanked the white supremacist in the acknowledgments section of the book).
The CofCC regularly posts Buchanan's columns and media appearances on its blog. In a 2007 post headlined, "Recommended Reading and Book Ideas for this Christmas," the CofCC promoted Buchanan's book "Day of Reckoning," writing: "Buchanan's latest book lays out the dire circumstances that our Republic is in. As our elites engage us in unnecessary wars abroad and ravage our economy, the Culture War is eroding America's soul. This book is the perfect gift for those needing a wakeup call to enlist now in America's Culture War to save our civilization."
In another post, the "CofCC.org News Team" embedded video of Buchanan speaking on MSNBC - the YouTube video is now "no longer available" - and wrote, "Pat Buchanan stands up for white people on MSNBC. ... Buchanan explains that blacks are 7 times more likely to commit a crime than whites. 15 times more likely to commit a crime against a white person than the other way around. Blacks living in the United States are better off than any other black people anywhere in the world. Black were more responsible and committed much less crime before the Civil Right Acts." The CofCC also celebrated Buchanan's appearance on the "pro-white" Political Cesspool radio program.
The Washington Post reported in 2000 that while the CofCC "has not endorsed Buchanan" for president, a "survey of C of CC members found that Buchanan was the choice of a solid majority, according to Gordon Baum, the group's CEO." [Washington Post, 7/23/00, via Nexis].
James Edwards And The Political Cesspool
James Edwards is the host of The Political Cesspool radio program, which he describes as representing "a philosophy that is pro-White ... We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races."
The ADL has criticized Edwards for holding "white supremacist views" and interviewing "a variety of anti-Semites, white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant leaders." Similarly, the SPLC has said that Edwards "has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists."
Despite Edwards' background, Buchanan appeared on Edwards' program twice: on its June 29, 2008, and September 14, 2006, editions.
Edwards cites Buchanan's first appearance on his show as a milestone for his program. Edwards writes in his "about" page:
PAT BUCHANAN AND THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA
As the fall of 2006 approached the show had certainly carved its niche and had a stellar reputation as the unrepentant voice pf the Conservative Right. The Cesspoolians were doggedly defiant and never bowed to the false gods of Political Correctness. Their confirmation as a powerhouse in the movement was cemented on September 14, 2006, when former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan took time out of his busy schedule to exclusively promote his most recent book (State of Emergency) on the program.
When Pat agreed to come on The Political Cesspool it sent shock waves throughout the anti-American left. All of their efforts to marginalize our views as "vile and racist" had fallen on deaf ears, as here was one of America's preeminent conservative leaders agreeing to make our audience his own. James Edwards had worked hard for the Buchanan for President campaign of 2000 and served as a delegate for Buchanan in Long Beach, California, when Pat was the Reform Party presidential nominee. So, it wasn't a complete surprise to those in the inner circle when Buchanan appeared on Political Cesspool. But, it still elicited wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the halls of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"Hawking Racism," they howled in response to Buchanan's appearance, but it didn't matter. Not only would Buchanan never agree to denounce our work, his appearance paved the way in helping The Political Cesspool land a parade of celebrity guests for months to come. The die was cast and the show was moving at a steady rate of ascension.
[The Mid-South Patriot]: What got you into politics?
JE: Pat Buchanan was one of the first commentators that I noticed who really seemed to be speaking my language. I felt as though he was articulating a message that resonated within me as a Constitutional Conservative and when he decided to run for President in 1999, the decision to support him was very easy. After meeting with him personally in Nashville, I was tapped to serve on his campaign as a delegate to the Reform Party Nominating Convention in Long Beach, California, as well as the Treasurer of the Tennessee Reform Party. It was a roller coaster ride over the course of ten months and the campaign certainly ended anticlimactically, with Pat receiving a small number of votes and the Reform Party proving it wasn't a viable vehicle for our People. But, politics was in my blood at that point and there was no turning back.
The white nationalist forum Stomfront.org is described by the SPLC as "the first major hate site on the Internet. Claiming more than 130,000 registered members (though far fewer remain active), the site has been a very popular online forum for white nationalists and other racial extremists."
The forum's mostly anonymous posters regularly praise Buchanan and post clips from his media appearances. Forum threads about Buchanan, for instance, include such headlines as:
- "PAT BUCHANAN:Exposes Wash. Post story Negro vs Mestizmo crime-White victims ignored"
- "Pat Buchanan starts to tell the truth about Hitler";
- "Pat Buchanan tells negro SHUT UP Obama success mostly because he is black" [referencing an apparent appearance by Buchanan on MSNBC]
- "Buchanan on MSNBC 'Race and Affirmative Action' discussion on firefighter discrimination case."
