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The Neoconservative Cabal
AEI ^ | 9/3/03 | Joshua Muravchik

Posted on 09/28/2003 5:06:39 PM PDT by William McKinley

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To: inPhase
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism_(United_States)
101 posted on 09/28/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by Helms (Can anyone, will anyone give me a lucrative or any kind of BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: fqued
I am a conservative, and I have seldom seem the word "neo-conservative" used in a non-disparaging way.

It is actually a name that they gave to themselves and use in self-reference when conversing with each other. Ironically they are almost always the first to object about pejorative connotations when somebody else refers to them with that same word.

102 posted on 09/28/2003 7:19:33 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: quidnunc
What an interesting article! Thanks for posting
103 posted on 09/28/2003 7:22:49 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: William McKinley
One could draw a parallel between today's neocons and the War Hawks of 1812 or imperialists of 1898. No one could plausibly maintain that John C.Calhoun or Theodore Roosevelt were Trotskyists or Straussians, but they did take over our foreign policy agenda with consequences that weren't always for the best.

Whether or not critics are right in general about neoconservatism and Trotskyism, they may well have Muravchik's number: his own "neoconservatism" may well be a continuation of his early socialist and revolutionary hopes. Given that he is a former head of the Young People's Socialist League, he is spectacularly ill-placed to refute accusations of radicalism made against neocons. Critics could well argue that he's never let go of his ambition to remake the world.

There's also plenty of room to question Muravchik's feeling that 911 confirmed the validity of neocon theories. It's to be expected that Muravchik would view it in that light, but he doesn't muster evidence to support his view. Force in international probably has been vindicated, if it ever needed to be, but just how, when, and where force should be applied is still a question for debate. Not every use of force will be successful, effective or appropriate.

104 posted on 09/28/2003 7:23:44 PM PDT by x
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To: risk
Let's take him at his word. He was agreeing that the two posts quoted are not in contradiction and represent what tpaine considers to be neoconservatism (and scary). First was:
"The main difference between them and leftists is what goals they want to achieve thru the power of government"
What are these goals? that is what the second picked up on:
American religious, political, and economic freedom is at the forefront of human advancement and transcends cultural boundaries.

Freedom abroad translates to safety and prosperity for Americans.

America's global power should be used to promote and defend this freedom.

It is this which he considers to be scary. I am not lying to you- he really does.
105 posted on 09/28/2003 7:24:39 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: AndyJackson; William McKinley
"if you think the primary people who use the label 'neoconservative' are the people who are labelled 'neoconservative', you are delusional."

This is starting to rock. Suggest you are ready for Stanislaw Lem's "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub",

will clear things right up for all.
106 posted on 09/28/2003 7:25:18 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: x
It would have been quite the trick for Calhoun to be a Trotskyist, no? :-)
107 posted on 09/28/2003 7:26:00 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
So, would you describe paleocons as non-interventionists, protectionists, closed borders types?
108 posted on 09/28/2003 7:27:01 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: x
I don't think that he is attempting to refute accusations of radicalism amongst neoconservatives. I think he is suggesting that ninety percent (to choose a number at random) of those called neocons aren't, and that the label as currently used has little meaning.

I can tell from the discussion here that many are ready to call me a neocon, despite the fact that I am not one. It has become a pejorative without meaning for entirely too many.

There's also plenty of room to question Muravchik's feeling that 911 confirmed the validity of neocon theories. It's to be expected that Muravchik would view it in that light, but he doesn't muster evidence to support his view. Force in international probably has been vindicated, if it ever needed to be, but just how, when, and where force should be applied is still a question for debate. Not every use of force will be successful, effective or appropriate.
Couldn't agree with you more on every single point in that paragraph.
109 posted on 09/28/2003 7:30:11 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Each of those descriptions fit. But together they do not form a definition.

And non0nterventionist is not strong enough.

110 posted on 09/28/2003 7:33:14 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Helms
Amother good office door post
111 posted on 09/28/2003 7:34:28 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: William McKinley
I would then imagine than anyone whose beliefs are diametrically opposite to those basic descriptions would then be a "neo" conservative.

Please provide a better word than "non-interventionist".
112 posted on 09/28/2003 7:35:53 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
Barney Rubble
...
was getting suspicious of something like that..
113 posted on 09/28/2003 7:38:45 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: risk
I agree, WK.. Scary people, neo-cons.

What scares you?

Clowns that think democracy is our future. I'm a believer in our republic.

Are you afraid that all the comfort and stability won for your generation

Whoa boy! -- I was born in '36 and served 3 years in the US 503rd & 502nd. Some of my generaton fought, just as some of yours did, I'm sure. Are you claiming you fought for me?

by hardbitten American warriors from Tripoli to Khe San might slip away because we anger a few Arabs?

