Transcript of Pat Buchanan's Acceptance Speech

Aug. 12, 2000 -- Pat Buchanan, the presidential nominee of one faction of the warring Reform Party, accepted his nomination in Long Beach, Calif., tonight. Read a transcript of his remarks here.

Pat Buchanan:

Thank you: And I accept your nomination for president of the United States, and pledge you a fight you can be proud of the rest of your lives.

For years, my friends, we have all heard that familiar taunt: “Don’t worry about them; they have nowhere else to go.”

Well, guess what? We have somewhere else to go. At long last, we have ahome of our own. As for those homeless conservatives, who were locked up in the basement at the big Bush Family Reunion in Philadelphia, all I can say is: “Folks, come on over; there is plenty of room in Reform.”

Say, did any of you watch that convention? How did you stand the excitement? One Republican governor defended it this way: “We used to have red-meat conventions, but they frightened people away. So, we’re all vegetarians now.” Well, welcome to the last red-meat convention in America.

First, I don’t disagree with the Republicans who say we have much to be thankful for here in America. In science, technology and medicine, we excel as no other people in history. I know that. I was at Cape Canaveral when Apollo 11 lifted off on its way to the moon. I am alive today because of a heart valve that did not exist when I was in high school. I was at Ronald Reagan’s side inReykjavik in that critical summit of the Cold War when that great and good man refused to give up a missile defense for his country. Because of Ronald Reagan, our world is safer and freer than the world we grew up in, and America today is as dominant as Rome in her day.

But beneath our surface prosperity, there is deep anxiety, a foreboding within our people that was ignored at the festival in Philadelphia. It revolves around these questions: Where are we going? How are we Americans using all this wealth, power, and freedom? Are we still God’s country? What about the forgotten Americans of Philadelphia?

I mean America’s unborn children, another million of whom will die this year without ever seeing the light of day. For these lost innocents, there was barely a word of compassion from the party of compassionate conservatism.

Well, Republicans may be running away from life, but as long as there islife left in me, I will never run away — because their cause is mycause, and their cause is God’s cause.

Now, let us speak of some of the other forgotten Americans at Philadelphia. I began my campaign, 18 months ago, in a tiny steel town in West Virginia called Weirton. Even though the U.S. economy was booming and U.S. companies were crying out for steel, Weirton steel was laying off workers, and Weirton was dying. Why? Because cheap steel was being dumped into the United States from Russia, Korea, Brazil, and Indonesia so those bankrupt regimes could raisethe cash to pay off the international banks. The workers of Weirton and their families were being betrayed by Bill Clinton and sacrificed to the gods of the global economy. I told those steel workers we would stand with them; and in one of the prouder moments of my life, that union endorsed me and joined our cause. Just the other day, working together, the Buchanan Brigades, the ReformParty, and the union folks of Weirton, achieved ballot access inthe Mountaineer State of West Virginia.

Let me tonight lay out the great issues where our new ReformParty stands apart from both Beltway parties.

Last year, at the close of Clinton’s war, I was given a smallparty by Serb-Americans who wanted to thank me for opposing thewar. They told me of a woman who had desperately wanted to bethere, but was not, because she had to go back to Serbia to buryher parents, who had been killed in the American bombing. Mr. Bushsaid his only complaint about that war on Serbia was that we didnot fight it “ferociously enough.” Mr. Bush, tell that to thatSerb-American woman who lost her mother and father.

Why did we do this? Why did we bomb this little country for 78days when it never threatened or attacked the United States?

Yes, there was a nasty guerrilla war going on in Kosovo, withterrorist attacks on Serb soldiers by the KLA, and ugly reprisals.But in one year, there had been 2000 casualties on all sides. Yet,look at the disaster we wrought, after Clinton launched his war.Thousands dead, a million Albanians driven out of their homes; now,a quarter million Serbs ethnically cleansed in KLA counter-terror.Serbia is smashed. Kosovo is destroyed. Russia has been driven intothe arms of China; and American troops are tied down in a Balkanpeninsula that has nothing to do with the vital interests of theUnited States.

My friends, I count myself a patriot. I love this country. Butwhat in God’s name are we doing? Milosevic is a thug and a tyrant.But that is not his country we destroyed. That is their country;and the Serb people have always been friends of the United States.

Saddam Hussein is another wicked tyrant who has launchedaggressive war and murdered his own people. But who has killed moreinnocent Iraqis? Saddam Hussein, or U.S. sanctions? When MadeleineAlbright was told on a television show that a U.N. study had foundthat 500,000 Iraqi children may have died because of our 10 yearsof sanctions, Albright said: “We believe it was worth it.” Worthit? When did the greatest nation on Earth start waging war onchildren?

After Mr. Clinton launched one of his drive-by shootings withcruise missiles, Ms. Albright was asked to justify it. “If we haveto use force,” she said, “it is because we are America. We arethe indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into thefuture.”

Talk about the arrogance of power. George III could not havesaid it better. Friends, I am ashamed to say it, but we have begunto behave like the haughty British empire our fathers rose upagainst and threw out of this country. That, then, is what ourparty, our campaign, and our cause are all about. We are Americanswho say with our fathers: To hell with empire; we want our countryback.