- "Strong words from Buchanan about RACE."
- "Buchanan sticks it to black professor on Holder 'nation of cowards' comment" [referencing an apparent appearance by Buchanan on MSNBC]
Buchanan's June 29, 2008, interview on the Political Cesspool was streamed "Live" on Stormfront.org.
Within Stormfront - as with any large group of individuals, racist or not - opinion isn't unanimous, as some posters wish Buchanan would be even more extreme in his racial arguments. In a 1995 post about the presidential elections, Stormfront founder Don Black - a former Grand Dragon in the Ku Klux Klan - referenced debates about Buchanan among the group's members. But Black ultimately concluded that though Buchanan isn't "exactly" a white nationalist, they should still support him:
Despite Buchanan's courageous statements and despite the hatred he has engendered from our enemies, should we consider him one of us? Is he a White Nationalist? Well...not exactly. Buchanan's worldview is rooted in his traditional Catholic background. This accounts for his love of Western culture and his sense of justice, and his willingness to fight the enemies of these, whether they be America-last Zionists or Third World immigrants. This doesn't mean he's racially conscious. He apparently doesn't fully appreciate the central importance of race in the "culture war" he talks about. His sister Bay seems to be even more oblivous to the concept of Race, and she seems to be a major influence on her brother.
Should we support him? In my opinion, yes. My first priority this election year is the David Duke Senate campaign. David does understand the real issues. But for those who want to be part of a national campaign, this is one worth considering.
Will Buchanan support us? No, of course not, though I suspect he will be forced to adopt a more tolerant attitude toward supporters who are members or former members of racialist organizations. There are just too many of them and the media would love to spend the rest of the campaign finding them. He can not be expected to embrace us, however. He's no longer exhorting from the sidelines; he wants to be president. Nevertheless, I believe that he is a trailblazer. He will make White Americans more aware of the real issues and of their real enemies, and he will pave the way for other, more racially oriented, candidates at all levels.
In its July 2000 article, The Washington Post quoted Black as saying, "Those within our organization who are politically active do, as you surmise, support Buchanan. . . . I support Buchanan. He is not one of us, but culturally he is."
The National Policy Institute
The National Policy Institute (NPI) is described by the SPLC as a "white supremacist think tank." The NPI quotes from Buchanan's book Death Of The West on its mission statement page. The NPI's website regularly posts excerpts from Buchanan's columns and television appearances.
NPI's website has a statement of principles credited to William H. Regnery II and late Buchanan friend Sam Francis. The principles include: "The European identity of the United States and its people should be maintained"; and "Federal decentralization and territorial separation should be recognized as legitimate and humane means of preventing and resolving divisive social, ethnic, and racial conflicts."
The principles also state: "Race informs culture; it is the necessary precondition for cultural identity and integrity. 1950 whites represented 28 percent of the world's population. If current trends persist, this number will plummet to 9 percent by 2060. In the United States, whites are projected to become a minority of the national population in less than fifty years. The result will impoverish not only their descendants but the world in general and will jeopardize the civilization and free governments that whites have created."
Buchanan cited the group by name in a May 2, 2008, column about the "arresting" statistics that "the white population is shrinking not only in relative but in real terms." Buchanan's writing echoed the NPI statement:
An Augusta, Ga., group, The National Policy Institute, has meshed the figures on fertility rates with the continents and races on Planet Earth -- to visualize what the world will look like in 2060.
In 1950, whites were 28 percent of world population and Africans 9 percent, a ratio of three-to-one. In 2060, the ratio will remain the same. But the colors will be reversed. People of African ancestry will be 25 percent of the world's population. People of European descent will have fallen to 9.8 percent.
More arresting is that the white population is shrinking not only in relative but in real terms. Two hundred million white people, one in every six on earth -- a number equal to the entire population of France, Britain, Holland and Germany -- will vanish by 2060.
The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans.
Buchanan cited NPI again by name in a May 16, 2008, column about "the worldwide Arabic population."
As the ADL notes, David Duke is "perhaps America's most well-known racist and anti-Semite." Duke "has been active in the white supremacy movement for over 40 years" and "was instrumental in the Klan resurgence of the 1970s and was one of the first neo-Nazi and Klan leaders to stop the use of Nazi and Klan regalia and ritual, as well as other traditional displays of race hatred, and to cultivate media attention."
