Skip to comments.How Bill Kristol ditched conservatism. Great Escape
Posted on 10/03/2002 7:41:50 PM PDT by logician2u
click here to read article
As I recall, some posters were quite upset that we are no longer the beacon of freedom and example for other countries to follow but rather thought of as a bully to the rest of the world. Others took exception to the word bully and accused the original poster of being a member of the Hate America First Crowd, etc. They insisted they were the genuine conservatives, since they were preserving America from the terrorists while the anti-war faction was inviting our destruction.
Without getting into the pros and cons of first strike, pre-emptive attack and advanced concepts such as MAD, I believe it is necessary that we FReepers understand which way the conservative movement has drifted since the end of the Cold War.
As a start, I am posting this article, originally published in that formerly left-wing but now respectable journal of opinion, The New Republic, over a year ago. It provides some background on the evolution of neo-conservativism from a pseudo-libertarian, don't-trust-the-government movement of former socialists and New Dealers to the "national greatness" conservatism as practiced openly by McCain and Kristol and, without a doubt, in the closet by any number of others, both in and out of the Bush Administration.
I would welcome any comments, as well as links to articles on Free Republic that supplement what Mr. Foer writes.
And please, for the sake of discussion and faster loading of the page for people using a dial-up account, refrain from inserting huge graphics that only clutter the screen and detract from the subject at hand. We are all perfectly aware of what happened on September 11, 2001.
Can that be due to its relative meaninglessness since Reagan left office?
I use that as a proximate benchmark, because it was around then that the remaining conservatives in Washington pretty much threw in the towel. They had lost any sense of power with passage of the 1986 tax bill.
And what's wrong with "leave me alone" conservativism? It still holds an appeal for me; as it would the Founding Fathers.
Gary Bauer is a good example. He is to the left of Bill Clinton economically, but a devout moralist christian, so he is called a conservative. Is he?
I think the words get confused. Conservatism means just as it says, to conserve, to preserve the moral order. But in a time when the order is chaos, the meaning of conservative is thrown into the abyss as well.
I would argue that Gingrich is more of a reactionary than a conservative. Reagan was trying to reinstill old values, so he was conservative, Gingrich was interested in new ideas, etc...
Is Free trade or protectionism conservative? Are the steel tarriff's Bush adopted conservative? Is the federal war on drugs conservative? It all depends on your definition.
I am at a loss to understand how the conservative "movement" has drifted. The term neo-con is a misnomer but it will suffice for the subject of this article. The article itself is somewhat incoherent but the final message appears to be that the neo-cons have lost influence within the "movement" rather that steering its course.
Well said, and I agree.
This was pretty much the standard form between 1964 and sometime in the '80s. (I'm still not sure where we went adrift, either with Reagan's second term or Bush the Elder's term. The end of the Cold War cinched it for many, as they learned that the "peace dividend" would be paid in social programs.)
Not all of us. Just the Dittoheads.
I think your examples are either conservative or populist positions depending on the stance taken.
If you read through this article, you get a picture of Bill Kristol's behavior through the last few years, and it is obvious that as I have often pointed out, he chooses positions and personalities which are detrimental to the Republican party. He isn't a conservative at all.
He is a mole.
This article fails to document his long campaign to get Colin Powell to run as the Republican nominee in 2000. This is the same Colin Powell which Kristol now routinely trashes.
Kristol was originally backing Powell because he knew it would cause a split in the Republicans. Now he trashes Powell as Secretary of State, for the same reason.
So, thanks for posting this article, as it documents other incidences of the same type of behavior.
By that definition, I should think Gary Bauer would fit right in. He is about the most moral politician we have, isn't he?
Or by moral order do you mean "social order?"
There came a realization that the 'New Deal" programs were so entrenched that it was a losing battle. Reagan tried to starve them to death with tax reductions but also had to make large concessions for the same strategy of spending the Soviets into bankruptcy on defense buildups.
Why cloud the issue with dead 18th-century males?
Wasn't Burke a royalist, after all?
He and his fringe are really just media marketable conservatives...great for TV filler but not representative of any constituancy that votes.
When he went for the Nixonian Phase of McCain, I quit even listening to him 90% of the time.
That "realization," as you call it, is one of the basic precepts of neo-conservativism: Don't even think about undoing what has already been done, 'cause it won't fly.
Reform, yes. Repeal, no.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.