John's Reviews > Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency

Where the Right Went Wrong by Patrick J. Buchanan
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's review
Jun 02, 08

bookshelves: politics-economics
Read in April, 2008

Pat Buchanan savages GWBush's Neoconservative foreign policy as a costly and doomed over-reach to create the Pax Americana. His arguments did not rise to isolationism, but he clearly wants us to cease trying to police the world. He portrays the US as being at an “Imperial apogee,” which because of enormous expense, and world and national opposition will inevitably fall from power and pre-eminence. He is very bitter that the Neocons (ex-big government liberals) hijacked the Republican party from true conservatives such as himself and William Jennings Bryan. I mostly liked his foreign policy arguments, and thought even Scott might generally approve of these chapters.

But Buchanan’s economics are way off base. He fancies himself a true economic populist because he thinks free trade has destroyed high paying jobs for blue collar workers. And even more far-fetched, he thinks we can restore the good-old-days of high wage domestic hard goods manufacturing by erecting trade barriers. Here he is not just a throwback, but is practically a Luddite. You can’t stop globalization by tariffs and quotas any more than you can sweep back the tide with a broom.

I don’t think it is fair to call him a xenophobe merely because he doesn’t want cheap imported labor keeping low skill wages low. I thought his call for border control was pretty mainstream and non-racist. I agree that something must be done, but my biggest disagreement with Buchanan on immigration is that I think immigrants are the life-blood of America, and we should welcome lots of them.

Buchanan and I agree on the increasing judicial dictatorship of our country, and the congressional abdication of authority to both the bureaucracy and the courts. Don't get me started. . .

In sum. I rate this book 4 stars for political junkies, but I give it only a 2 star recommendation for more sane folk.
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