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Is Nixon’s Resurrection Relevant To Today’s GOP?

July 18, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

One question I am asked while on tour for my new book, The Greatest Comeback (available at amazon.com), on the resurrection of Richard Nixon, is:
Does Nixon’s rise, from crushing defeats in 1960 and 1962, and the debacle his party suffered in 1964, to capturing the White House and beginning a string of five victories in six presidential elections, have relevance for today’s GOP?
Can the “Great Silent Majority” of yesteryear be replicated?
The answer is probably not. For while there are similarities between the America of 1968, and of today, the differences are greater.
The similarities: By the late 1960s, as today, the country was pivoting away from a Democratic Party and president that seemed incapable of mastering the crises of the times in which they lived.
Then it was LBJ; today, Barack Obama.
In 1968, America turned to the GOP to manage a bloodier war than Iraq, that the Democratic Party could not win or end, and to cope with the social anarchy Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society seemed to have ushered in.
And the party of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan delivered — eventually — a successful conclusion to the Cold War that had been the unifying cause of that generation.
America is another country today.
The Cold War is over. The nation is no longer united on America’s role. A majority want out of the Middle East wars into which George W. Bush led the nation.
And the GOP is itself, like the Democrats of 1968 over Vietnam, divided on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and how to deal with the challenges of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China.
While distrust of government has rarely been greater than today, it is also true that dependence upon government has never been greater.
Tens of millions of families rely on the government as a primary source of income, food, health care, housing, and other necessities of daily life.
Government’s role in education has never been greater.
A Republican Party that preaches an anti-Big Government gospel or a rollback of programs is unlikely to be warmly received by the scores of millions who depend on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a host of other social welfare benefits.
Republican proposals to cut taxes on income, capital gains, estates, and inheritances are unlikely to win standing ovations from folks who pay no income taxes and have no estates or capital gains.
America is another country in other ways.
Nixon’s Silent Majority, which encompassed much of the Greatest Generation and of the Silent Generation born in the 1930s and during World War II, is passing on. And with a birthrate among the following generations below replacement levels for 40 years, the demography of America is markedly different from the days of Ike and JFK.
Newborns who trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa, and Latin America equal those babies born to white Americans today. And these minorities vote between 70 and 90 percent for Democrats in presidential races.
Where the natural Democratic constituencies are growing as a share of the population, the natural Republican constituents — older, whiter, more religious — are declining in real and relative terms.
Moreover, the cultural revolution of the 1960s, against which Nixon and his vice president, Spiro Agnew, inveighed so successfully, is now dominant in the arts, the academy, and the media.
George McGovern could not overcome the perception that he was the candidate of “acid, amnesty, and abortion.”
Since McGovern in 1972, abortion has become a constitutional right and is championed by half of America as “freedom of choice.” And while “acid,” or LSD, is little heard of, legalizing marijuana is a popular cause, and not only among the young.
As for amnesty, that was granted to the Vietnam-era draft-evaders by Gerald Ford. Three million illegal aliens were given amnesty by Ronald Reagan. Now, Big Business, Big Labor, the churches, the Hispanic community, the Democratic Party, and a slice of the GOP are all calling for amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal aliens in the country.
Wherein lies the Republican opportunity? It resides in a political reality that was present in 1968 as well.
Even if the country was not wildly enthusiastic about Richard Nixon that year, America knew the Johnson administration was failing, that it was devoid of ideas, that in that year of turmoil, 1968 — a year of assassinations, war, riots, and social revolution, and a Democratic Party that could not hold itself together, let alone the country — we needed new leadership. We needed new ideas.
America is approaching a similar point now. And therein lies the Republican Party’s last best chance to be entrusted with national power.
The GOP needs to offer a credible alternative to a party, a president, and a political philosophy that seem everywhere to be failing the nation.
Nixon did it in 1968, to the amazement of even some of his friends.
Can the GOP replicate 1966 and 1968, in 2014 and 2016?
The answer to that question will determine our future.

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EXCLUSIVE: CARDINAL BURKE INTERVIEW WITH RORATE CAELI

Last week, Rorate Caeli interviewed Raymond Cardinal Burke via telephone on numerous topics. Nothing was off the table for this interview and His Eminence was incredibly generous with his time. He showed himself to be brilliant and yet filled with…Continue Reading

Hit job on Card. Pell because he’s doing his job

His Eminence George Card Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to oversee cleaning up the finances of the Holy See. He is doing his job. And so as Pell drills into the financial corruption and is getting closer to the…Continue Reading

Oil company hit man has Archbishop Cordileone in his sights

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What about Henry VIII?

Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35). It is true that Jesus did…Continue Reading

Sacrificing Priests on the Altar of Insurance

Fr. Bob (that’s what we’ll call him) was a faithful parish priest for more than 25 years. One day, a process server showed up at the rectory door and handed him a summons and complaint. The complaint alleged that some…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical…Continue Reading

Imagine: A Catholic Archbishop!

If it weren’t so predictable, it would be infuriating, but because of that, it is infuriating to thinking people. It’s happening again as San Francisco drops the hammer – again – on the Catholic Church and especially Archbishop Cordileone. He’s…Continue Reading

As storm brews, San Fran archbishop strikes back at school guideline critics

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University of Scranton to end all abortion coverage

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Notre Dame Scandals under Fr. Jenkins Are Rooted in Diminished Catholic Faculty, Alumni Say

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Cardinal Napier: African Bishops Have Higher Priorities Than Communion for Divorced and Remarried

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LGBT Catholic group gets special seating during Pope’s weekly address

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A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Judge Not

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(Vatican Radio) It is easy to judge others, but we can only progress on our Christian journey in life if we are capable of judging ourselves first, said Pope Francis at Monday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta. The readings of the day focused on the subject of mercy. The Pope, recalling that “we are all sinners” – not “in theory” but in reality – said that the ability to judge oneself is “a Christian…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: Prayers for Syria, Iraq and Venezuela

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis following the recitation of the Marian Prayer on Sunday remembered the people of Syria and Iraq saying “Unfortunately, there is no cessation in the dramatic news about violence, kidnapping and harassment against Christians reaching us from Syria and Iraq. The Pope went on to say that those facing these situations were not forgotten and prayed that the intolerable brutality of which they are victims would soon be at an end.  …Continue Reading

Pope Francis at the close of the Spiritual Exercises – With a piece of Elijah’s mantle

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Pope Francis returns to Vatican after Lenten retreat

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Virginia Parish Calls On Catholics . . . Join In An “Affirmation Of Faith” To Pope Francis

By LISA BOURNE FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — A Virginia Catholic parish is publicly affirming Church teaching on marriage and its fidelity to the Church, while at the same time calling on Pope Francis to proclaim and defend the same. In the wake of the October Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome, St. John…Continue Reading

Egalitarian Chess

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What If The Government Fears Freedom?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.? What if Reagan knew and respected the history of…Continue Reading

Our Lady And The New Evangelization

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Hanging Rudy Out To Dry

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The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

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By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Root Of Faith Crisis In Rupture Between Life And Love

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Catholic Replies

Q. As a longtime subscriber to The Wanderer, I am puzzled that your writers don’t hesitate to criticize and disagree with bishops and cardinals on particular issues, but when it comes to the Pope you automatically close shop, yet he is human just like the bishops and cardinals. There is no teaching in our Church that says one cannot disagree…Continue Reading

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