If you have read Pat Buchanan's, The Death of the West, then it is unlikely this book will provide anything new for you. In fact I highly recommend that book as a far more coherent read given that it was published in 2002--before Pat became a fierce anti-Bush zealot rivaling his liberal colleagues--when Pat was thinking more about the country and less about George W Bush. I estimate that more than two-thirds of the pages contained in Day of Reckoning are spent railing against the Bush Administration and labeling our military's work in Iraq as nothing more than empirical.
The book is a great study of what can happen to someone who spends far too many years in Washington DC. The book shows Pat has become overly cynical painting such American patriarchs as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln as nothing more than political opportunists willing to either ignore or use slavery to achieve their goals for America. Only someone exposed to the Washingtonian culture would come to such conclusions. For those that feel inclined to agree with Pat...
Thomas Jefferson was indeed a slaveholder, which would indeed seem to make him into a hypocrite for keeping his slaves while penning the words "all men are created equal". But Pat doesn't mention that the original draft presented to the Continental Congress contained language opposing the slave trade, and that this language had to be dropped (to Jefferson's great disappointment) if the southern states were to ratify the document. Without the southern states, the American Revolution would not have happened.
Abraham Lincoln was also highly critical of the South's use if slavery, and personally hated the practice (which Pat also ignores in his book). But Lincoln also knew that the Civil War was about far more than just slavery, and that if he made the practice illegal before the war was won then more states would likely have seceded giving the South victory and ensuring the continuance of slavery and inequality for generations. As he famously wrote to Horace Greeley, the Civil War had to be about preserving the Union first. Only then could the Union ever hope to completely and rightly address the immorality of the slave trade.
Pat's view of America's 21st century role in the world is mostly misguided and obsolete. He wants America to return to the protectionism and isolationism of the early years of America. But the problems of the late 18th century and most of the 19th century could be conveniently disregarded by two great oceans on our eastern and western borders. In the age of iPhones and cyberspace and air travel, countries are at our fingertips and desktops within hours if not seconds. This world already had a taste of what protectionism does when applied to modern economics e.g. the global depression of the 1930s that led, in part, to the World War II. No matter, Pat would have us ignore all this and retreat from the world stage like the Elves of Middle-Earth in The Lord of the Rings.
It is somewhat scary that Pat is even willing to forgive and forget the threat of Russia if it means turning America into an introspective nation--a member of the world, but not the "city on the hill" that Pat's former boss, President Regan, wished to aspire us to be. And it is definitely disappointing for this longtime Buchanan supporter to see one of his political heroes siding with the left in laying the fault for 9/11 at the feet of his own country. All in the name of isolationism. It is ironic that he accuses Bush & Co of zealous newconservatism while he pursues his own ideology throughout the book with an attitude that only Purtian Salem, Massachusetts could be proud of.
Despite his cynicism, and that I reject his protectionist and isolationist views, Pat is 100% correct as it pertains to liberalism's war on our culture, the Constitution, and the devastating effects of unchecked immigration--legal and illegal. He does a vastly superior job of articulating his arguments about these issues in The Death of the West and again I highly suggest owning that book.
I also agree with one aspect of his foreign policy. In Superman For All Seasons (and somewhat in Kingdom Come), you discover that part of Lex's distaste for Superman comes from his belief that a world full of god-like superheroes is more a danger than a help since humans no longer feel accountable or responsible for security and safety. Why should they when people like Superman will always be around to fix anything that gets out of hand.
Lex might have a point in that with the United States stretched onto every continent as the leading "Superman", much of the free world has come to depend on us to fix their messes while maintaining our own national security. The result is a neutered western Europe, a Central and Latin America that has no problem allowing their oppressed to become our welfare state, the Oriental world owning more of our country than we do, and a situation that could be exploited by an opportunistic Russia or Iran or Venezuela. Sooner rather than later we have got to consider that many of our post-WWII responsibilities e.g. NATO must be rewritten if not phased out completely. Not only is this necessary for our national security, but it is also for the sake of our allies.
My further thoughts on Pat Buchanan's, Day of Reckoning:
CH 2, End of a Unipolar World
CH 3, The Gospel of George Bush
CH 4, Imperial Overstretch
CH 5, Who Shall Inherit the Earth
CH 6, Deconstructing America
CH 7, Colony of the World