Principalities & Powers

Natural Born Kulchur

In the tumid political underbrush of the summer, there were a number of interesting and even important new sprouts, as Pat Buchanan slowly pushed aside Phil Gramm as the favored candidate of the Republican right and almost all of the rest of the blossoming aspirants to the throne of Reagan and Bush withered in the indifferent heat of the season. Neither Richard Lugar nor Lamar Alexander nor Arlen Specter attracted the slightest interest, and even one-speech wonders like Alan Keyes and certifiable crackpots like Bob Dornan produced only yawns. Mr. Buchanan's emergence as a serious candidate was due, of course, to the fact that he alone actually has something to say—about trade and the economic interests of the nation, about immigration and the nation's cultural identity, and about foreign policy and the nation's political interests in the world—that remains undreamt of in the platitudinous squints that serve as what most other Republican leaders are pleased to call their "visions."

Yet throughout the summer, Senator Robert Dole continued to hold the lead in public opinion polls, presumably not because of any vision he glimpses or has been able to share with his disciples but merely because he remains the most publicly visible of the announced candidates. It is to be expected that his commanding lead in the polls will begin to shrink as the campaign coagulates, but the Kansas senator was clearly determined...

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