One-time presidential candidate and conservative television commentator Pat Buchanan, who is promoted as one of the faces of MSNBC, has somehow been able to say and do the kinds of outrageous things that more often than not get people booted out of mainstream venues. His latest outrage was published on Monday, a column in which Buchanan defended Oslo mass murderer Anders Breivik’s theories, saying he “may be right.”
The list of Buchanan’s outrages is miles long. Buchanan has traded in anti-Semitism, referring to Capitol Hill as “Israeli-occupied territory.” He has challenged aspects of the Holocaust as “group fantasies of martyrdom.” In a speech he helped write for President Ronald Reagan, Buchanan went so far as to portray Nazi SS troops, who served as personal protection for Hitler and were responsible for many of the Nazis’ war crimes, as victims. And he has described Hitler as “an individual of great courage.”
Buchanan has been similarly nasty about America’s non-white immigrants. In his 2001 book, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization, Buchanan argued that democracy can only work in societies populated by a single ethnic or racial group and culture. The book bemoans the rise in non-white, non-Christian immigrants, and makes the case that they will ruin the country. Buchanan also bashes minorities, frequently using information from racist groups to spread claims that blacks have an inherently more criminal nature than whites.
Well, Buchanan certainly isn’t softening up in his old age. On the conspiracy website WorldNetDaily, Buchanan on Monday defended certain beliefs held by the Oslo shooter, whom he called “a deluded man of some intelligence.” For Buchanan, Breivik’s “1,500-page manifesto reveals a knowledge of the history, culture and politics of Europe.” And his analysis of European history is dead on, Buchanan wrote. “As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.”
It’s actually not surprising that Buchanan would buy into Breivik’s argument that Muslims are an existential threat to Western countries. Buchanan revels in Muslim bashing. In his WorldNetDaily column, which was republished on the racist website Vdare.com, Buchanan warns of the existential threat Europe faces from a growing Muslim population that he says can’t assimilate, is alienated and is at times sympathetic to “Islamic militants and terrorists.” For Buchanan, these Muslim immigrants have put Europe into an “historic crisis.”
Buchanan agrees with Breivik on more than the threat of Muslim immigration. They both share a preternatural fear that “cultural Marxism,” an anti-Semitic conspiracy that Breivik discusses at great length in his manifesto, is really behind this supposed war against the West. Buchanan has been worrying about cultural Marxism for years. At an October 2000 campaign stop in Denver when he was running for president on the Reform Party ticket, Buchanan accused American Indians attempting to block a Columbus Day parade of “cultural Marxism.”
“America’s history and heroes and Western civilization itself are under relentless attack,” Buchanan told the Rocky Mountain News at the time of the Columbus Day protest. “The violence of this political correctness is nothing less than cultural Marxism.” The following year, in The Death of the West, Buchanan described cultural Marxism as a “regime to punish dissent and to stigmatize social heresy as the Inquisition punished religious heresy. Its trademark is intolerance.”
Fears of “cultural Marxism” have a long pedigree in this country. It’s a conspiratorial kind of “political correctness” on steroids — a covert assault on the American way of life that allegedly has been developed by the left over the course of the last 70 years. Those who use the term posit that a small group of German philosophers, all Jews who fled Germany and went to Columbia University in the 1930s to found the Frankfurt School, devised a cultural form of “Marxism” aimed at subverting Western civilization. The method involves manipulating the culture into supporting homosexuality, sex education, egalitarianism, and the like, to the point that traditional institutions and culture are ultimately wrecked.
A number of hate groups, including the racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), have raised the specter of cultural Marxism as a way to explain contemporary events (click here to watch the CCC’s DVD on the theory). But Buchanan is probably the most prominent advocate, and certainly the only one with access to the mainstream media. He is featured prominently on culturalmarxism.org, where film clips and blurbs explain why cultural Marxism threatens the West.
A defense of Breivik’s ideas is rare. In Europe, most far-right anti-immigrant parties have condemned Breivik stridently. One lone Breivik supporter in France’s far-right National Front was quickly suspended after praising the mass murderer. But my guess is Buchanan has no worries he will face any repercussions for his views. After all, after decades of pushing racism and anti-Semitism, why would a small thing like defending a racist mass murder’s ideas have any impact on Buchanan?