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Thread: A Question About the Term Neocon......

  1. #1

    A Question About the Term Neocon......

    I don't know for sure what a neocon is. I am not sure if it is a new term applied to an old group or an offshoot of conservatives. Please let me clarify......

    A book I read by Robert Bork delineated the differences between liberals and modern liberals (I believe the title was something like Slipping Toward Sodom and Gomorrah....).

    This book revealed the differences between the positive, patriotic and the greatly respectable liberalism of Jefferson and the liberalism born of hte SDS now carried on through the ACLU and others. This modern liberalism is far from Jeffersonian liberalism, Bork argued.

    The liberalism reflected in the writings of Jefferson, in many ways, reflect the common sense values that many conservatives feel stripped of.......... stripped away by the modern liberal. The modern liberal takes libert to an extreme and, in doing so, forsakes individual responsibility.

    I have many, many friends who care for the environment, distrust the gov'ts capacity to abuse wire tapping, feel a woman ought to have some control over what goes in her body and have a strong dislike of war. However, they realize that a particular strain of a salamander can be sacrificed for the oil when there is a pinch, we need to protect ourselves from terrorists, "art" does not extend to rampant porn for children to find on the internet and that, though war they hate, Afghanistan is just and they don't let their disagreement with our Iraqi involvement deter them from patriotic acts in favor of our troops. These are very good people, Americans that I am proud to be grouped with. We just disagree on some of the same issues our founding fathers fought over.

    But remarkably, we agree on many of the ones that the modern libs act like idiots over (PETA, effort to remove God from public mention, move toward socialism, etc.)

    I compare that to the term "neocon" and wonder if a neocon is a conservative who has drifted to an area on the right that would offend the founding fathers. This is why I ask........

    My closest friends are conservatives. Many I attend church with, some I work and fish with. Some good friends are liberals - and as a teacher, I usually meet them there. But not one of these people can find anything but praise in the Palin story. It is very fair to ask her to explain why should be trusted to lead, at such a young age and with less than the usual political experience, should McCain become incapacitated. But the attacks on her this week were absolutely unbelievable. My "Jeffersonian" liberal type friends were appalled. These attacks are from the modern liberal - the ones who preach tolerance, but are not tolerant to a view unlike their own. They say they are for women's rights and minority rights......... until those rights disagree with them in the form of people of character like Clarence Thomas and Sarah Palin.

    The Sarah Palin story is a bit Horatio Alger-esque. Small town girl does much good (undeniable to any objective observer), gains the seat of power in her state and acts an awful lot like our founding fathers used to......... yet the vitriole that followed...... my 'Jeffersonian" liberal friends respect her, though they would disagree with some of the things she stands for.

    How can an American possibly say that there is something wrong with living as Palin has? It is about as American as it gets.

    Is there a similar disjoint between a conservative and a neocon? The conservatives I know ,school teachers, church goers, little league coaches, boyscout and girl scout leaders, charity workers....... these are all American hard working people that represent the good in a conservative way of life that Jeffersonian liberals would represent the good in a liberal way of life.

    Are neocons just war hawks? Are they defined by a fiscal value?

    If the left thinks that all conservatives are as wrong about America and life as those they label neocons, the left is whacked. These people are very respectable .......... exactly the kind of people you can live cooperatively with in a democracy.

    Can someone please tell me how neocon and conservative compare? Am I a neocon?

  2. #2
    I probably don't have the correct definition about it, but to me, a Neo-con is someone who has conservative ideas with liberal solutions...if that makes sense...

    They act as if small gov't is their goal, but the result is never smaller gov't.

    They look at small things first when trying to limit spending, and they feel that certain things should be changed, not to make them better, but to make them less liberal. (education, media, etc)

    I feel that the Neo-con is almost more interested in stamping out Liberalism than they are in bettering our country.

    To me, a Neo-con is someone who also sort of tows the line and defends conservative politicians and policies no matter what the situation, then attacks liberals for doing the same thing.

    I think Neo-cons and ultra-liberals are the same exact people in how they go about their little war against each other.

    If that makes sense.





    This is a decent article about it by people who probably know what they are talking about more than I do:

    [url]http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_196286.html[/url]


    What's the difference between "conservative" and "neoconservative"? Who are the "neocons," anyway? And were they, as some charge, an unduly influential cabal of intellectuals who talked President Bush into going to war in Iraq after 9/11 as part of their long-planned crusade to plant democracy in the Middle East?

