Pat Buchanan on Government Reform

2000 Reform Candidate for President


Foreign opinion now counts in US court

When Arizona passed its law authorizing the police during "lawful contact" to determine the status of an individual if there were a "reasonable suspicion" he was here illegally, Mexican President Calderon charged Arizona with opening the door "to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement."

The Mexican government then filed an amicus brief supporting the Department of Justice complaint that the Arizona law will "interfere with vital foreign policy and national security interests by disrupting the US relationship with Mexico and other countries." The U.S. State Department filed an amicus brief, citing the Mexican brief against our own state of Arizona. In striking down the Arizona law, Judge Richard Paez, an Hispanic who sits on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, cited the Mexican brief and the denunciation of Arizona's law by almost a dozen countries of Latin America. Foreign opinion now counts in US courts.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.141 , Oct 18, 2011

Dems idea of Supreme Court diversity: no white Christians

Nixon and Ford were the last presidents to maintain WASP hegemony on the Court. Nixon sent up six nominees, Ford one. All seven were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

Even before Nixon, however, Democrats were into the "new" ethnic politics. Most of the older ethnics--Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Greeks--were out. Not since JFK named Byron White half a century ago has any Democratic president named a white Christian man or woman to the Court, though white Christians remain the vast majority of all Americans.

Seven names have been sent up since 1962 by Democratic presidents: Goldberg, Fortas, Marshall, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan--one African American, one Puerto Rican, and five Jews. This is the Democratic Party's idea of diversity on the Court. It might also be labeled: no white Christians need apply.

The Court today consists of six Catholics and three Jews, but not a single Protestant for the first time in US history, although Protestants make up 1/2 of our entire population.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.251-252 , Oct 18, 2011

DC electoral vote is for Party of Government

In 1961, the 23rd Amendment granted Washingtonians the right to vote and the District of Columbia three votes in the Electoral College. The District of Columbia is not a state, and is 1/20 of the size of Rhode Island. By population (600,000), DC is outranked by 26 other US cities.

With this amendment the Democratic Congress added three electoral votes to their party's total in every future presidential contest, for DC has never voted Republican. Also, in treating DC like a state, Congress opened the door to the possibility of electoral votes for Puerto Rico. The drive to make Puerto Rico the 51st state, which would add six new members to the House and two US senators and would make America a bilingual nation, is steadily advancing, with Republican support.

DC votes for Democrats in every election, municipal or national, [since it] depends on government for survival. As more Americans come to depend on government, more and more will vote for the same Party of Government

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.333 , Oct 18, 2011

1970: Nixon should have vetoed the 18-year-old vote

[I disagreed with] the decision of the Democratic Congress and President Nixon to impose the 18-year-old vote on the states. This was blatantly unconstitutional. As a special assistant, this writer urged President Nixon to veto the bill.

Nixon wrote, "Although I strongly favor the 18-year-old vote, I believe that Congress has no power to enact it by simple stature, but rather it requires a constitutional amendment." Nixon should have vetoed the bill instead of declaring that he had "misgivings;" he signed it and directed an expedited review. The Supreme Court ruled swiftly. The rider was unconstitutional.

Thus was the Twenty-sixth Amendment approved by the requisite thirty-eight states in July 1971, adding millions of eighteen-, nineteen-, and twenty-year olds to the electorate forever.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p.334 , Oct 18, 2011

1973: Destroy White House tapes, when first discovered

Back in 1973, when it was revealed that Nixon had secretly tape-recorded his conversations, Buchanan had made a suggestion to his besieged boss. Destroy the tapes, Buchanan recommended in a memo, take them all out on the White House lawn and burn them--an idea which came to be known as the "bonfire" approach.

The suggestion was indeed extreme, and it was practical. In hindsight, if Nixon had destroyed all his tapes and with them the devastating evidence they contained, he almost certainly would not have been forced to resign. The suggestion was also made part in jest so it was playful but it appeared stupid to Nixon's lawyers, who thought destroying the tapes might be illegal, an obstruction of justice.

Then when the famous smoking-gun tape surfaced that showed Nixon had led the illegal cover-up, Buchanan, who had been one of his most vehement supporters, showed his pragmatism, and made the case for the president's resignation.

