Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Neo-cons, where are you going?
Let's put the cynicism right on the table, like a fine, dead Thanksgiving bird in this season of familial understanding. The leftists of the 1960s and their descendants wanted to tear down America. That's right, Abby Hoffman, The Weathermen, Black Panthers, the Communist Party, Jane Fonda and Gil-Scot Heron wanted to shut down the store. The guiding lights of the far left didn't believe in the American Dream as advertised and wanted a revolution, primarily against capitalism as opposed to democracy.
And, the millions of little lefties born in the wake of their white hot idealism bought the MOR version: love more, hate less, don't get so hung up on material goods and believe in the inherent rights of the individual over the system of government. What resulted -- the drug experimentation, the lack of faith in traditional marriage -- harmed some. There are those who have no concept of healthy relationships, there are those mired in drug addiction.
But, did the left actually harm society? The time of the revolution was a war-mongering, hate-filled, repressive era. Fear was the guiding light: the spread of communism, Russia, nukes, bossy women, black people. War was like clockwork and believed to be "good for business."
We now, as a society, hate liberals for delivering us from those fears and forcing us to face diversity, global awareness and individual rights. We despise them for their freedoms and for costing us Viet Nam.
Which brings me to the other end of the political spectrum -- neo-cons. Inventive people, they are defined by people such as Dick Cheney (who may be the poster child for them). They are the converse of the old guard left because they really don't want a revolution, no matter how much leftist rhetoric they steal.
They want 1954 back.
They want unquestioned authority for war. Unquestioned authority to blackball American citizens. Unquestioned... everything.
A rallying cry of the left was 'Think, it ain't illegal yet!' Neo-cons have co-opted that and soothingly offer this re-interpretation: 'Don't bother. We'll think for you.'
Conservatives have fallen in with neo-cons just like liberals fell in with the old guard left. I can't help but notice that those millions of leftist followers served as a filter for the pure left's message and transmuted armed resistance into civil rights, women's rights and tolerance. Those followers believed in change and they made change happen in a different way than far left believers thought would happen. No guns -- they fought with understanding and righteousness.
Neo-cons have conservatives in their thrall because they know how to win elections and push around liberals. But, what kind of filter do millions of conservatives offer?
Neo-cons don't want their message diluted because they know exactly what they want. Abby Hoffman and Bobby Seals were trying to create something new in America. Dick Cheney wants to be rich and control the country. He knows what that looks like; he's got hundreds of years of precedent to draw from. He knows what he has to do to make it happen. He knows how to control the message.
Neo-cons will throw hope at true conservatives by hinting at overturning Roe V. Wade, by attacking Affirmative Action, by extolling (quietly) the virtues of a white-ruled society. But, they are a Bad Weather Underground that simply wants to be followed as they amass power. Ideas? Those are too dangerous to share honestly with their followers. Not because they will splinter society, but because they will regress society -- and, coincidentally, impoverish the lives of many of their followers. Not the best rallying cry -- "Vote for me and I'll make you and your children poor!"
Their greatest threat to neo-cons is not the left, which is in disarray, it is true conservatives, especially middle-class conservatives. True conservatives believe in small government, less government intervention in our lives and low taxes. Unless their ZIP Code is somewhere in Willie Wonka Land, I've got to believe they are noticing MORE of all the aforementioned in our neo-con utopia.
Ironically, what true conservatives believe strongly overlaps with what true liberals believe -- government shouldn't interfere with our personal lives to a harmful extent and we shouldn't be kingmaking in other countries. Sure, liberals believe society should be fair to all, while conservatives tend to favor the wealthy, but you say tomato...
Neo-conservatism, as near as I can figure, has no other idealism other than a) to slowly neuter the middle class so that group will no longer be a political threat b) amass power in the hands of a very few c) fool true conservatives and d) blame the poor. It is no real secret that Rush "Put all drug users in jail but me" Limbaugh believes in very little of the nonsense he puts out there. In that regard, he is a true neo-con. And, that is also probably the biggest difference between the old guard left and the neo-cons. When faced with choosing their beliefs or death, I'm pretty sure Cheney would have a quick change of heart. The heroes of the left would take a quick bullet.
Remember people, free your mind and your ass will follow...
| posted by Jae at 8:12 AM |
CB commented at 2:46 PM~
Great to have you back on the scene. I admire your ability to put words to thought (the lack of which is evident in too much of what I read). In an era of hyper communication, writing is an incresingly underappreciated talent, when its benefits have never been needed more. Without a doubt, the substantial following you've built is full of people who think to themselves, "that's the way I feel," or "I wish I had said that." You bring a clarity of belief to your prose that like a preacher whose sermon cadence is building toward the altar call, stirs the congregation,your readers exclaim, amen! Yet, my brother, your arguments are articulate, but inaccurrate; forceful, but wrong.
Some years ago, I began to hear about "neo cons." The name neo con, conjured up images of robotic toys or television cartoon characters my children, their friends or cousins would play with or watch on television. The name neo con was used by many on television as a pejorative or slur. The faces of those who said these words, contorted and grimaced as if they had mistakenly eaten a rotten egg and spewed them out with conviction, to rid themselves of the taste. So I set out to do some research on who these creatures were, after all, if they were that bad,I had to do something to protect my wife and children from them.
What I learned about neo cons, is that they were once, leftists and liberals. Many of the original group, sat under the tutelege of America's anarchist-in chief, Noam Chomsky. The thought leaders of this group were, like their former mentors, largely from the East Coast, attended elite schools and were often times Jewish.
