Campaign Heresy

What a difference a presidential candidacy can make. Conservative, erstwhile candidate Patrick Buchanan lowered the rhetorical boom on President George W. Bush the other day for the president’s “worship” of democracy.

Can you envision how that would play in the New Hampshire primary?

Buchanan’s rant was occasioned by Bush’s declaration that “Every time people are given a choice, they choose freedom.”

Buchanan’s response: “Oh. In Iran in 2005, the people chose Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2006, free elections gave victories to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah, Hamas and anti-American radicals in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, who joined forces with twice-elected Hugo Chavez. The German people chose Hitler and the Nazi Party.

“It is one thing to believe democracy is a superior form of government,” added Buchanan. “It is another to worship it, or ascribe to it powers or attributes that can ensure permanent peace among nations. Democracy means rule by the people, and peoples can be as corrupt and bloodthirsty as tyrants and kings.”

And then for, more or less, good measure he cited the president’s avowal that “Freedom is the design of our Maker and the longing of every soul.”

Buchanan’s take: “Did Churchill long for freedom, as he fought to preserve the British Empire and British rule in India?”

Can you imagine such sacrilege on America’s presidential hustings?

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