Letter Accepting the Resignation of Patrick J. Buchanan as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications
It is with great regret that I accept your resignation as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications, effective March 1, 1987.
First of all, let me say that using the word "resignation" in connection with Pat Buchanan strikes me as something of a contradiction in terms. When you joined our White House team two years ago, you brought with you communications skills refined over many years of experience as a writer and author, political adviser, columnist, and television commentator. You also brought with you a well-established reputation for consistency, toughness, versatility and integrity. From your very first days as an editorial writer at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, you have shown an instinctive grasp of America's heartland values and guiding principles. Those values and principles have been your fixed stars, and I take great comfort in knowing that your leaving the White House only means that you'll be navigating the same course in a different ship.
Emerson said, "Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." I have you to thank for investing your great abundance of both these qualities in the effort to communicate our policies and goals to the public. A proud record speaks for itself, but, as you know, it helps to have a microphone every now and then. Through plain talk and forceful prose, you have gotten the truth about our record out to the American people, fulfilling our responsibility to the Nation to set forth how we've responded to the mandates we were given in 1980 and 1984.
I am the third President you have served with distinction. It's fair to say that you have accomplished so much not because of your loyalty to any individual, but because of your fidelity to the core of ideals that define what it is to be an American. And because you put your trust in the virtues of faith and family, the centers that can and do hold against the disintegrating forces at work in the modern world.
Our second American Revolution is not over, but I have no doubt that we could not have come this far without voices like yours crying against the vanity and veneer that so often pass for insight. You will be sorely missed by your friends and colleagues here at the White House, but I have a hunch that there are quite a few people around the country anxiously awaiting publication of the next chapter in the Pat Buchanan story.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you have done for me and my Administration. Nancy joins me in sending you and Shelley our best wishes for every future success and happiness. And, as regards that last bit of sound advice, as a Roman playwright put it, "Fortes fortuna adjuvat."
Dear Mr. President:
This letter is to submit my resignation as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the White House, effective 1 March.
During the past two years, it has been an honor, a privilege and a pleasure to have served you in the White House. I shall recall with particular pride your indispensable leadership in winning Congressional support for the Nicaraguan resistance; your courageous refusal to be stampeded by the self-righteous into endorsing vindictive and destructive sanctions upon the nation and people of South Africa who have done us no harm; your relentless effort to restore constitutionality to the Third Branch of Government, especially with the nominations of Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Rehnquist; finally, your refusal at Geneva and, again, at Reykjavik, to compromise America's national defense in the coming decade, SDI.
You have, in these six years, done many things for this country. The economics of opportunity has replaced the politics of envy as the guiding principle of the federal tax code. The armed forces of the United States have been modernized. America's military morale and national morale have been restored. The U.S. economy, the mightiest anti-poverty engine in human history, has been unleashed and more Americans are in productive labor than at any time in our national history. But, of all your achievements the one with which I am proudest to have been associated has been the restoration of the Presidency to "preeminently a place of moral leadership."
No political leader in the West has been more eloquent or outspoken in compassionate defense of the rights of the "least of these," the innocent unborn. Nor have any spoken out with greater consistency and clarity against the over-arching evil of the 20th Century: Marxism-Leninism. If, in the 21st century, that great prison house of nations, the Soviet Empire, is finally cracked open, and the captive peoples within are set free, historians will trace the origins of their deliverance to your decisions to send the Rangers and Marines to rescue Grenada for the Free World and to provide the patriots of Afghanistan, Angola and Nicaragua with the arms to recapture their countries from the quislings who betrayed them to the Soviet Empire.
In recent days, from the vantage point of that "windowless office" down the hall, I have reflected often upon the history of our movement. Today, things that were commonly alleged against us and our cause a quarter century ago, or even a decade ago, can no longer be credibly said—because you were one of us.
I regret that I depart at a time when you are beset by the little men and tiny minds that yet predominate in this capital city. But what you have done for your country and the cause of human dignity and freedom will be remembered and recalled long after such as these have achieved their last full measure of obscurity. God bless you, Mr. President. Non illegitimis carborundum. Sincerely,
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN
Note: The letters were released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 5.
Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Patrick J. Buchanan as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/252210