Pat Buchanan

In the endless struggle between populism and the establishment and between nationalists and internationalists, populists and nationalists appear, at least temporarily, to be in the ascendancy worldwide.

Vladimir Putin's approval is over 80 percent. Why? He stands for national sovereignty and the rights of Russians, wherever they may be. And in hearing his claim that Crimea is Russia's, are there not echoes of Reaganite nationalism in the Panama Canal debate:

"We bought it. We paid for it. It's ours. And we're gonna keep it."

The nationalist card is also being played by Beijing with its claim, wildly popular in China, to all of the islands in the East China and South China seas.

And nationalism is being invoked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in calling for rearmament and amending Japan's pacifist constitution.

Cantor's defeat seems certain to halt any Republican move to accommodate Obama on amnesty. Should House Speaker John Boehner try to move ahead on even partial amnesty, says Rep. Steve King of Iowa, it "would blow up the caucus."

Consider, then, the political terrain six months before the preseason of 2016 begins.

According to every national poll, Americans believe that our country is on the wrong course, that it is less respected than it has ever been abroad and that our children and their children will most likely not know the good life that we have had.

Americans disapprove of the president and have little confidence in either party or in Congress. Few believe that the government is as well-run as it was in World War II or when Ike was creating the federal highway system or America was sending astronauts to the moon.

The landscape looks inhospitable for establishment candidates, such as Jeb Bush, who says illegal aliens crossing our border are engaging in an "act of love" and who is a proud and principal promoter of the Common Core curriculum being imposed on the nation's schools.

Nor does the terrain seem favorable for former first lady Hillary Clinton. Though she may have had to scratch and claw her way out of debt and destitution when she and her husband were "dead broke," she is seen nationally, and not incorrectly, as the queen of the establishment, someone who banks six-figure fees for half-hour lectures.

No two people ever milked a political office for more than these two have milked the presidency of the United States. And no two people are more wired in to the Hollywood, Wall Street and Washington elites.

If Jeb and Hillary are both in the lists in 2016, it will be God's gift to pitchfork populists.

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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