Get off your bandstand son. I'm criticizing neo-con political policy, not the defense of our nation.

Imagine that reaction on December 7th, 1941. "Oh gee, we shouldn't have imposed the oil embargo on those poor, downtrodden Japs." You might be surprised to know that anti-American propaganda has resurfaced in Asia along those very lines.

I'm not surprised much anymore by any of the silly rhetoric the neos put out.. Why has a neo tough guy, as you seem to style yourself, -- become their patsy?

114 posted on 09/28/2003 7:44:24 PM PDT by tpaine ( I'm trying to be Mr Nice Guy, but politics keep getting in me way. ArnieRino for Governator)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez wrote: Please provide a better word than "non-interventionist".

Isolationist.

Here's my personal assessment of paleocons: They're the intellectual heirs of the Know-nothings, Copperheads and the America-Firsters.

In other words they're nativist, sympathetic to the Confederacy and isolationist.

115 posted on 09/28/2003 7:44:26 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
No, I do not accept the premise that someone whose views are diametrically opposed to what the paleos claim as their mantle is a neocon.

Despite the antipathy between the two groups, both have certain things in common, including a respect for the role of religion in life.

The word I would have used instead of non-interventionist is isolationist.

116 posted on 09/28/2003 7:45:17 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: quidnunc
In your opinion, who is/was the greatest conservative in the past thrity years or so?
117 posted on 09/28/2003 7:45:36 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
In your opinion, who is/was the greatest conservative in the past thirty years or so?
118 posted on 09/28/2003 7:46:29 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
""Is that the definition of neoconservative, then? Anyone who supports Israel is a neocon?"

"If that is the working definition of neocon, then I guess I am one, and proudly so. I am for the only functioning government in the Middle East that is not based upon totalitarianism.""

Thanks, just trying to understand.

But on the other hand not all who believe in Judaism or are linked by race (as they see it) are neoconservative which we all know.

Good forum. thanks.
119 posted on 09/28/2003 7:47:25 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: William McKinley
Ideologies are defined by their differences, not their commonalities.

120 posted on 09/28/2003 7:50:04 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: billbears
Sorry but I'm not part of any group that considers FDR a hero. Never mind the 'foreign policy', if that's what you want to call the current actions by the Bush administration

That's precisely the issue. In fact I would add that the central and defining problem with neo-conservatism is not its view of foreign policy (In fact I find many things that I agree with in their alleged foreign policy such as taking out the islamotrash). It is not some abnormal love relationship they have with Israel (In fact I also support Israel in its own fight against the islamotrash of that region). And it is not their interests in the middle east (which, once again, are legitimately opposed to the islamotrash gutter religion that poses an openly hostile threat to Christianity, Judaism, and liberty itself). I'll readily concede that the neoconservative positions on each of these issues are not perfect and in some cases may be distorted by that which is wrong with neoconservatism but they themselves are not exclusively neoconservatism or its problems.

The central and defining problem is this: neoconservatism has no objection to the widespread and growing exercise of power by the state. In fact it becomes openly tolerant of the state's growing power when control falls into their hands, making them government's "caretakers." It does not matter what they use that power for as that is only incident to their open tolerance and embrace of big government. The great danger in this brand of "big government conservatism" is the fact that it is inherently a self contradiction that shuns the underlying principles of American conservatism as it has been historically known to its adherents:

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

That famous statement by Goldwater has been the defining doctrine of American conservatives for almost half a century. It is the statement that our movement was founded on. It is the statement that the Republican Party gradually came to adopt as its own defining doctrine from roughly 1964 to 1995. And it is the defining doctrine that non-neoconservatives still adhere to at the present.

That statement, the Goldwater doctrine, is basis from which conservatism derives. Neoconservatism by its very nature seeks to eradicate the Goldwater doctrine from the conservative movement and in such has become a disease upon conservatism. It is a dangerous and threatening disease because it does not attack us from outside like the left. A strong tree's bark can generally defend it from external diseases and our tree does so with liberalism. But neoconservatism has infected our tree's roots and if those roots die the existing tree will topple. It matters not what policies they advocate as policies do not achieve this. It only matters that through their assault from within it is being achieved.

121 posted on 09/28/2003 7:51:15 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Luis Gonzalez
In which regard? Politician, without question Reagan. Other politicians who I have admired during the past 30 years have been Gingrich (although at times he needed to think more before talking), Santorum, Rumsfeld, Cheney.

But I will admit to having to think a long time. I tend to not really look to recent politicians when looking for matches to my own ideology. I tend to look back further. I happen to share much of the outlook of McKinley, hence the name. I admired Robert Taft quite a bit. Edmund Burke and John Adams were even more influential on my outlook.