Yet, both Beltway parties today conspire to kill our belovedrepublic. Both colluded to create the WTO. Both voted $18 billionmore for the IMF to make the world safe for Goldman Sachs. Lastyear, a new U.N. international war crimes tribunal was establishedwith the power to arrest and prosecute our soldiers. This year,U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan thundered that we Americans donot pay our fair share of foreign aid. Last fall, the most trustedman in America, Walter Cronkite, said Americans must have thecourage to surrender their national sovereignty to a worldgovernment. Let me tell you where the Reform Party stands.

We believe “independence forever.” We will reclaim every lostounce of American sovereignty. We will lead this country out of theWTO, out of the IMF, and I will personally tell Kofi Annan: YourU.N. lease has run out; you will be moving out of the UnitedStates, and if you are not gone by year’s end, I will send you10,000 Marines to help you pack your bags.

Friends, I am called many names. Isolationist is one of thesweeter ones. But the truth is: We are not isolationists. We do notwant to isolate America from the world. We Americans come from allcountries and continents, and want to trade with and travel withall countries, and have commercial, cultural, and diplomaticcontact with every nation on earth. But we will no longer squanderthe blood of our soldiers fighting other countries’ wars or thewealth of our people paying other countries’ bills. The Cold War isover; it is time to bring America’s troops home to the UnitedStates where they belong — and end foreign aid. And when I step outon that inaugural stand to take the oath — when my hand goes up,their New World Order comes crashing down.

Bill Clinton understands this issue of sovereignty. Al Gore, heunderstands it. George W., he doesn’t understand it; but, don’tworry, he is still being home-schooled by Condoleeza Rice. We arethe one party with a chance to win that is sworn to fight worldgovernment abroad — and big government at home.

Yet, look at the record of this Congress that has the nerve tocall itself conservative. In two years, not one federal agency hasbeen abolished, not one program ended. Federal spending is risingat the fastest rate since “Tip” O’Neill was speaker of the House. Both parties are so steeped in pork they have to be checked everysix months for trichinosis.

Here are a couple of items from our $2 trillion federal budget:$500,000 for a study of swine waste management, $1.75 million tostudy the handling and distribution of manure. Do these guys haveenough sense to cross the street? Apparently not, because this yearCongress voted $1 million for a study in Utah on — you guessed it — how to cross the street. My friends, it is time to pick up thepitchforks and go down and clean out the pigpen. If you want realreform, vote Reform.

Back in 1991, I challenged a president named Bush because hebroke a pledge not to raise taxes. He said he had to do it tobalance the budget. Bill Clinton raised taxes again, he said, tobalance the budget. Well, the budget is balanced; and it is time torepeal both the Clinton tax hike and the Bush tax hike and give thesurpluses back to the people — because that money does not belongto the politicians; it belongs to the people; and I will give itall back. Here is how:

We will eliminate all death taxes and end the government’s roleas federal grave robber of the American family. We will end themarriage penalty and cut income taxes for all Americans. And wewill impose a 10 percent tariff on imports, and use the money toend all taxes on small businesses. And we will chop down the IRSuntil it is so small all the IRS agents will fit into the buildingthat is being vacated by the National Endowment for the Arts.

As for Communist China, we will no longer accept one-sided tradedeals, where we buy 40 percent of their exports and they buy 1percent of ours. And I will tell them: Fellas, either you stop thispersecution of Christians, and these threats to our friends onTaiwan, and rattling missiles at the United States, or you fellowshave sold your last pair of chopsticks in any mall in the UnitedStates of America.

Let me speak now about the great issue of civil rights. I knewthe old leaders of that movement, and while I did not always agreewith their tactics, I respected them. But today’s agenda hasnothing to do with civil rights, and everything to do with specialprivileges. No discrimination means to me: no discrimination; notagainst anyone because of color or creed; not in favor of anyonebecause of color or creed. And when we get to the White House, alldiscrimination ends: No more racial profiling and no more racialpreferences. Men and women will be advanced by the standards we useto choose our American Olympic team: merit, character, ability, andexcellence alone.

Up at Philadelphia, did you hear Mr. McCain denounce those whowant to reform our immigration laws by saying that walls are forcowards? Well, let me tell the senator a story about a woman wholives in his own home state. Her name Is Teresa Murray. She is 82,has arthritis, and lives in Douglas, on the border. When I visitedher ranch last winter, she was confined to her home. Around hersmall house is a chain-link fence. On top of that fence sits rolledrazor wire. Every door and window of her home had bars on it, andMs. Murray’s two guard dogs are dead, killed by thugs who threwmeat over the fence with cut glass in it. She sleeps with a gun onher bed table because she has been burglarized 30 times. SenatorMcCain, go down to Douglas and tell Teresa Murray that fences arefor cowards.

