Literature Study GuidesPat Buchanans Culture War Speech

Pat Buchanan's Culture War Speech | Study Guide

Pat Buchanan

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Pat Buchanan

Year Delivered



Primary Source


History, Speech

At a Glance

  • On August 17, 1992, Patrick J. "Pat" Buchanan (b. 1938) delivered his Culture War Speech at the Republican National Convention.
  • The convention was preparing to endorse the Republican incumbent, President George H.W. Bush (1924–2018).
  • Buchanan, a staunch conservative, had challenged the more moderate Bush for the Republican nomination.
  • The Bush campaign offered Buchanan the chance to give a speech at the national convention as a way to unify the party.
  • Buchanan delivered a blistering speech that evoked a culture war, or a bitter and polarizing debate between opposing sides of the political spectrum, largely related to social issues.
  • Buchanan stressed a number of social issues, including abortion rights, gay rights, feminism, school funding, religion, environmental regulations, law and order, and a general fear about the changing nature of American society.
  • Buchanan made a strong appeal to the Christian right, an important wing of the Republican Party.
  • Buchanan's notion of culture war became a widely used metaphor to describe the growing partisan divide in the United States.


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