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America's History in the Making

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Pat Buchanan's "Culture War" Speech

One year ago, my friends, I could not have dreamt I would be here. I was then still just one of many panelists on what President Bush calls "those crazy Sunday talk shows."

But I disagreed with the president; and so we challenged the president in the Republican primaries and fought as best we could. From February to June, he won 33 primaries. I can't recall exactly how many we won.

But tonight I want to talk to the 3 million Americans who voted for me. I will never forget you, nor the great honor you have done me. But I do believe, deep in my heart, that the right place for us to be now--in this presidential campaign--is right beside George Bush. The party is our home; this party is where we belong. And don't let anyone tell you any different.

Yes, we disagreed with President Bush, but we stand with him for freedom to choose religious schools, and we stand with him against the amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women.

We stand with President Bush for right-to-life, and for voluntary prayer in the public schools, and against putting American women in combat. And we stand with President Bush in favor of the right of small towns and communities to control the raw sewage of pornography that pollutes our popular culture.

We stand with President Bush in favor of federal judges who interpret the law as written, and against Supreme Court justices who think they have a mandate to rewrite our Constitution.

My friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe. It is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And so, we have to come home, and stand beside him …

Patrick J. Buchanan, keynote address, 1992 Republican National Convention, 1992; available at www.buchanan.org (accessed April 3, 2007).

Creator Patrick J. Buchanan
Context 1992 keynote address at the Republican National Convention in support of George Herbert Walker Bush
Audience Republican National Convention
Purpose To rally his supporters around George H. W. Bush

Historical Significance

This excerpt draws from Pat Buchanan's "culture war" speech. The fiery rhetoric appealed to the right wing of the Republican Party; at the same time it went contrary to the more moderate image that President George H. W. Bush had hoped to convey to the national television audience. Election analysts concluded that Buchanan's inflammatory rhetoric partly contributed to the defeat of President Bush by causing Republicans who were more moderate to cast their votes for Ross Perot.


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