I much prefer the politics of George W. Bush to George H. W. Bush. I would vote for Arnold if I lived in California and felt like Bustamante would win; if I lived in California and didn't think Bustamante would win I would vote McClintock.

I will vote Toomey over Specter in the primary. Should Specter beat Toomey I will vote Specter over the Democrat.

I prefer Goldwater before he got old to Goldwater after he got old. I prefer Reagan to either incarnation of Goldwater.

Why do you ask?

122 posted on 09/28/2003 7:52:37 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
Because by your definition, Reagan was a neocon.
123 posted on 09/28/2003 7:53:37 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: tpaine
>>> Clowns that think democracy is our future. I'm a believer in our republic.

You don't think our republic is a form of democracy? Interesting.

>>> I'm criticizing neo-con political policy, not the defense of our nation.

What did any of our wars overseas have to do with defending this nation, then? What neo-con policy are you criticizing that you wouldn't have criticized in 1900, 1914, 1941, 1950, and 1965? What is the difference between isolationism then and now?

>>> Are you claiming you fought for me?

No.

>>> Why has a neo tough guy, as you seem to style yourself, -- become their patsy?

Whose patsy? You were flippant about the pro-Japanese imperialist propaganda that I've encountered right here in the Bay Area. So what would you have done after the Tripartite agreement of 1937? What is the difference between it and the axis of evil today?
124 posted on 09/28/2003 7:53:38 PM PDT by risk
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I disagree with you on that.
125 posted on 09/28/2003 7:53:40 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez wrote: In your opinion, who is/was the greatest conservative in the past thrity years or so?

Two names come to mind:

Ronald Reagan because he was elected to the presidency twice, and…

William F. Buckley because he was hugely involved in the rise of conservatism as we know it today.

Either one could fill the bill admirably.

126 posted on 09/28/2003 7:55:38 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: William McKinley
"It is this which he considers to be scary. I am not lying to you- he really does."
-wm-

You could try to develop the guts to at least ping me to your petty sarcasum..
I have no clue what your point is above, but one thing is sure.. You also have no clue what 'scares' me.

Perhaps you just think you're cute. Are you?
127 posted on 09/28/2003 7:57:16 PM PDT by tpaine ( I'm trying to be Mr Nice Guy, but politics keep getting in me way. ArnieRino for Governator)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
By my definition he was? If you insist.

But if you ask me instead of putting words in my mouth, I would say that Reagan was a traditional conservative who had some pragmatism to him that led him to compromise certain conservative postions (and I do not think that is a bad thing- I think it is reality). And I think he took a view on fighting communism which was more along the lines of what the neoconservative view was; and the success of his efforts has made it so that it is now a conservative position to hold these views (since my definition of conservatism is the applied wisdom of history; what history has shown works is something conservatives should embrace).

128 posted on 09/28/2003 7:57:18 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: tpaine
I couldn't care less if you think I have guts or not, tpaine.
129 posted on 09/28/2003 7:58:18 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
Are you saying that the man who signed and drove NAFTA into being was a protectionist?

The man who gave amnesty to millions of illegal aliens was an advocate of closed borders?

Or that the man who said these words was an isolationalist?

"The task that has fallen to us as Americans is to move the conscience of the world, to keep alive the hope and dream of freedom. For if we fail or falter, there'll be no place for the world's oppressed to flee to. This is not a role we sought. We preach no manifest destiny. But like the Americans who brought a new nation into the world 200 years ago, history has asked much of us in our time. Much we've already given; much more we must be prepared to give."

"This is not a task we shrink from; it's a task we welcome. For with the privilege of living in this kindly, pleasant, greening land called America, this land of generous spirit and great ideals, there is also a destiny and a duty, a call to preserve and hold in sacred trust mankind's age-old aspirations of peace and freedom and a better life for generations to come." -- Ronald Reagan

Reagan's politics were as far from a paleocon as you can get, the issues I brought up are the core ideals of the "paleo" movement. Those are by no means small differences.

The neoconservative ideology championed by Ronald Reagan brought about the fall of the Soviet Union, the elevation of the United States to the position of the lone world superpower, and the greatest period of financial prosperity in this nation's history.

Make mine a neoconservative.

130 posted on 09/28/2003 8:02:13 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
Thanks, we agree on a few things, yes,

like your example
the "ring in Tolkein's LOTR"

hey I am enjoying this all.
131 posted on 09/28/2003 8:02:25 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Post the facts , Luis, over and over and OVER agian, until they sink in! It would appear, that few people here, actually know anything substansive, at all, about Ronald Reagan.
132 posted on 09/28/2003 8:05:19 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons
bttt
133 posted on 09/28/2003 8:06:11 PM PDT by risk
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Are you saying
No, I said none of those things, which makes the rest of your post nothing but a strawman argument.

