Skip to comments.THE HECK WITH THE "NEOCON" LABEL! I AM NOT THE ETHER ZONE'S TOKEN NEOCONSERVATIVE
Posted on 11/04/2002 12:24:31 PM PST by GOPBlonde
I'm a mainstream conservative, plain and simple. And we represent the majority of those who self-identify as "conservatives". Unfortunately, other ideological factions often distort the nature and beliefs of mainstream conservatism. True, I'm throwing a few Molotov cocktails, but it's really the best way to clarify matters.
In the Ether Zone forum, a fellow writer referred to me as a "self-proclaimed Neoconservative". Well hold your horses, bucko, I've come to reject that ridiculous label being used by both the Hard Left and the Hard Right to stereotype and assail mainstream conservatives, outrageously casting us as "warmongers". Yes, the term Neoconservative is now the equivalent of an insult being hurled at mainstream conservatives in an attempt to portray us as insidious "warmongers". I readily admit that I was a naive fool to have ever accepted that moniker, failing to realize the "battle cry" it invokes among extremes on both sides of the political spectrum, which I shall readily explore.
In a nutshell, the Hard Left represents dedicated liberals, and beyond that, there is little to say since a Leftist is a Leftist is a Leftist. These are the "Utopian Socialists" that believe if you give government enough power and tax monies, government can solve all problems. Now that's really scary! In reality, what you get from such a socialist system is coercion, lies, misery and dictatorship.
However, the Hard Right is a little more complicated, and is comprised of the Paleoconservatives (Buchananites, John Birchers, and other old-fashioned conservatives with their Isolationist/Libertarian bent) and the Ultra-Libertarians. The Paleoconservatives refer to themselves as the "genuine" or the "traditional" conservatives as they are the self-righteous purist, ready to impugn mainstream conservatives, and all others for that matter, that do not meet their finely tuned standards. And their definition of a "Neoconservative" morphs and changes to include anyone not in agreement with them. Now those who are hawk-ish on Iraq, whether Right or Left, are being snidely dubbed "Neos" by the Hard Right. According to fellow Ether Zone writer Justin Raimondo, "Those damn Neocons are everywhere!" Justin even believes that the Left is being assimilated into the "Borg Continuum" of Neoconservative thought. Isn't this a bit obsessive? Gotta fight those evil Neocons that are all around us! Geezz!
Notably, members of the Hard Right demonstrate little in the way of flexibility, so working within a political party is ultimately doomed. For instance, the Buchananites ran out of the Republican Party (hooray for us!), and quickly took over the Reform Party a few years back. Predictably, they have since been kicked out of there, leaving that independent party in ruins. It irks me that the liberal media (particularly television), in efforts to twist and obscure the true nature of mainstream conservatism, have Paleoconservative leader Pat Buchanan regularly hosting shows and guesting on a variety of programs. Political commentator Pat Buchanan has become the darling of the Left-leaning media, despite the fact that his views are not representative of the majority of conservatives. But Buchanan gives the Left-leaning media exactly what they want. He helps the liberals beat up on the Republican Party and mainstream conservatives. Buchanan's "on air" partnership with liberal Bill Press (MSNBC) is certainly not "fair and balanced". I'll stick with the Fox News Channel.
Up until a few months ago, I thought "Neoconservative" was a perfectly respectable term for those of us who switched parties and came into the GOP over twenty years ago, having become totally disillusioned with the Democratic Party. Many of us were relatively young and did not understand or appreciate the true nature of partisan politics until Ronald Reagan enlightened us about the pernicious Left. In fact, many of us still continue to refer to ourselves as "Reaganites" and hold the same political ideals that include: a) cutting marginal tax rates that unleashes a stimulative effect upon the economy, b) reining in the size and scope of government, c) creating a first class, technologically advanced military, and d) exhibiting a sense of moral certitude as we go about the task of dismantling an "Evil Empire" that poses a global threat. Of course, during the 1980's, the infamous Soviet Union was successfully brought down, thus ending the "cold war" era. Now, we are fighting radical Islamists and rogue nations that work together hand-in-glove, with the goal of destroying western civilization. To use the often cited metaphor, we must "drain the swamps" (rogue regimes) that permit the mosquitos (terrorists) to flourish. Clearly, the Hard Right always revels in the opportunity to criticize our failure at reducing government. And with a lengthy "war on terrorism" being waged, it's uncertain how our nation will reduce costs and the pool of government personnel over the next few years.
