Here is the text of a speech prepared for delivery to the
Republican National Convention Monday by Patrick J. Buchanan:
Well, we took the long way home, but we finally got here.
And I want to congratulate President Bush, and remove any doubt about where
we stand: The primaries are over, the heart is strong again, and the Buchanan
Brigades are enlisted -- all the way to a great comeback victory in November.
Like many of you last month, I watched that giant masquerade ball at Madison
Square Garden -- where 20,000 radicals and liberals came dressed up as moderates
and centrists -- in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American
One by one, the prophets of doom appeared at the podium. The Reagan Decade,
they moaned, was a terrible time in America; and the only way to prevent even
worse times, they said, is to entrust our nation's fate and future to the party
that gave us McGovern, Mondale, Carter and Michael Dukakis.
No way, my friends. The American people are not going to buy back into the
failed liberalism of the 1960s and '70s -- no matter how slick the package in
The malcontents of Madison Square Garden notwithstanding, the 1980s were not
terrible years. They were great years. You know it. I know it. And the only
people who don't know it are the carping critics who sat on the sidelines of
history, jeering at one of the great statesmen of modern time.
Out of Jimmy Carter's days of malaise, Ronald Reagan crafted the longest
peacetime recovery in U.S. history -- 3 million new businesses created, and 20
million new jobs.
Under the Reagan Doctrine, one by one, the communist dominos began to fall.
First, Grenada was liberated, by U.S. troops. Then, the Red Army was run out of
Afghanistan, by U.S. weapons. In Nicaragua, the Marxist regime was forced to
hold free elections - by Ronald Reagan's contra army -- and the Communists were
thrown out of power.
Have they forgotten? It was under our party that the Berlin Wall came down,
and Europe was reunited. It was under our party that the Soviet Empire
collapsed, and the captive nations broke free.
It is said that each president will be recalled by posterity -- with but a
single sentence. George Washington was the father of our country. Abraham
Lincoln preserved the Union. And Ronald Reagan won the Cold War. And it is time
my old colleagues, the columnists and commentators, looking down on us tonight,
from their anchor booths and sky boxes, gave Ronald Reagan the credit he
deserves -- for leading America to victory in the Cold War.
Most of all, Ronald Reagan made us proud to be Americans again. We never felt
better about our country; and we never stood taller in the eyes of the world.
But, we are here, not only to celebrate, but to nominate. And an American
president has many, many roles.
He is our first diplomat, the architect of American foreign policy. And which
of these two men is more qualified for that role? George Bush has been U.N.
ambassador, CIA director, envoy to China. As vice president, he co-authored the
policies that won the Cold War. As president, George Bush presided over the
liberation of Eastern Europe and the termination of the Warsaw Pact. And Mr.
Clinton? Well, Bill Clinton couldn't find 150 words to discuss foreign policy in
an acceptance speech that lasted an hour. As was said of an earlier Democratic
candidate, Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience is pretty much confined to
having had breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes.
The presidency is also America's bully pulpit, what Mr. Truman called,
"pre-eminently a place of moral leadership." George Bush is a defender of right
to life, and life-long champion of the Judeo-Christian values and beliefs upon
which this nation was built.
Mr. Clinton, however, has a different agenda.
At its top is unrestricted abortion on demand. When the Irish-Catholic
governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, asked to say a few words, on behalf of
the 25 million unborn children destroyed since Roe v. Wade, he was told there
was no place for him at the podium of Bill Clinton's convention, no room at the
Yet, a militant leader of the homosexual rights movement could rise at that
convention and exult: "Bill Clinton and Al Gore represent the most pro-lesbian
and pro-gay ticket in history." And so they do.
Bill Clinton supports school choice -- but only for state-run schools.
Parents who send their children to Christian schools, or Catholic schools, need
Elect me, and you get two for the price of one, Mr. Clinton says of his
lawyer-spouse. And what does Hillary believe? Well, Hillary believes that
12-year-olds should have a right to sue their parents, and she has compared
marriage as an institution to slavery -- and life on an Indian reservation.
Well, speak for yourself, Hillary.
Friends, this is radical feminism. The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose
on America -- abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court,
homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat --
that's change all right. But it is not the kind of change America wants. It is
not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can
tolerate in a nation that we still call God's country.
A president is also commander-in-chief, the man we empower to send sons and
brothers, fathers and friends, to war.
George Bush was 17 when they bombed Pearl Harbor. He left his high school
class, walked down to the recruiting office, and signed up to become the
youngest fighter pilot in the Pacific War. And Mr. Clinton? When Bill Clinton's
turn came in Vietnam, he sat up in a dormitory in Oxford, England, and figured
out how to dodge the draft.