I do think Reagan was far from being a paleocon. By your definition then, not mine, he would be a neocon, since you said that ideologies are defined by their differences.

But I never agreed to that. I disagreed with it. I think that ideologies are defined by the beliefs- which can include similarities and differences.

I will confess to you that I have no idea where you are coming from nor going to with your arguments with me. Perhaps if you would state your point instead of trying to lead me into making your point with my replies, and perhaps if you would stop trying to put words in my mouth when I don't make your point with my replies, we could have a better debate or discussion. Because as it now stands, I don't know if you and I agree or disagree on anything in particular, other than I know I disagree with how you have characterized what I think.

134 posted on 09/28/2003 8:07:24 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: nopardons
I'm just an immigrant, a stranger to these shores...what the hell do I know?

It seems to me that these people are constantly trying to convince me that the roots of traditional conservatism are Dixiecrats.
135 posted on 09/28/2003 8:08:24 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: nopardons
What on earth are you babbling about? In what regard am I mistaken about Reagan? What did I not know about him? What misconception did I have?

Please, point it out to me. I would love to learn.

136 posted on 09/28/2003 8:08:51 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
Since Reagan was a passionate supporter of FDR ( even during his OWN two term presidency ), that WOULD , by FR's loose deffinition of the term, make Reagan a NEOCON !
137 posted on 09/28/2003 8:09:29 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons
nopardons wrote: Post the facts , Luis, over and over and OVER agian, until they sink in! It would appear, that few people here, actually know anything substansive, at all, about Ronald Reagan.

Actually they do know, but if the facts don't jibe with their political ideology they engage in malicious misinterpretation — or just plain lying.

138 posted on 09/28/2003 8:09:29 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: quidnunc
That too, that too, friend.
139 posted on 09/28/2003 8:10:14 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: William McKinley
It's real simple.

Paleocons are trying to lay claim to the mantle of "true conservatism" and to the Reagan legacy...nothing further from the truth.

The paleo movement has no roots in anything resembling traditional conservatism.
140 posted on 09/28/2003 8:10:47 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
If that is what you think I am trying to convince you, then your reading comprehension is very poor.

I am no Dixiecrat.

My conservatism is the conservatism (as I have said about four or five times on this thread alone) of Burke and John Adams. I think LewRockwell.com is garbage.

141 posted on 09/28/2003 8:11:59 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
So why are you arguing vociferously with someone who agrees with your stance a lot more than he disagrees with it?
142 posted on 09/28/2003 8:12:37 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: goldstategop
Word!
143 posted on 09/28/2003 8:12:38 PM PDT by Hazzardgate (RIP Paul Kersey)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I would argue that it's the other way around. Zero government conservatives have been around since the whisky rebellion.
144 posted on 09/28/2003 8:13:58 PM PDT by risk
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To: William McKinley
"One whose outlook on life and politics is guided by distilling the lessons of history. A conservative is a person who realizes that before you tear down a fence, you understand why the fence was
constructed. A conservative is one who understands that all those before us knew is greater than
what any one of us knows now, and as such should be preserved. A conservative is also one who
realizes that history shows that change happens, and as such can't be and shouldn't be fought; rather
change should be managed to make sure that the baby isn't thrown out with the bathwater. "


Thanks for your thoughts.
Sound religious to me. Is a liberal one who ignores history like FDR?,
And if conservatives and liberals pay attention to history then that is not defining anything.
145 posted on 09/28/2003 8:14:11 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: William McKinley
You cannot define Adams, or any of the Founders as conservatives or liberals, the ideologies have shifted too much to make that connection.

Theoretically, the Founders were in fact Liberals as they sought to overthrow the status quo and set a new one in place.
146 posted on 09/28/2003 8:14:19 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez wrote: It's real simple. Paleocons are trying to lay claim to the mantle of "true conservatism" and to the Reagan legacy...nothing further from the truth. The paleo movement has no roots in anything resembling traditional conservatism.

For one thing, if Reragan was able to still comprehend the issues he would never have dreamed of siding with Arabdom against Israel.

147 posted on 09/28/2003 8:14:35 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: risk
"Zero government conservatives"

No such thing.

148 posted on 09/28/2003 8:16:30 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: nopardons
Who is FR?

If you mean the website, then I will invoke Rummy. The website is a computer program. It has no views or opinions. People have views and opinions.

From what I can tell, you are ascribing to me views I do not hold. So I am asking you, to please clarify what you are saying, and if you are saying I believe something in particular, please substantiate your assertion.

149 posted on 09/28/2003 8:16:45 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
In your opinion, who is/was the greatest conservative in the past thrity years or so?

Barry Goldwater, and Reagan would probably agree with me.

150 posted on 09/28/2003 8:17:03 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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