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.147 , Nov 1, 2005

Term limits and no pensions for congressmen

Congress should recognize the right of the states to impose term limits, and should restrict the Supreme Court so that it cannot overturn state term limit laws. Retired and current members of the House and Senate may keep their pensions, but payments will be frozen, and there will be no future cost of living increases. As of 2000, congressmen will not be allowed into the pension system. They will go on Social Security and can use their personal savings, like everyone else, for their retirement.
Source: Buchanan/Foster web site , Aug 6, 2000

Establishment wants 2-party elections that change nothing

Q: What do you think is at stake for our country if we shut out of the national debate additional voices such as yourself?

A: What the establishment in Washington has in mind is basically elections that make no difference. One group comes out of the think tanks and universities and goes into government, and the government group goes back into the think tanks and universities. The policy remains the same even though the faces change. That is what presidential elections are all about now, and the great fear of these folks is that a different voice will rally the American people and draw them away from where the establishment wants them to look.

They say trade is off the table; that’s decided. Foreign policy is off the table; immigration is off the table. You can’t talk about that, although people in their living rooms talk about it. All of these issues they say are off the table, but we say we’re gonna put them back on the table.

Source: National Public Radio interview, “Talk of the Nation” , May 30, 2000

Will seek non-incumbent Democrat as Vice President

Buchanan will not ask a current member of Congress or governor to be his running mate, hoping instead to sign up somebody who is notable outside of government. Buchanan says that he has discarded a preliminary list of possible running mates drawn up last year. The list was heavy on elected officials.

His vice-presidential candidate would agree with him on opposing abortion, limiting the authority of the WTO and NAFTA, and tightening borders against illegal immigration. Ideally, the candidate would be a woman and a Democrat to broaden his appeal, he says.

“We’re starting to talk about running mates now,” Buchanan says. He said they are “all new names” but would not reveal any. He did say there are women on his list and there “definitely” are men who aren’t white.

The exclusion of sitting office-holders is a sharp departure from a list discussed last year. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, Ohio), who said she would not run with him, led that list. Also on last year’s list were 10 Democratic congressmen.

Source: USA Today, page 8A , Apr 13, 2000

15% requirement for debates is designed to exclude Buchanan

Buchanan filed a formal complaint with the FEC charging that the Commission on Presidential Debates has conspired to keep him out the upcoming general election forums. The nonpartisan commission announced new criteria in January for this year’s debates. The commission requires candidates to have an average of at least 15% support in five national polls one week before the first debate in order to participate. “We believe it is deliberately designed and crafted to keep the Reform Party in general, and to keep me in particular, out of these presidential debates,“ said Buchanan. He accused the panel of working in tandem with the Democratic and Republican parties to ”maintain a hammerlock on the presidency. It could have been 13% or 9%, but they set it at the high end of 15%.“ Buchanan said that even if he doesn’t receive 15%, he should be included in the debates because the Reform Party is recognized as a third party by the FEC and has qualified for federal matching funds in the 2000 election.
Source: CNN.com , Mar 20, 2000

Terms limits and no pensions for members of Congress

Congress should pass a law that recognize the right of the states to impose term limits on members of Congress. [Moreover], Congressional pensions will be eliminated. Retired & current members of the House & Senate may keep their pensions, but payments will be frozen, and there will be no future cost of living increases. As of 2000, congressmen will not be allowed into the pension system. They will go on Social Security and can use their personal savings, like everyone else, for their retirement.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” , Dec 1, 1999

Administration staff take oath: never work for foreign gov’t

Americans registering with the Justice Department as foreign agents for foreign corporations, institutions and governments will be required to pay a $10,000 annual licensing fee. The Justice Department will use the money to track and publicly report the activities of these foreign agents of influence in the US. Members of a Buchanan administration will take an oath pledging to never work on behalf of a foreign government.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” , Dec 1, 1999

Restore constitutional division of federal & state functions

We need to restore the old constitutional division of labor in government: defense and foreign policy are the province of the federal government, but welfare and education are the business of state and local governments. And in children’s education, parents come first, teachers come second, and federal judges, not at all.
Source: Announcement as a Reform Party Candidate, Falls Church, VA , Oct 25, 1999