Which of these two men has won the moral authority to call on Americans to
put their lives at risk? I suggest, respectfully, it is the patriot and war
hero, Navy Lt.j.g George Herbert Walker Bush.
My friends, this campaign is about philosophy, and it is about character; and
George Bush wins on both counts -- going away; and it is time all of us came
home and stood beside him.
As running mate, Mr. Clinton chose Albert Gore. And just how moderate is
Prince Albert? Well, according to the Taxpayers Union, Al Gore beat out Teddy
Kennedy, two straight years, for the title of biggest spender in the Senate.
And Teddy Kennedy isn't moderate about anything.
In New York, Mr. Gore made a startling declaration. Henceforth, he said, the
"central organizing principle" of all governments must be: the environment.
The central organizing principle of this republic is freedom. And from the
ancient forests of Oregon, to the Inland Empire of California, America's great
middle class has got to start standing up to the environmental extremists who
put insects, rats and birds -- ahead of families, workers and jobs.
One year ago, my friends, I could not have dreamt I would be here. I was then
still just one of many panelists on what President Bush calls, "those crazy
Sunday talk shows."
But, I disagreed with the president; and so we challenged the president in
the Republican primaries, and fought as best we could. From February to June, he
won 33 primaries. I can't recall exactly how many we won.
But, tonight, I want to talk to the 3 million Americans who voted for me: I
will never forget you, nor the great honor you have done me. But, I do believe,
deep in my heart, that the right place for us to be now -- in this presidential
campaign -- is right beside George Bush. This party is our home, this party is
where we belong. And, don't let anyone tell you any different.
Yes, we disagreed with President Bush, but we stand with him for
freedom-of-choice religious schools, and we stand with him against the amoral
idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as
married men and women.
We stand with President Bush for right to life, and for voluntary prayer in
the public schools -- and against putting American women in combat. And we stand
with President Bush in favor of the right of small towns and communities to
control the raw sewage of pornography that pollutes our popular culture.
We stand with President Bush in favor of federal judges who interpret the law
as written, and against Supreme Court justices who think they have a mandate to
rewrite our Constitution.
My friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about
who we are. It is about what we believe, it is about what we stand for as
Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of
America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day
be -- as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America,
Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And,
so, we have to come home -- and stand beside him.
My friends, in those six months -- from Concord to California -- I came to
know our country better than ever before in my life, and I collected memories
that will be with me always.
There was that day-long ride through the great state of Georgia in a bus Vice
President Bush himself had used in 1988 -- a bus they called Asphalt One. The
ride ended with a 9 p.m. speech, in front of a magnificent Southern mansion, in
a town called Fitzgerald.
There were the workers at the James River Paper Mill, in the frozen North
Country of New Hampshire, hard, tough men, one of whom was silent, until I shook
his hand. Then, he looked up in my eyes, and said, "Save our jobs!"
There was the legal secretary at the Manchester airport on Christmas Day, who
told me she was going to vote for me, then broke down crying, saying, "I've lost
my job, I don't have any money; they're going to take away my daughter. What am
I going to do?"
My friends, even in tough times, these people are with us. They don't read
Adam Smith or Edmund Burke, but they came from the same schoolyards and
playgrounds and towns as we did. They share our beliefs and convictions, our
hopes and our dreams. They are the conservatives of the heart. They are our
people. And, we need to reconnect with them. We need to let them know we know
they're hurting. They don't expect miracles, but they need to know we care.
There were the people of Hayfork, the tiny town high up in California's
Trinity Alps, a town that is now under a sentence of death, because a federal
judge has set aside 9 million acres for the habitat of the spotted owl --
forgetting about the habitat of the men and women who live and work in Hayfork.
And there where the brave live the family values we treasure, and who still
believe deeply in the American dream.
Friends, in those wonderful 25 weeks, the saddest days were the days of the
bloody riot in L.A., worst in our history. But even out of that awful tragedy
can come a message of hope.
Hours after the violence ended I visited the Army compound in south L.A.,
where an officer of the 18th Cavalry, that had come to rescue the city,
introduced me to two of his troopers. They could not have been 20 years old. He
told them to recount there story.
They had come into Los Angeles late on the second day; and they walked up a
dark street, where the mob had looted and burned every building but one, a
convalescent home for the aged. The mob was heading in, to ransack and loot the
apartments of the terrified old men and women. When the troopers arrived, M-16s
at the ready, the mob threatened and cursed, but the mob retreated. It had met
the one thing that could stop it: force, rooted in justice, backed by courage.
Greater love than this hath no man than that he lay down his life for his
friend. Here were 19-year-old boys ready to lay down their lives to stop a mob
from molesting old people they did not even know. And, as they took back the
streets of Los Angeles, block by block, so we must take back our cities, and
take back our culture, and take back our country.
God bless you, and God bless America.