April 1, 1996
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
What happened a few weeks ago to de-rail Patrick Buchanan's promising campaign to win for sanity the nomination as Republican Party candidate for the Presidential election due to take place here in the United States at the end of this year?
Old-fashioned Catholics were interested, because Buchanan is a Catholic who likes to attend the Tridentine Mass, whose convictions include many Catholic principles, for instance love of his country and an uncompromising refusal of abortion, and who has the courage of his convictions.
Moreover his bid for the Republican nomination began very well. When in the opening races of the campaign he ran a close second in Iowa and then won in New Hampshire in February, then, in U.S. politics long stifled by the two party system ("There's not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties", said Governor Wallace back in 1972, and he was shot for his pains), a lot of Americans, and not only Catholics, felt they had been given a whiff of oxygen, and their long dead interest in politics stirred with a tremor of hope. At last, a real man daring to address real issues.
But two weeks into March and it was virtually over. As soon as Buchanan's chances of winning the nomination became serious, the media swung into action with a truly extraordinary campaign to denounce and discredit Buchanan as an "extremist". The campaign worked. Masses of couch-potatoes dutifully voted as their media told them to vote, and Buchanan has been effectively eliminated.
For himself, this elimination must be a grace in the sense that if he had come much closer to real power, he would also no doubt have been shot, whether wounded like Wallace and Reagan, or killed like Robert and John F. Kennedy. "Democracy" is for couch-potatoes. Our secret masters play hardball.
On the other hand Buchanan's elimination is very grave for the United States. In his candidacy God gave the country a real chance to repudiate abortion amongst other horrors of liberalism, but the country turned the chance down. How many more chances will the United States be given? There comes a time when the only mercy left to God to send down upon a nation is fire and brimstone, because divine terror will bring at least a few souls to their knees, whereas nothing else will save any souls at all. That time is fast approaching for the apostate nations of the West. So let Catholics profit from Buchanan's "failure" to understand at last where the real problem lies.
The real problem lies not in any personal failings of Buchanan, as though, for instance, he could have won through if only he regularly attended Society of St Pius X Masses — he already stood for far too much Tradition. (Similarly with President Nixon. A few readers of this letter two months ago complained of its being too kind personally to that "crook", "liar", etc., but that kindness was meant to highlight that if he was removed from the Presidency in 1974, it was not because he was a crook, but because he was not enough of a crook.) Buchanan's very integrity and manliness make him unacceptable!
Similarly the problem does not lie in any supposed mistake of Buchanan's February-March campaign, as though he could have broken through if only he had, for instance, appealed more strongly to the women voters, or pensioners, or whoever. Give or take this or that issue, friend and foe alike realized what Buchanan means, namely God and country as opposed to godless internationalism, and this is what they voted for or against, the large majority against.
For instance one might have expected Protestants of the "religious right", surely believers in "One nation under God", to support this valiant candidate for God and country, but in the important South Carolina primary of mid-March, the "religious right" battalions were mobilized to swing the election against Buchanan, because he is Catholic. In other words, one nation under God, yes, but only if he is not the Catholic God. That is why the very best of Protestants (I could quote several honourable names) are powerless — powerless — to help the U.S.A..
Nor then does the problem lie in the two-party system, as though the system can be saved if only Buchanan will start a third party, which is what many of his ardent followers hope. This is not because of the two- or three-party system in itself, but because of what it and democracy mean to present-day people, namely that not God, but man, is God. The fault lies, if you will, not in democracy as such, but in today's democrats. Thus democracy could work if all the people recognized a God above them and honoured His Law in all their democratic dealings, but that is emphatically not the case with people today.
For instance at Senate hearings on an abortion question held in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, a Chicago pro-lifer declared that above the U.S. government, above the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, is God and His Law. A young Senator promptly denied this, and the consensus of the other Senators present was behind him! And there must have been countless such incidents throughout Western democracies over recent years.