William Buckley is often credited with being the father of the modern conservative movement in America. The publication he founded National Review, is one of the most often cited sources by conservatives today. Irving Kristol was to the neo conservative "movement" what Bill Buckley was to the neo conservatives. Parenthetically, Irving's son, William, is editor of one of the most infleuntial conservative publications, The Weekly Standard.
I characterize the modern conservative movement as having very little use for government other than to facilitate interstate commerce (interstate highways, for example) defense, international relations,and administering the judicial system. It is a nearly libertarian view of governance. They are almost uniformly opposed to the types of social engineering liberals want to pursue.
Neo cons, like their modern conservative brethren, believe in free market economics, the rule of law and liberty (defined as limited government intervention in the lives of citizens-unborn children fall under that protection too). Neo cons believe in a slightly more active role for government and are much less xenophobic than modern conservatives. An example of this difference is evident in trade policy. Some modern conservatives, like Pat Buchannan, are like many trade unionists, liberals and democrats; protectionist. Another example of this is with regard to foreign policy, many modern conservatives, who like Democrats and most Americans before the start of WWII, were isolationists. In other words, just because Hitler's Luftwaffe dropped bombs on London, didn't mean that we necesarily had a problem with him. The term "American interests" is narrowly defined by many modern conservatives.
This brings me to a personal challenge with the modern conservative movement. They saw the spread of communism for the true evil it was and aggresively moved to defeat it or to put it in check in Korea, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in Asia. They fought it also in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua in Central America. However, they seem to be reluctant warriors in the battle against islamo fascism, especially in Iraq. Peggy Noonan, George Will, Pat Buchannan, Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson and too a lesser extent, even Bill Buckley have either outright opposed the war in Iraq or have been visibly uncomfortable passengers (not that war is or should be a comfortable, convenient or casually undertaken endeavor) along for the ride with the administration.
This, by the way, in my opinion, remains one of the most powerful, untapped weapons in the liberal arsenal in opposing the war. Rather than trotting out Wesley Clarke, who clearly has ambition beyond his ability to reason, why not refer to known conservatives and their statements? It is one of my favorite tactics. It is what al Jazeera, al Zarqawi, al Zawahiri and bin Laden use when they quote from the rhetoric of those on the Western left.
The problem with the politicians on the left, is that they don't have a coherent message, nor do they have the courage of their convictions (an unfortunate bond they share with too many of their counterparts in the GOP) as evidenced by the vote in Congress last Friday, wherein only 3 members voted for an immediate withdrawl from Iraq.
Now that I'm finished advising my adversary in this debate, back to the neo cons. I think it is unwise to underestimate the sincerity of neo cons, or because you disagree to cynically impute nefarious purposes to their positions. The neo cons are those, like me, who have seen that despite the lofty rhetoric of the left and questions, like "what about the people who are suffering?," see no evidence of liberal ideas helping. Moreover, all too often these ideas are harmful to the very people they are supposed to help. On the other hand, neo cons have seen the human spirit overcome when government "solutions" are prevented from thwarting the effort of individuals to improve their own lives.
Finally, it is an ironic twist to see liberals, who used to hate the CIA, become its staunch defenders in the bogus (according to prosectutor Patrick Fitzgerald) Valerie Plame investigation. It is equally as delicious to see liberals turn on New York Times reporter Judy Miller, who reported the case for war (based on the evidence she was presented-and she has never been forgiven by those on the left) and who didn't drop a dime, they knew, they just knew she had on Scooter Libby. More shockingly, they've turned on Mr. Watergate himself, Bob Woodward, who testified contrary to Fitzgerald's assertion that Libby lied. Further, liberals who once hated dictators, like Saddam, have become defacto supporters of what he did to his own people and in the region, by way of their rhetoric. More disturbing is how a moral equivalence has developed in the thinking of those on the left between islamo fascists and the current Administration. The word evil is often and comfortably associated with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, by those on the left, but rarely, if ever with the killers blowing up mosques and wedding parties and school children. Hatred for Bush, I contend, is hatred of being out of power and having liberal ideas being validated by American voters as they have been endorsed by much of the media and Hollywood. The problem with this frustration (turned into blind hatred) is that it often clouds reason and judgement at the expense of what we have in common.
Renegade Eye commented at 5:06 PM~
I enjoyed CB's post. It is mostly accurate.
Chaney is distrusted by the neocons. They don't like his style. In addition his loyalties, are to who hires him.
Limbaugh is actually with the old conservatives. They don't like his style.
I'm influenced by Christopher Hitchens arguments. He said the Iraqi left, wanted progressive support to the invasion. I'm sure you and your staff, are long time supporters of the Kurdish liberation struggle. Why not use the US military, to crush Islamism? They are enemies of progressive people.
I think Bush, Rumsfield and Chaney, don't represent neocons. I'm sure they are not happy with them. I think the neocons, would have wanted more troops.
Check out Oliver Kamm's blog. He wrote a book about the Neocon movement, and the left. They have more in common, than with liberals. Liberals and old conservatives share vision. See:
Some blog business. See: http://wholinkstome.com/
The more people that link to your site, the more your site is worth. I think you should check the links on my site, and leave a message. Whoever returns the favor, add their link. I have atleast one link to a rightist site. The owner posts on my site often.
I checked your blog everyday you were not writing.
Want to ?
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