This shouldn’t surprise us, after all he advised Barry Goldwater and served in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations. Love ’em or hate ’em these were Big Men who had Big Ideas: “Evil Empire,” “City on a Hill,” and so on. Buchanan had an unfailing eye for seeing the Big Picture.
In his most recent editorial (Is Putin One of Us?), he is now informing us that we may be at such a socio-cultural watershed –what he has described is nothing less than a turning point in superpower relations. He boldly asks if the United States and Russia have switched sides, or more importantly, if God has. The title of his essay is unambiguous, the prose provocative. Moreover, for an ultramontane Catholic, he seems to have a keen understanding of what it is that animates that grand historical panorama that goes by the name “Mother Russia.”
So what do you think? I for one, believe he makes a compelling case that there has been a near-reversal of the Cold War antagonists. Even more significantly, he is not the only one asking this question.Recently Peggy Noonan wrote an editorial (Russia, the Big Picture) for The Wall Street Journal, in which she walked right up to the precipice and saw the contours of this new world disorder in ways that paralleled Buchanan. Unlike Buchanan, Noonan is a “respectable conservative,” so her opinions cannot be so easily brushed aside. Nor should we forget, La Noonan was probably The Gipper’s greatest speechwriter. She learned at the feet of the Great Cold Warrior; from him she learned when an adversary was an enemy but also when that adversary was no longer evil and should be embraced as a friend. Would that the present-day Neocons were as wise.
There is another reason why Noonan’s observations –and the venue in which they appeared–are crucial. Because the WSJ is for all intents and purposes the house organ of the international banking cartel and has been beating the war-drums for every Neoconservative/Neoliberal crusade since time began. To paraphrase Will Rogers, they never met a war they didn’t like. The fact that they allowed Noonan to publish this essay may very well mean that what Buchanan is preaching, and what Noonan is echoing, is what many in the West are privately whispering. A recent poll for example saw that only 26 percent of the American people viewed Russia as an adversary. Interestingly, in Western European countries like Great Britain and Germany, Russia is viewed in an increasingly favorable light.
If so, this is a good thing. It may mean that cooler heads are prevailing. It doesn’t take a PhD from the London School of Economics to look at the long-term metrics of the West and conclude that at present we are headed towards a cataclysm. Or that the majority of our problems are caused by the collapse of simple morality and that the denigration of virtue has been aided and abetted by Cultural Marxism.
This universal acid has done much to destroy all that is moral and good in society. Our churches, our universities and our political institutions long ago gave up the fight for Christendom. Individuals who beg to differ from the prevailing orthodoxy speak their minds at their peril (see: Eich, Brendan). At any rate, such Noonanesque sobriety may indicate that the Wilsonian religion of eternal war in order to cram democracy down the throat of every nation is no longer as potent as it once was.
Perhaps I am overstating the case. Perhaps Buchanan and Noonan are merely outliers. But what if they are not? Is it possible that what they are describing is being internalized both high and low? Think about it: When Reagan was elected President, he knew one way to destroy the Evil Empire was to flood the world market with oil thereby undercutting the profits of the Soviet Union. He went to the Saudi king and asked him for help in this matter. He looked King Fahd in the eye and assured him that America would protect him from Soviet clients such as Saddam Hussein. Fahd believed him.
And why wouldn’t he? In 1982, the United States was still a republic founded on the Christian virtues of the Scottish Enlightenment. The idea that we would homosexualize and feminize the Armed Forces or that we would glorify bastardy would have been laughed at outright by even the most woolly-headed progressives. The USSR on the other hand was a godless empire hell-bent on world domination. There was a moral urgency to Reagan’s request, one not lost on traditional-minded peoples. The differences were that stark. Despite our support for Israel, the choice was an easy one for a conservative Muslim state like Saudi Arabia to make.
Is that still the case? Would Muslims (or Buddhists, or Hindus, or even observant Jews for that matter) see America as they saw America saw back then? Are we still the White Knight of Christendom? Or is it somebody else?
It is my fear that many people all over the world are seeing that there is a great disconnect between America the Shining City on the Hill and America the Cloaca Maxima. These people see it even if our besotted moralists do not. The intellectuals who bray about the dire statistics that imperil Russia’s prospects seem completely oblivious to the Third-worldization that is taking place here in America right under their noses. Buchanan and Noonan at least are willing to take off the triumphalist blinders.
In a contest between Barack Hussein Obama, Jr and Vladimir Vladirimovich Putin, who is the White Knight indeed?
Read Pat Buchanan’s editorial “Is Putin One of Us?“
Read Peggy Noonan’s “Russia, The Big Picture.”