Wake George Up
THE STAFF rightly fears the ascendancy of the Pat Buchanan message. There is no question that Buchanan's ideology represents a disturbing reactionary trend. A vote for George Bush, however, sends only one message: We're satisfied with the status quo.
Many Republicans are not. The unfortunate truth is that the only way to let Bush know is to vote for Buchanan. There is no "none of the above" box you can check on the ballot, and few voters will actually follow through on a write-in campaign.
Buchanan voters are not necessarily Buchanan supporters. It is no coincidence that in the uncontested South Dakota primary, "uncommited" garnered about as much support as Buchanan has in contested primaries.
The staff worries that the president will be driven further to the right by Buchanan success. Bush already opposes abortion rights, affirmative action and equitable tax rates; he supports cuts in social spending. How much further right can he get? Overwhelming support for Bush in the primary will not change his views.
A vote for Pat Buchanan is not a mandate for bigotry. It is merely the only way to make George Bush pay attention.