Pat Buchanan

Well, the NLF didn't win. It was crushed in the Tet Offensive. But the North Vietnamese invasion of 1975 did. Result: a million boat people in the South China Sea, a holocaust in Cambodia and poisoned American politics for decades after that American defeat.

By the time Vietnam ended, many in the antiwar movement had become anti-American and come to regard her role in history not as great and glorious but as an endless catalogue of crimes, from slavery to imperialism to genocide against the Native Americans.

The fourth revolution was social -- a rejection by millions of young of the moral code by which their parents sought to live.

This produced demands for legalized drugs, condoms for school kids, a right to terminate pregnancies with subsidized abortions and the right of homosexuals to marry.

The first political success of the integrated revolutions came with capture of the Democratic Party in 1972, though Sen. George McGovern was crushed by Nixon in a 49-state landslide.

The conservative triumph of the half-century was surely the election of Ronald Reagan, who revived America's spirit, restored her prosperity and presided over her peaceful Cold War victory. Yet even Reagan failed to curtail an ever-expanding federal government.

Did then the conservatives fail?

In defense of the right, it needs be said. They were no more capable of preventing these revolutionary changes in how people think and believe about God and man, right and wrong, good and evil, than were the French of the Vendee to turn back the revolution of 1789.

Converting a people to new ways of thinking about fundamental truths is beyond the realm of politics and requires a John Wesley or a St. Paul.

The social, political and moral revolutions of the 1960s have changed America irretrievably. And they have put down roots and converted a vast slice of the nation.

In order to love one's country, said Edmund Burke, one's country ought to be lovely. Is it still? Reid Buckley, brother of Bill, replies, "I am obliged to make a public declaration that I cannot love my country. ... We are Vile."

And so what is the conservative's role in an America many believe has not only lost its way but seems to be losing its mind?

What is it now that conservatives must conserve?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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