Skip to comments.Repost: "Enough With The Neocon And Paleocon Carping—I'll Stand With George W. Bush In 2004"
Posted on 08/10/2007 8:47:56 AM PDT by Reaganesque
Like most Toogood Reports readers, I observed this year's battles within the conservative ranks with profound discomfort. In my mind, there are far too many real enemies out there to waste time and print fighting one another.
It seems that the world of conservatism has been split up between the "conservatives" and the "paleo-conservatives" or between the "conservatives" and the "neo-conservatives." Both sides present themselves as the bona fide article and the other side as the one in need of a prefix.
Personally, I just want to spit up this strife the same way the bleachers of Wrigley Field do the opposition´s home run balls. This qualifies as a "which side are you on boys" issue. It is my goal to conserve America's wonderful, non-living Constitution, and to forever preserve the personal and economic freedoms that embody our way of life. If you agree with me about these basic propositions, then you're on my side and the rest of your views are of secondary concern. Simply revering the spirit of the Founding Fathers puts you in the top 50 percent of the population on the Chap-o-meter.
Not only is an inter-journalist, inter-intellectual, conservative civil war fruitless, it is also detrimental to the nation as a whole. The country needs all of our efforts just to have a chance of mitigating the damage the culture war has wrought.
Our daily resistance may be the biggest obstacle to the federal pacman swallowing up fifty percent of the economy. We cannot afford to bicker amongst ourselves. The odds are too great. Obsessing over who said what about Taki, Buchanan, Frum, Lowry or any of the other public figures who make up the American right is counter-productive.
The neocon/paleocon debate is as bewildering as it is petty and misguided. Sadly, some conservatives now feel more comfortable with leftists than they do their own kind [I know of one who astonished me by saying that he regards the American Enterprise Institute as "The Death Star"]. Certainly, internal disagreements are to be expected, but they are trivial in comparison to accepting the positions advocated by the other side of the political spectrum. Socialism, cultural Marxism, white guilt, and radical feminism are eternal obstacles to advancing society. Other conflicts pale in importance when compared to them.
I propose that we abandon slurs like paleo-con and neo-con. Instead we should all evolve into "Logicons." The Logicon refuses to slash at the brethren who march alongside him because maintaining some level of public harmony is the only logical way in which we will succeed. Logicons realize that our fighting strength should not be diluted by internecine combat.
Much of the controversy currently centers around President Bush and whether or not one approves of his job performance. I've written here and elsewhere how much I personally admire him, but I also acknowledge that certain criticisms have been valid. Those who label him a big spender are correct in their assessments. He has not used his veto to curb the size of government and has developed a habit of hugging Ted Kennedy's voluminous appropriations.
While this is unfortunate, to pretend that Bush is not the best bet for advancing the country's interests is shortsighted. There are many conservatives out there who could do a better job of slashing outlays, but it is highly unlikely that any of them could get elected by our emotive and squishy electorate. On our side, George W. Bush "feels their pain" better than anyone. He brings in moderate voters the way my old Erie Dearie lures used to bag walleyes .
The problem is one of perspective. We can spend time complaining about steel tariffs or the administration´s pathetic capitulation on affirmative action last summer. Yes, I would have been greatly pleased if he disseminated a Michigan Law brief of his own after the decision entitled O´Connor a Known Fruitcake, but the fact is that he didn't and there´s nothing we can do about it. However, we must keep our outlook global by remembering what the alternatives are.
What would Al Gore do with affirmative action? How about Howard Dean, the neurotic would-be-king, with Al Qaeda? Makes you shudder doesn´t it? After the election, Al Sharpton would take his standup around the world as our Secretary of State and we´d hear Patricia Ireland lambasting patriarchal textbooks in her role as Secretary of Education.
In actuality, my examples really aren´t all that farfetched. The radical left has been carrying the Democrat Party since 2001 and, now, if the Democrats win, bills will need to be paid.
