Vital Signs

Pat Buchanan's First Inaugural Address

What if Pat Buchanan were to win the presidency? That prospect intrigues me. Let's assume that Pat wins, someday. What could he do to restore the American republic? A great deal. I therefore propose my version of Pat Buchanan's first inaugural address.

It is a wonderful thing to be here in front of ail these television cameras and know that I will not be interrupted even once by Michael Kinsley. It has been said that my election constitutes a revolution. Not so. I am a conservative. Conservatives do not believe in revolution. We believe in slow, organic change. I propose only minor, technical changes. Nothing revolutionary here.

Let me explain this program. It is not an extension of the New Nationalism, the New Freedom, the New Deal, or the New Frontier. I call it the Old Truths. The two most fundamental of these truths are these: one, "You can't get something for nothing"; and two, "If you play ball with the government, some bureaucrat will shove the bat down your throat. Or worse." I have divided my program into 12 sections.

1. Executive Orders

Since 1862, this country has been increasingly governed by executive orders issued by federal agencies, not by laws voted for by elected officials. I will introduce legislation to Congress this week establishing that executive orders from now on will apply only to employees of the Executive...

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