    To seek enlightenment on things neoconservative, I rang up four of the biggest names in the punditry business and asked them the same questions. Rich Lowry is editor of National Review. Paul Weyrich is chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. Paul Gigot is editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. And George Will is the famous syndicated columnist:

    [B]Q: What is a neoconservative and who are they?[/B]

    [B]Rich Lowry:[/B] Historically, 30 years ago it meant a former liberal who became a conservative. The cliche was because "they were mugged by reality," but it was because they saw the empirical failures of liberal welfare, state and foreign policies, and they were therefore less ideological than other conservatives and brought much more of a social science background to their argumentation.

    They were associated with Irving Kristol's journal, the Public Interest, that had a lot of social-science pieces poking empirical holes in liberal theory. These people were former liberals, former Democrats, and in some cases former communists, but gradually over 30 years they really merged into the conservative mainstream, and the difference was very difficult to tell.

    In fact, one of the foremost neoconservatives, Norman Podhoretz, wrote an obituary for this distinction several years ago because it just seemed to no longer matter. We've seen the rise of it again, first of all, with John McCain's candidacy in 2000, where the segment of conservatives that supported Sen. McCain tended to have more neo-kind of tendencies and tended to sort of self-consciously describe themselves as "neoconservatives," foremost among them Bill Kristol and David Brooks.

    Neoconservatives are less skeptical of government than other conservatives. They are less worried about reducing the size of government, less enthusiastic about tax cuts, more concerned about forging national crusades that can tap either the American public's patriotism or its desire for reform. You saw this in McCain with his campaign finance proposal and a little bit in his foreign policy.

    And with the war on terror, you saw neoconservatives emerging as a distinct tendency within conservatism, mostly on foreign policy; its hallmarks being extreme interventionism, extremely idealistic foreign policy, and emphasis on democracy building and spreading human rights and freedom and an overestimation, in my view, of how easy it is to spread democracy and liberty to spots in the world where it doesn't exist currently.

    [B]Paul Weyrich:[/B] They are mostly ex-liberals, by and large out of the intellectual community. These are people who came to the realization that modern liberalism was not the kind of liberalism that they had subscribed to. They are a fairly small group of people, both in and out of government. Those who are out of government are in either the media or academia. They are influential because they promote each other. They are very skilled at that.

    [B]Paul Gigot: [/B]I think of neoconservatism as having a very specific meaning related to history. That is, the neoconservatives were people who in the 1970s were former liberals, in some cases socialists, who moved right in reaction to the left's shift on cultural mores, personal responsibility and foreign policy. So I think the term "neoconservative" has that narrow meaning of that historical period. I think of them as the Podhoretzes and the Kristols and others. I don't think "neoconservative" means much anymore. I don't know what it means now or who they're referring to.
    [B]
    George Will:[/B] Oh gosh, that's not simple. Neoconservatives are persons who in domestic policy often were former Democrats who felt that conservatives had erred in not accepting the post-New Deal role of the central government. They were in their early incarnation focusing on domestic policy and were distinguishing themselves from Goldwater conservatives.

    Also in domestic policies, however, as the '60s unfolded into the '70s and '80s, they led the critique of overreaching in domestic social engineering, saying that we accept the post-New Deal role of the central government, but the accumulated powers thereof are being wielded in a way too confident and optimistic and hubristic, if you will.

    In foreign policy, and here's where it gets interesting, they have a more ambitious, more confident approach to the use of power than regular conservatives -- if you see the symmetry here? They say that America is a nation uniquely equipped as the sole remaining superpower to order the world and spread our values, etc., etc.

    Who are they? The ones most commonly mentioned are Charles Krauthammer, Paul Wolfowitz, maybe Dick Cheney and his aide, Scooter Libby, Doug Feith in the Pentagon, Bill Kristol.

    [B]Q: Is this a neoconservative war in Iraq?[/B]
    [B]
    Rich Lowry:[/B] No. We've editorialized about this a couple issues ago. It was a war of national interest, and it was broadly supported on the right for that reason. You had someone like (Rep.) Tom DeLay, who is as conservative as you can get -- he's an unhyphenated conservative through and through -- strongly supporting this. You had all factions of conservatism supporting it, except for a fringe represented by Pat Buchanan, and that's because it was a war of national interest.

    [B]Paul Weyrich:[/B] I don't think that you could make that case. Certainly, neoconservatives were pushing for this war. But Vice President Cheney was the principal proponent of the war. He is certainly not a neoconservative. The president himself made the decisions. He's not a neoconservative. There are any number of people in the administration -- Condoleezza Rice, for example -- who were very much in favor of the war but who are not neoconservatives.