Rather than fantasize about an ideal future, conservatives need to think about how things can, and will, get devastatingly worse, should Bush lose. Be it Dean or Kerry or whatever burrito they decide to roll out of the Taqueria next summer, the fate of the country will be in jeopardy. By this time in 2006, there will be a foreign policy coward in every pot and a benefit check in the hands of every college drop out. Think France, think Germany, and then be grateful we have a president who doesn't spit after saying "tax cuts."
Besides, the Bush Presidency has produced many hidden benefits. His appointees may well be our salvation even though he backs obese budgets. In the latest issue of The New Criterion, we see that his appointments to the National Endowment of the Arts have had a wonderful effect. Under Dana Gioia, the agency is sponsoring Macbeth for military bases and has resurrected traditional Shakespeare at the national level [Shakespearean plays are now staged as in the days of old which means brothels and bath house scenes are no longer mandatory].
I don´t care if you insult him or trade in Karl Rove conspiracy theories, but, in November of 2004, this particular rightist is going to stand by George W. Bush just as the bumper sticker on my car promises. Our hopes for a better tomorrow rest in the White House on his bed. We must support him because heady days await and also because his reelection keeps the Democrat Party headless. Let´s proudly stand by our man as he loudly subsumes the popular positions of the left while promoting many of ours in the shadows though his judges, appointees, and minions.
By Bernard Chapin
Read the comments from fellow Freepers.
"When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn't like it. "Compromise" was a dirty word to them and they wouldn't face the fact that we couldn't get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don't get it all, some said, don't take anything.
"I'd learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: 'I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.'
"If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that's what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.
~~ Ronald Reagan, in his autobiography, An American Life
Neo-con, Paleo-Con, whatever. The idea, at least to my and President Reagan's mind, is to successfully implement those programs and ideals that we think would most benefit America. If we can't get a candidate that matches up 100% to our personal definition of what a Conservative is, the answer is not to withhold our vote but to take what we can get and then work with that "flawed" candidate to get the rest of what you want. The alternative is to allow someone who is 100% opposed to your point of view to be elected President of the United States. Does that really make any sense?
So, my question to FR is this:
What is a Conservative?
Who gets to decide this?
Which is more important: To lose utterly and suffer harmful ideological and electoral setbacks, or winning a partial victory and have the ability to advance Conservatism if only slightly? Why?
I am very interested to know what people think on this subject.
So, have at it...
What do you guys think?
It’s relative, it depends on which conservative you talk to.
Very much so, apparently. So how can anyone say “you’re not a real Conservative?”
You know what they say about opinions....everyone gots one.
Wasting all on the impossible make the rest that is probable moot. There is no one left to achieve it.
There is the way things are and the way things ought to be. Deal with the first, dream of the latter...
Very true! ;-)
A Conservative is someone who believes in the value and power of the individual over the system.
Everything else we believe or do rolls right back to that core belief.
Just like belly buttons...
And a**holes ;-)
I am a Bushy.
Well put. Thanks!
I think President Hinckley put it best: Vote for the candidate who best represents your ideas of good government.
That said, one factor in deciding who to vote for should be electability. It seems silly to vote for the exact match to your political beliefs if the candidate has 0.2% chance of winning.
It's most realistic to support the guy who's near the top and matches your ideals most of the time.
Reagan wasn't great because he was perfect, but because he did most of what he did very well, and for the right reasons.
“Which is more important: To lose utterly and suffer harmful ideological and electoral setbacks, or winning a partial victory and have the ability to advance Conservatism if only slightly? Why?”
This is a no-brainer ....
The first choice leaves you worse off, minimizes any possible input you may have in the future, and emboldens your opponants - there is no such thing as a “partial loss”
As long as everyone understands that my opinion is superior, we’ll all get along.
You have to be in the game to play it......
Because the central plank that united all conservatives was smaller, less intrusive government. Our current President has expanded government as much as LBJ. He was electable and is a decent person, certainly. But he’s not conservative.