But this is shocking only at first sight. For in the dear young Senator's mind, who is God and what is religion? Of course, a Sunday morning "Sound of Music" affair! Then of course he is right in saying that the U.S. Government is more important and has priority! Given religious liberty in the "land of the brave and home of the free", in which even Catholic Cardinals have glorified the principle whereby God may say you cannot have false gods but the State says you can, how could the dear young Senator think other than that real religion is the U.S. government?
The young Senator's problem is that so many Catholics he meets are not Catholics, but Sound-of-Musicians, and here is where Buchanan's real problem lies. The country he loves was built on the skids and Catholics have not protested, so it has had nothing to stop it from sliding to perdition ever since. See the enclosed salmon-coloured flyer, which is the key to many a letter from the Seminary. In fact, from the time of Henry VIII, the English-speaking world has been on the skids. Since then brave individuals like Patrick Buchanan (plus or minus Richard Nixon) have attempted to stop the slide, but - and here is the rub EITHER they get out of the mainstream, OR they go down with it. The mainstream is decadent and doomed.
If only it was not so! If only the system was not at war with God, and God with the system! Can I not console myself that it is deep down a wonderful Constitution, the best ever thought up by man, and if only we could get good men back into office, why, the mains could be reversed?
My dear friends, Americanism and Vatican II are great helps to set up that consolation, but the truth of the matter is that even if by a triple miracle Buchanan was nominated today, elected tomorrow, and not shot the day after, still he could not straighten out the United Sates, cause the people are too far gone in, putting man over God, and they would, inter-acting in vileness with their media, never have Buchanan or anyone else putting God back over man. Political solutions are inadequate for religious problems. The people must turn back to God, and the "God" of the Protestants will not do.
If only it was not so! If only I could be on good terms both with God and with the mainstream! How much easier life would be! What a nice picture! A huge speaker on each corner of my party-raft drifting downstream blasts out that the hills are alive with the sound of music — my friends and I smell an increasingly unpleasant stench of sewage in the water, and ahead of us, is that the thunder we hear of a great waterfall? My friends, turn up the speakers! Sprinkle more smell-killer! The party is to go on for ever!
Dear Catholics! The one thing we must not do is let anyone around hear from us, or see from our example, that religion can be pushed into a nice sweet little compartment from where it pours forth its sentimental perfume upon a way of life damned by God and doomed to destruction! To stand up to that way of life may cost us more than blood, sweat, toil, and tears, but such may be the cost of getting to Heaven.
"But your Excellency, being a real Catholic today hurts much, it is difficult!" Yes, I know. Just a few days ago there came here terrible news of a young Novus Ordo priest from an Iowa diocese who had been offering the Tridentine Mass for a group of souls (having nothing to do with the. Society of St Pius X). The more these souls responded, the more the diocese hounded him, for instance took away his car until he could see only one way out. He disappeared from view, until he was f6und a few weeks later in the hottel room where he had taken his own life. Now parents are apparently blaming those Tridentine souls, while the diocesan officials will be saying they were right all along - you see, he was crazy!
God, have mercy upon us all! Catholics, think long, think hard and think clear. Do not thinsk that any problems are serious except those involving heaven and hell, the state of grace and mortal sin, and to those problems do not think that there are any other solutions than those of God, Jesus Christ, and his one and only Catholic Church. If God is allowing the world to get into such a mess, it is only to let it drive us back to Him, not to let it drive us from one form of godlessness to another. See again the enclosed flyer. All He asks of us in this situation is to give witness to the Truth, as did His divine Son, and the harder that may become, the greater will be our reward, which will last for ever. We have no honourable alternative!
Dear friends and benefactors, the Seminary is well, thanks be to God and to your continuing support, which, when I think of these letters, I admire! Eight new American priests should be ordained here at Winona on Saturday, June 22, by your servant. And no fewer than 18 of last autumn's 22 new seminarians are still here in pursuit of the Catholic priesthood. Come to the ordinations to show Our Lord how much you appreciate having seminarians and priests after His Heart, and He will protect all you have, and give you more.
Most sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Richard Williamson
Letter to Friends and Benefactors