Teresa Murray is an American woman living out her life in amaximum security prison in her own home in her own country — because of the real cowardice, the cowardice of politicians whorefuse to do their duty and defend the borders of the UnitedStates. I am tired of reading about U.S. troops defending theborders of Kosovo, Kuwait, and Korea. I don’t live in Kosovo,Kuwait or Korea; I live in the United States of America. And when Ibecome president, all U.S. troops will come home from Kosovo,Kuwait and Korea; and I will put them on the borders of Arizona,Texas and California; and we will start putting America first.

But we will never restore a republic unless we replace the“commissars” of the U.S. Supreme Court, those unelected judges,appointed for life, who answer to no one, and who have begun toerect a judicial dictatorship in America.

In New Hampshire, judges created chaos in the public schools bythrowing out a financing system that worked for generations. InArizona, a federal judge told the people they cannot make Englishthe language for state business. In California, Proposition 187, tocut off welfare to illegal aliens, supported in a landslide, wasthrown out by one judge. Last year, the state of Ohio was told tosandblast its motto, “With God, all things are possible,” offstate buildings—because those are words of Jesus Christ; and Hiswords do not belong on state buildings in Bill Clinton’s America.

Mr. Bush holds up his hands and he has no litmus test for theSupreme Court.

Well, I do. When Supreme Court vacancies open up, onlyconstitutionalists who respect the inalienable right of life of allAmericans and our religious heritage will be nominated — and noliberal judicial activists need apply.

Let me turn now to the signature issue of the Bush campaign:education. Mr. Bush is so enthusiastic about it, he gets carriedaway. He told a baffled audience in Florence, South Carolina, and Iquote directly: “Rarely has the question asked: Is our childrenlearning?” Is our children learning?

Well, our children is certainly not learning in Texas, governor.Like Mr. Gore, Mr. Bush believes the solution to the educationcrisis lies in expanding the power of the Department of Education.We believe differently: We believe the Department of Education isthe problem; and the solution to the education crisis is to get Godand the Ten Commandments and discipline back into the publicschools, and the federal bureaucrats and federal judges out, and toshut down the Department of Education, and let the building sitthere as a monument to the failure and folly of big government. Ifyou want reform, vote Reform.

The Democratic Party will never reform education because it isheld hostage by the teachers’ unions. Republicans will never shutdown the IMF, because if they did, the corporate lobbyists wouldcut off their room, board, tuition, beer and gas money. NeitherBeltway party will drain this political swamp, because to them itis not a swamp; it is a protected wetland, their natural habitat.They swim in it, feed in it, spawn in it and are as happy there asBrer Rabbit was in his briar patch.

The Reform Party can reform American politics, because no onehas a hook in us. And I give you my word: We will outlaw theglorified bribery they call “soft money” and put term limits onevery member of Congress and federal judge. If eight years wasenough for George Washington and Ronald Reagan, it is long enoughfor Teddy Kennedy and Barney Frank.

Friends, let me tell you about the man who stands before youtonight. Forty years ago, when I was trying to figure out what todo with my life, I read a line by Justice Holmes. A man, he said,must share the action and passion of his time, at peril of beingjudged not to have lived. So I have, and it has been a wonderfullife.

I was a few feet away from Martin Luther King when he gave his“I have a dream” address at the Lincoln Memorial. I was inPhiladelphia, Mississippi, before they pulled the bodies of thosecivil rights workers out of that earthen dam. I was in the ConradHilton Hotel in 1968 when the Democratic Party came apart in thestreets of Chicago. I was with Nixon in China, and Reagan atReykjavik. I have served in three White Houses and seen presidentsin their finest hours, and their darkest hours — Nixon inWatergate, Reagan in Iran-Contra. I have something to give to mycountry, and that brings me to recall a moment in my life.

It was 1964, and I had gone up to see my oldest brother, Bill,at the Maryknoll seminary in Ossining, New York. In the prime ofhis youth, he had joined this mission order. I asked him why he didit. He told me: God has been good to our family and we have to givesomething back. My brother Bill is gone now; but his words haunt mestill: God has been good to our family, and we have to givesomething back. That is why we are here: to create something newand good and alive, and give something back to this country, thathas been so good to all of us.

The road to Long Beach has been long and hard, harder at timesthan we thought it would be. In this room are men and women whohave worked from dawn to dark and beyond, in malls, gas stations,and country stores, in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma,West Virginia, to get a million signatures to get us on the ballot.It is a tribute to your dedication and loyalty that we have notmissed a single state. This fall, we shall go into battle in all 50states.

“But why are you doing this?” people ask me. I will tell you.Because there has to be one party that has not sold its soul forsoft money. There has to be one party that will stand up for oursovereignty and stand by our workers who are being sacrificed onthe altar of the global economy. There has to be one party thatwill defend America’s history, heritage and heroes against theVisigoths and Vandals of multiculturalism. There has to be oneparty willing to drive the money-changers out of the temples of ourcivilization.

What are we fighting for? To save our country from being solddown the river into some godless New World Order, and to hand downto our children a nation as good and as great as the one ourparents gave to us — forever independent, forever free. Thats whatthis Gideon’s Army is fighting for; and we will fight on and on andon and on — until God Himself calls us home.