Let me reiterate that we mainstream conservatives are no warmongers! The atrocities of September 11th were brought directly to our shores, killing thousands of citizens, and were perpetrated by Islamic fanatics who intend to kill us all. We are mere "infidels" in the minds of these lunatics, the equivalent of insects to be dispassionately disposed of during the course of "Jihad". Americans have no other recourse than to fight this "war on terrorism", and to seek the overthrow of dangerous rogue nations, which aid and abet militant Islamists by providing them with monies, weaponry, and safe harbor. As to the psychopath Saddam Hussein, he is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weaponry that could easily be given to terrorist proxies for the purpose of targeting America. One way or another, we need to dismantle Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. We cannot permit America to be vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear attack.
Lastly, as I indicated in one of my prior articles, entitled "A Radicalized Ether Zone", "It's important to understand that mainstream conservatism is now comprised of a variety of camps, and that Bill Kristol (political commentator, McCain advisor, and editor of the "Weekly Standard") actually represents only a small faction within the overall movement... In terms of further bona fides, I ran on the ballot in early 1996 as a delegate for "flat tax" advocate Steve Forbes in the NY Republican primary, I can't stand McCain, I think our military should withdraw from the Balkans forthwith (leave it to the Europeans), and I probably better exemplify mainstream conservatives in background and ideology than Bill Kristol".
"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
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Carol Devine-Molin is a Republican District Leader, a community activist, and the host of "On The Right Side", a local program sponsored by the Republicans, and seen throughout most of Westchester County, New York. She is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Carol can be reached at DevineMolin@aol.com
Published in the November 11, 2002 issue of Ether Zone. Copyright © 1997 - 2002 Ether Zone.
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... Let me reiterate that we mainstream conservatives are no warmongers! ...Speak for yourself, neocon. I want precision guided munitions to descend upon Baghdad like a gentle summer rain and I want it now. I want tank formations and carrier fleets and elite special operations details and missile-bearing drone aircraft. In sum, I want it all.
More likely they criticize increases in government from neocons.
And with a lengthy "war on terrorism" being waged, it's uncertain how our nation will reduce costs and the pool of government personnel over the next few years.
It would take a person with a head injury to honestly believe that in the absence of the WoT, neocons would be pushing for a decrease in the size and scope of government.
Increasing the size of government is what neocons do. It's what distinguishes them from other conservatives. You might obtain a plurality of neocons within the conservative movement, and that will be the only way you'll ever be considered "mainstream conservative' - by redefining the term.
Me too, for the simple reason that if we don't do this we will pay dearly in the long run, kinda a similar reason to drill in ANWR.
I would only add that it seems odd, to me anyway, that the economic-not-social conservatives(neos?) hold Reagan up as one of them, when Reagan was considered a 'right-wing rogue' even by the GOP.
The man was extremely conservative on social issues, which seems to be the measure of a 'paleo' these days.
Must not have children in the military eh?
... Must not have children in the military eh? ...What an odd rejoinder. You seem to imply that any person's support for, or opposition to, a policy goal must be, by definition, motivated by self interest. You also seem to want to believe that we have something other than a professional, volunteer military--no one serves unless they want to. You also seem to believe that our brothers and sisters in uniform are not sworn by oath to defend our interests here or abroad, or that they themselves are somehow motivated only by self-interest, when simply wearing the uniform argues otherwise.
Literally translated, it's "New Conservative", which helps you not at all.
In this usage, it's a conservative that is to the left of a "paleocon", or "old conservative".
If you can answer that one you'll be teaching Political Science before the month is out. We do have a distressing tendency to eat our own.
Having fun so far?
