In an op-ed, presidential candidate Howard Dean wrote with pride about how his small donation supporters are helping “take back our country.”
Pat Buchanan used the same expression in his campaign back in 1992. However, Howard Dean is the probable nominee of one of the two major parties and is therefore much more likely to win the Presidency than Pat Buchanan, who never stood a chance of gaining the Republican nomination.
Howard Dean is a fascist of the left, just as Pat Buchanan was a fascist of the right. On the left, “taking back” actually means taking. Dean not only wants to reverse the Bush tax cut; he wants to remove all limits on taxes, most particularly payroll taxes, in the future, so that the government will experience no constraints whatsoever in both preserving and expanding the welfare state and redistributing most private wealth in the process. In short, Dean and his supporters seek to take wealth from those who have earned it. Socialism is alive and well in America.
If Dean gains a term or even two in the White House, he could “guilt” humble Republicans in Congress into at least meeting him halfway by turning America more leftward than at any time since the 1930’s.
Pat Buchanan, like Dean, also condemned business and made anti-profit one of the central themes of his campaign. He tried to blend these Marxist sentiments with his anti-immigration and anti free-trade messages. None of these notions sat well with the bulk of the Republican party, which is why Buchanan never emerged as more than an irritant and embarrassment to that party. Dean, on the other hand, is more sophisticated than Buchanan ever was and, unlike Buchanan, speaks the words the other members of his party would love to utter but fear to say. He’s their hero. Dean is also emerging as the hero of the media and academic establishment, which plays a big role in convincing millions of Americans how to think.
You might think Dean is too left-wing to win next year, just like Buchanan was too right-wing to win back in 1992. However, Dean will be running against a President who, at this time, is increasingly unpopular for his perceived military failure in Iraq and a still floundering economy. President Bush is also trying to balance his policy of tax cuts with massive expansions of the welfare state (i.e., Medicare prescription drugs) and significant increases in non-military government spending. This has the effect of disappointing conservative Republicans and infuriating Democrats into fighting Bush with every political breath they have.
Whenever a defensive and damaged apologist for capitalism runs against an unblinking, unafraid and unflinching champion of socialism–without ever having to call it socialism, thanks to a friendly media–the results could be different than you think at first glance. In 2005, I might have the misfortune to be writing in this column about the new President Dean.
Cartoons by Cox and Forkum.