When it comes to the subgenre of punditry best described as “crotchety, delusional conservative white man,” Pat Buchanan has long been its shining star. To Buchanan’s credit, he’s been consistently curmudgeonly about America’s shifting demographics for decades. In 1992 Buchanan infamously spoke of a “culture war” plaguing the United States during a speech at that year’s Republican convention. In Buchanan’s mind, the Democratic Party represented a bunch of abortion-loving, feminism-peddling, “homosexual rights”-advocating deviants. His answer to the crowd was that “we must take back our cities and take back our culture and take back our country.”
And unlike Ms. Lauryn Hill, Buchanan does not need new arrangements to perform his act. No, his political rhetoric is basically Mary J. Blige’s onstage dancing. To wit, Buchanan recently wrote an unintentionally hilarious essay about "the social disaster of white Middle America." In the essay, entitled “The Great White Hope,” Buchanan laments a purported crisis among “middle-aged white folks” that, he says, consists of growing numbers of cases of “alcoholic liver disease, overdoses of heroin and opioids, and suicides.”
Buchanan’s explanation for this is twofold. In one instance he discusses white working-class voters being victims of depreciating wages and a lack of available jobs because of globalization. Typically, if Buchanan told me the sky was blue, I’d go outside with my phone to take a shot of the blood-orange moon that’s clearly more than likely to be present, but hey, there is some level of truth there.
Unfortunately, “Project Pat” then attributes the drug use, alcoholism and suicide rates to shrinking numbers of married white men. To Project Pat, “single white men are not only being left behind by the new economy, they are becoming alienated from society.” Moreover, the “world has been turned upside-down for white children.”
In this man’s mind, this is evidenced by select history books saying that America was “‘discovered’ by genocidal white racists, who murdered the native peoples of color, enslaved Africans to do the labor they refused to do, then went out and brutalized and colonized indigenous peoples all over the world.”
So, the crux of his complaints about education policy is that American children are being told the truth about the history of this nation. Whatever will these poor white kids do (well, besides continue to enjoy the perks of being white in a society that caters to white people)? Project Pat proceeds to argue that a call for diversity is meant to marginalize white people. If you really want to laugh, he also complains that “angry white male” is now “an acceptable slur in culture and politics.”
“N—ger” is a slur; “angry white male” is a pretty solid descriptor for the conservative-media-industrial complex that’s made Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and others millions of dollars.
In any event, Buchanan leaves us with this: “So it is that people of that derided ethnicity, race, and gender see in Donald Trump someone who unapologetically berates and mocks the elites who have dispossessed them, and who despise them. Is it any surprise that militant anti-government groups attract white males? Is it so surprising that the Donald today, like Jess Willard a century ago, is seen by millions as ‘The Great White Hope?’”
Indeed, the orange man with the cartoon yellow hair is likely perceived as such to the folks Buchanan finds himself defending. Still, what’s most enjoyable and immensely satisfying about this rant is that nearly a quarter century after invoking the phrase “culture war,” Buchanan is on the mend. The rage that fueled him in 1992 has since fallen to clear despair. He is no less racist, but he sees defeat. In this column, Pat Buchanan is Mufasa shortly before realizing his probably gay brother, Scar, is about to murder him and queen out with his new crown.
Not only is Buchanan defeated, but he also writes about white men with such fragility. Like, to Project Pat, if you talk “mean” about white people, they’re going to kill themselves. But because I’m not a reptile with the skin of a human being, like Project Pat Buchanan, I’m going to take a second or so to help these white folks he’s so worried about.
I’m no DJ Khaled, but I do have some keys for the clear folks:
Step 1: Do not vote for Donald Trump. Hell, don’t vote for any Republican unless the GOP magically changes its ideology to actually give a damn about working-class people.
Step 3: Stop acting as if not being married is a Google Map direction to the meth house. That’s not it, beloved.
Step 3: Get over yourself. It’s not just about you anymore. You will deal. I mean, all of our non-white-male selves have dealt with white men and their needs and standards sucking all the air in the room. Buck up. You’re still white. It can’t ever be that bad.
Step 4: Stop reading Pat Buchanan columns.
Now, run me my reparations.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.