A Neocon faux pas! Read Buchanan's "A Republic Not An Empire." In his intro he discusses his efforts to shed the label and notes that "isolationism" is a "dismissive slur on a tradition of U.S. independence in foreign policy and nonintervention in foreign wars." <
If surrendering the responsibility to serve as the world's policeman may be labeled "isolationism" than so be it. Time for our allies to step up to the plate and policew their own backyards. This is outside the context of the War on Terror which, like Pearl Harbor, calls for retaliation.
Couldn't agree with you more on that. So why not put more of our money and military expertise into guarding our borders. Bush and Ashcroft are not making a valient effort to do this. If we're really aware of our vulnerability we have to close our borders to all but a few select immigrants.
How many nations around the world do we have troops stationed in? Do we really need to be in Germany and Korea, still? I'm just saying, we've overcommitted ourselves globally and that's part of the reason we're a terrorist target. As O'Reilly says, tell me where I'm wrong?
If you can answer that one you'll be teaching Political Science before the month is out. We do have a distressing tendency to eat our own.
But the answer is simple. Conservatives fight among ourselves because we define our political positions (in general) as being for something. And of course, we are not all for the same things with the same intensity.
Leftists, on the other hand, other than being for socialism, seem to define themselves entirely on what they are against. They basically determine that they are against something, then claim the Republicans support the position that they are against, and thus the liberal democrats tend to join together because predominantly they are againsters. If you notice what motivates them, it is what they are against. Heck, go over to the DU - you will only very rarely find anyone pushing an agenda that they are for - their entire forum is based on what they are against. This is why they tell so many lies - they have to define the "Pubbies" as the bogeymen.
First they decide what they are against.
Second they claim that Republicans are for whatever they are against.
Therefore, they vote against Republicans, and that is their motivation.
NATO? A relic of WW2 that is no longer necessary in it's current form. We should not be committed to coming to the defense of the entirety of the European continent, which we nearly are at this point. And do we have to be in a defense pact with Korea forever? no, no, no! At some point we must relinquish this to regional allies.
I'm all for being in as many countries as possible to hunt down Al Qaida. Let do it! And you're right that we shouldn't bring any troops home until this is accomplished. But at some point we have to realize our limits and take care of THIS country.
I would preffer the term Nationalist Conservative. Others have called my position Hamiltonian/Federalist. (Most paleos are of the Jefferson-Jackson-Calhoun line).
I think that we do need to call for smaller, government, but we cannot afford to be doves. We are at war and are defeding ourselves and Western Civ.
The long-term fix is going to involve several tracks; merely sticking bodies down on the southern border will not stop illegal immigration, and won't appreciably slow it down unless we have an ungodly number of folks on both northern and southern borders, and every stretch of coastline as well.
There's lots of blame to go around on the immigration issue. But the immigrants are still "knowingly" breaking our laws and are thus unaccounted for once here, so I blame them for their lawlessness. Plus our INS is infected with political correctness and will not or are incapable of enforcing our laws. It's not about bigotry as you suggest. If blond-haired Swedes were the problem I'n be all for keeping them out as well.
DemocRATS welcome illegals in order to swell their minority voting ranks, while Repubs want them for cheap labor and to cozy up to the Hispanic vote. This is an outrage when are borders are not secure.
Watch out...I've been called intellectually dishonest and a 'rat for saying that. And I'm naive and misinformed because of my anti-globalist stands.
It's a shame. There are a lot of views that a majority of conservatives favor, but social conservatives who want to preserve our way of life, our laws, and secure our safety by closing borders to most immigration just aren't conservative enough anymore.
I resent that there are those who think that being a "conservative" means that one must forgo what are deemed "liberal" views on some issues. I don't feel that one has to be ideologically pure to be acceptable.
Many people have the wrong understanding that the neocon terms means they are just new arrivals to conservatism but that is not so - it means a new type of conservatism - one made in their image. There has been some good documentaries on the old left, including the neocons on PBS and some good interviews on C-Span's booknotes which you should track down if you have an interest in the subject.
By the way a couple of months ago on C-Span during a Q & A of a panel group Irving Kristol was asked if he regretted being a socialist in his past and he said socialism was like a fair maiden with whom he had a fling in his youth and had no regrets, only fond memories.
I would note that the second generation neocons like Bill Bennet were never communists.
All I want is victory !
How very Leninist of you!