Enforce 10th Amendment; give federal powers to states

Many functions of the federal government are, de facto, unconstitutional, wholesale violations of the Tenth Amendment that reserves such powers to the states. The federal government should be cut, with Cabinet departments abolished, the money they spend returned to citizens, the duties they assumed returned to the states.
Source: www.iac.net/~davcam/pat_issu.html , Jul 2, 1999

No new regulations; restrict unfunded mandates

Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Small Business” , Jun 12, 1999

Lobbying: Charge foreigners; 5-year ban on officials

Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” , Jun 12, 1999

For Congress: yes term limits; no pensions; no franking

We must end the glorified bribery that passes for fundraising in congressional campaigns, and cleanse our capital city of the buying and selling of political influence.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” , Jun 12, 1999

Dismantle DOE, HUD, DOC, NEA, BLM, ATF, etc.

We are an overregulated, overtaxed, and overgoverned society. As President, I will begin to roll back this regulation juggernaut by dismantling the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, & the Dept. of Commerce. I will I will also defund the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment of the Humanities & Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Bureau of Land Management will be eliminated, & I will dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms into the FBI.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Dismantling Bureaucracy” , Jun 5, 1999

Dismantle federal agencies; give funds to taxpayers

Among the great achievements of the recent Congress was the return of welfare to the states. That should be the beginning. The Federal Government still squanders more of our tax dollars than at any point in our nation’s history. A Buchanan Administration will not be adding to federal agencies, but subtracting from them, we will send the dollars saved back to the states and to the people in tax cuts.
Source: www.gopatgo2000.com/000-c-fedbureaucracy.html 5/28/99 , May 28, 1999

Judiciary should interpret laws, not rewrite them

The Supreme Court and all federal courts need to get back to the business of interpreting the Constitution and the law, and out of the business of rewriting the Constitution and the law. That is not their role. In a constitutional republic, how we govern ourselves should be decided by elected leaders, not anointed judges.
Source: Presidential Annoucement Speech, Courtyard NH , Mar 2, 1999

Term limits for federal judges

People say, “Pat, how will you do that when they have Proposition 187 and the people of California voted for it-but the next day a federal judge overturned Proposition 187. I said, ”I have a solution for these federal judges. We are going to impose term limits on every federal judge we have.“
Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.322 , Aug 12, 1995

Pat Buchanan on Campaign Finance Reform

Limit corporate, out-of-state, and PAC money for campaigns

House and Senate candidates should raise 50% of their campaign funds from within the district they are seeking to represent. Contributions will be limited to $3000 per contributor for the primary, and $3,000 for the general election. Corporate Political Action Committees will be barred from contributing to candidates for federal office. Corporations will be barred from contributing to the national political party committees.
Source: Buchanan/Foster web site , Aug 6, 2000

Reform package: Term limits; ballot access; disclosure

Source: GoPatGo2000.com, “The Buchanan Reform Package” , Jun 3, 2000

Ban soft money; end influence peddling

Conceding that John McCain had made campaign reform “the only real issue” in this presidential year, Buchanan accused the two major parties of huge fund-raising abuses in “an incumbents’ protection racket.” Buchanan said, “We get no soft money and we take no PAC money. Neither Beltway party is going to drain this swamp: it’s a protected wetland; they breed in it, they spawn in it.”
He even updated his stump graphics with a giant mock check at his side made out for hundreds of millions of dollars to the major parties and signed by “Influence Peddlers.”
Framing his speech as a detailed cry for reform, Buchanan called for a ban on unlimited contributions to political parties, or soft money, and the creation of a national initiative and referendum process to let voters directly change the system. He also urged the imposition of term limits on Congress, a body he described as so beholden to big-money donors that it had become a “bellhop stand for the business roundtable.”
Source: NyTimes.com , Mar 17, 2000

Require that 75% of donations come from candidate’s district

House and Senate candidates should raise 75% of their campaign funds from within the district they are seeking to represent. Contributions will be limited to $1000 per contributor for the primary and $1,000 for the general election. Corporate Political Action Committees will be barred from contributing to candidates for federal office and national party committees.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” , Dec 1, 1999

Campaign Finance: limit outside $, PAC $, & corporate $

Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” , Jun 12, 1999

Other candidates on Government Reform: Pat Buchanan on other issues:
Former Presidents/Veeps:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
V.P.Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Religious Leaders:
New Testament
Old Testament
Pope Francis

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Joe Scarborough
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021