    On the other hand, neoconservatives were very involved in the planning and execution of the war -- Paul Wolfowitz being very prominent among them. Conspiratorialists could make the case, I suppose, that it was a neoconservative war. But I think it's much more complex.

    [B]Paul Gigot:[/B] No. It's an American war in Iraq. I don't think the Marines who are putting their lives on the line in Fallujah think of themselves as neoconservatives.

    [B]George Will:[/B] It had a neoconservative overlay, to the extent that it was a war -- however mistakenly -- based on the confident belief that there was a growing arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that was not a distinctly neoconservative rationale.

    Neoconservatives supported the war for that reason, among others. It's the other reasons where it acquired its neoconservative patina. The neoconservative patina is that Iraq should become a secular, pluralist, multiparty, market-oriented democracy with the power of its example to transform the greater Middle East. That's the neoconservative edition.
    [B]
    Q: Is it automatically anti-Semitic to single out neocons as being the planners and instigators of the war in Iraq?[/B]

    [B]Rich Lowry:[/B] No. No. It would be false. It wouldn't necessarily be anti-Semitic. It would be accurate to say that some of the most articulate and powerful expressions of the case for war have come from people who are neoconservatives. So that's not anti-Semitic. But if you take a couple of steps beyond that, you begin to get into territory that is a little shady, I would think.

    [B]Paul Weyrich:[/B] No. That is really outrageous. I really resent the idea that if you question who it is that planned the war -- just because you ask questions about them -- it is automatically anti-Semitic. It is not. It is legitimate to ask these questions. It is legitimate to have a debate about the legitimacy and effect of this war. If that means questioning some of the people who are involved in it, so be it. The president is a very committed Christian. Should we say that, "Well, we can't question anything that Bush does, because if we did it would be anti-Christian"? That's silly.

    [B]Paul Gigot:[/B] No. Unlike a lot of the people on the left, I'm not going to question the motives of people who use the phrase. I think a lot of people just use it as a short-term shortcut for anyone who supported the war. But in the mouth of some people, there is an anti-Semitic overtone. I would point to recent remarks by (Sen.) Fritz Hollings. He clearly was attempting to link support for the war to Jews who also support Israel -- and I think that's a slur.
    [B]
    George Will: [/B]It's not necessarily anti-Semitic. There is often an anti-Semitic twist to it, yes.

  3. #3
    Thx. This making some sense. First a misconception. I thought the term had something to do more with religion.

    So I guess it comes down to the notion that the obnoxious, selfish poster children of the 60s grew up and stayed selfish, Some became modern liberals and some became neocons....... that could make some serious sense. Kind of like a leopard not changing its spots.

    P.S...... I love the line about stamping out.

  4. #4
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    The people I use the term to refer to are George W. Bush types. Radical social conservative, fiscally liberal, big government types. You know, the scum of the Earth.

  5. #5
    Neocon -- destroyer of Repuplican party

  6. #6
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    I think the chief area where neocons have influenced conservative ideology in a dangerous way is in the area of foreign policy. Classic conservatives were always quite cautious, even isolationist, when it came to involvement in, much less military aggression toward, sovereign nations. Neocons trumpeted a philosophy that resembles the Roman empire after Augustus -- the notion that an empire cannot survive unless it actively engages and overtakes its perceived enemies. Neocons are interventionists on the global stage with an eye to forming geopolitical hegemony in the name of the US. Reagan was decidedly old world conservative, despite the ventures into El Salvador, his Iran arms dealings and the Lebanon fiasco. He was much more defensive in his response to threats, rather than offensive and pro-active. Anyway, just an opinion.

    Re Jefferson (and I have read Bork's book as well), the problem that Bork seems to blithely ignore is that Jefferson rarely followed his proscriptions when it served his own ambitions. Just take a look at the election of 1800 and you will see Jefferson engaged in an ugly dogfight in which he is extremely quick to fight dirty and nasty. The Palin scrutiny by the press is just tame and tepid by comparison. Jefferson was really two people -- the Jefferson who was marginal to the political world and the Jefferson who was a central player. Jefferson always espoused his most radical views when he was being ignored, or when he felt his opponents seizing the day. He was surprisingly federalist and strong-government when he was president. That's why many historians both admire Jefferson philosophically and also look at him with some cynicism on a practical level. Bork ignores the practical Jefferson entirely to make his point.

  7. #7
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=Sharrow;2730494]The people I use the term to refer to are George W. Bush types. Radical social conservative, fiscally liberal, big government types. You know, the scum of the Earth.[/quote]

    shallow,
    how is W a "radical" social conservative? because he might want to roll back the Orwellian meatgrinder of abortion on demand as retroactive birth control?
    or because he doesnt think embryos are scientific play-doh? I know, because he believes in Gd. or because he doesnt worship Satan like you?