Duke's official website often posts Buchanan's columns and media appearances. In one 2005 post, Duke - a former candidate for president - imagines "the world if he were today being inaugurated as President of the United States." Duke's vice-president in this scenario is none other than Pat Buchanan.
In a 1989 column, Buchanan urged the Republican Party to "[t]ake a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues; and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles":
The way to do battle with David Duke is not to go ballistic because Duke, as a teenager, paraded around in a Nazi costume to protest William Kunstler during Vietnam, or to shout to the heavens that Duke had the same phone number last year as the Ku Klux Klan. Everybody in Metairie knew that. The way to deal with Duke is the way the GOP dealt with the far more formidable challenge of George Wallace. Take a hard look at Duke's portfolio of winning issues; and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles.
Duke did not beat John Treen because he is an ex-wizard; he beat him in spite of it; he beat him because he was tougher on taxes and made an issue of urban crime, the primary source of which is the urban underclass; he beat Treen because he lit into set-asides and "affirmative action" in hiring, scholarships, and promotions, i.e. reverse discrimination against white folks who happen to make up 99 percent of his electorate.
What Duke did, after he turned in his robes and signed up with the GOP, was run over and seize terrain vacated by the GOP. Duke walked into the political vacuum left when conservative Republicans in the Reagan years were intimidated into shucking off winning social issues so we might be able to pass moral muster with Hooks and King.
When was the last time a Republican president attacked the injustice and immorality of quotas? When was the last time the GOP denounced social engineers and their endless plans for the forced integration of neighborhoods and schools? Where was the GOP when Yonkers was being kicked around by that federal judge?
In a 1991 column, Buchanan claimed that Duke "zeroes in on issues that should be a wake-up call for all our big-government conservatives."
During the 1992 presidential campaign, Duke - who was running for president - became an issue for Buchanan. In December 1991 article, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported of Buchanan at an assembly:
Buchanan also continued to distance himself from ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Asked whether he is copying Duke's position on some issues, Buchanan said, "David Duke is busy stealing from me. I have a mind to go down there and sue that dude for intellectual property theft.
"If you believe in a strong defense, you don't burn a cross in a hillside, and if you believe in America, you don't put on a Nazi uniform." [Union Leader, 12/13/91]
The Los Angeles Times also reported in March 1992, that while Buchanan has distanced himself from Duke, "In criticizing Duke, he has never specifically repudiated his ideas. Nor does he soften his criticism of foreign cultures with any words of praise":
A debate has raged in conservative circles for more than a year about whether his writings show him to be anti-Semitic. There has been a similar argument about whether his views have racist overtones.
Most of those who have worked with Buchanan and traveled with him on the campaign trail say they have seen no evidence to substantiate such charges.
"I don't welcome the support of anyone who is voting out of hatred of any group or out of bigotry," Buchanan has said. "We don't want it."
Distancing himself from former klansman David Duke, he said of his rival's core of racist support: "When you get down to that vote, it's not ours."
But what Buchanan has not said is also noteworthy. In criticizing Duke, he has never specifically repudiated his ideas. Nor does he soften his criticism of foreign cultures with any words of praise.
And whether it is intended or not, many experts believe his campaign message has already given new legitimacy to old intolerances. Racist/right-wing newsletters like the Spotlight, published by the Liberty Lobby, have embraced his candidacy as a victory for their cause.
"The issue is not whether Buchanan is an anti-Semite or a racist," said Leonard Zeskind, research director of the Center for Democratic Renewal, a group that monitors the activities of so-called hate groups. "The issue is what his movement is engendering, and the clear answer is that it is engendering racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic bigotry. He's touching all the bases."
A February 24, 1996, AP article reported that "Buchanan has removed two people from his campaign staff because of ties to Duke or the NAAWP [National Association for the Advancement of White People], but Duke said he doesn't hold that against him. 'I don't mind Pat Buchanan putting me down,' Duke said. 'I'm more concerned about my country. I think Pat Buchanan is the best candidate for president and I'll support him.'" And in 2000, the Times-Picayune (New Orleans) reported that "Buchanan was quick to respond to published reports last week that David Duke has expressed interest in signing on with his campaign. 'David Duke has nothing to do with this campaign and we have nothing to do with David Duke,' said Neil Bernstein, Buchanan's director of communications."