    The other 2 parts are garden variety liberal, which you should have no objection to. Scum of the earth? Pot, meet kettle. You're the scum the scum wipes off its shoe.

    i would hope you could never be cloned, but there's a thousand clones/clowns like you on this board already
    Last edited by flushingjet; 09-06-2008 at 09:48 AM.

  8. #8
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=piney;2730439]snip [/quote]

    Thanks for re-copying from my post, lazybones.

    [URL]http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2728502&postcount=29[/URL]

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=flushingjet;2730604]Thanks for re-copying from my post, lazybones.

    [URL]http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2728502&postcount=29[/URL][/QUOTE]

    oh my god, you mean I read and thought of the same article as you did...


    I'm not going to die now am I?

    I mean....isn't that a sign of the apocalypse?

  10. #10
    I am now glad to know I am not a neocon and sit solid in the corner of the classic conservative:)

  11. #11
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=piney;2730766]oh my god, you mean I read and thought of the same article as you did...


    I'm not going to die now am I?

    I mean....isn't that a sign of the apocalypse?[/quote]

    If I thought of something 1st, in another thread, and you include it a day later I reserve the right to call you either lazy or Joe Biden.

    Especially copying and pasting the entire text in a weak attempt to make your post more substantial, which incidentally, always shrivel up content wise like cheap, tasteless supermarket brand bacon compared to mine, which is like Oscar Mayer's bacon-content-rich and tasty.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=flushingjet;2731148]If I thought of something 1st, in another thread, and you include it a day later I reserve the right to call you either lazy or Joe Biden.

    Especially copying and pasting the entire text in a weak attempt to make your post more substantial, which incidentally, always shrivel up content wise like cheap, tasteless supermarket brand bacon compared to mine, which is like Oscar Mayer's bacon-content-rich and tasty.[/QUOTE]

    I never saw your post, I mean, c'mon, why would I want to self-induce nausea by reading something you wrote....

    your wife is right, by the way....

    anyhow, I have to eat turkey bacon....balsa wood like but only 40 calories....

  13. #13
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=piney;2731246]I never saw your post, I mean, c'mon, why would I want to self-induce nausea by reading something you wrote....

    your wife is right, by the way....

    anyhow, I have to eat turkey bacon....balsa wood like but only 40 calories....[/quote]


    You posted in that thread, after that post, but never saw it. Gotta try that thread reading method
    sometime. Kind of like a selective ignore, every 3-4 posts. Or the way B. Hussein leaves out Soetoro as
    an alias or forgets about his wilderness years of the 90s.

    I dont put anyone on ignore, so I dont get to miss any laughs

  14. #14
    Jets Insider VIP
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    Neo-Con: (n.) Radical extremist who wishes death on America; professional liar; spineless, jelly-donut-shaped, mouthbreathing a**hole.

  15. #15
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=PlumberKhan;2731301]Neo-Con: (n.) Radical extremist who wishes death on America; professional liar; spineless, jelly-donut-shaped, mouthbreathing a**hole.[/quote]

    Oh come on. Obama looks more like a cruller,
    and his skin is purple-tinged from smoking, not jelly.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=flushingjet;2731305]Oh come on. Obama looks more like a cruller,
    and his skin is purple-tinged from smoking, not jelly.[/QUOTE]

    Classy... when's the next cross burning?

  17. #17
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=Press_Coverage;2731320]Classy... when's the next cross burning?[/quote]

    Right after the next female "circumcision"

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=flushingjet;2731300]You posted in that thread, after that post, but never saw it. Gotta try that thread reading method
    sometime. Kind of like a selective ignore, every 3-4 posts. Or the way B. Hussein leaves out Soetoro as
    an alias or forgets about his wilderness years of the 90s.

    I dont put anyone on ignore, so I dont get to miss any laughs[/QUOTE]

    I do skip some posts..

    jeez...what a narcissist....I guess you figure anyone with your name born after you must have copied you as well...

  19. #19
    flushingjet
    Guest
    [quote=Press_Coverage;2731320]Classy... when's the next cross burning?[/quote]

    Never heard of cyanosis, I gather

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=piney;2731421]I do skip some posts..

    jeez...what a narcissist....I guess you figure anyone with your name born after you must have copied you as well...[/QUOTE]

    You should know by now that Flushingturd is one of the biggest jokes on this board. I'd say he's a close second behind Dean. Talk about a couple of losers. I generally skip all of his posts. At least Dean is funny in a "We're laughing at you not with you" kind of way.

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