Opinions about our country, the world, politics, and some other stuff that that doesn't fit those categories
What is a Neo-conservative?
Published on May 9, 2005 By Eastern Diamondback In Politics
Over the weekend I brought the family back home to Chicago for Mother's Day. My aunt (mom's sister), her husband, and my cousins dropped by my parents' house for the barbeque. While eating, one of my cousins let his opinion be known about "Neocons."

Last year my friend, his wife, and I were talking and somehow Pat Buchanan's book The Death of the West came up. She then went on a tirade about "Neocons" and how they hate Mexicans.

I've heard Donald Rumsfeld being chastised for being a "Neocon." I've read references to the "Neocon Death Cult" (not just here).

So I ask this to everyone. What is a neo-conservative, or a neocon? I'm not asking for names, but rather characteristics.

Please, I'm not looking for wikipedia entries. Just what you personally think.

Comments (Page 1)
on May 09, 2005
Fire away!
on May 09, 2005
From what I gather it is anyone who isn't a liberal, who is in a discussion with a liberal, and the liberal can no longer make his points stick.

Of course, anyone who isn't a conservative, who is in a discussion with a conservative, and the convervative can no longer make his points stick, would be "anti American" or a "bleeding heart liberal". ;~D
on May 09, 2005
I have been called one many times. I have yet to figure out just one is. So I too would like to know.
on May 09, 2005
A neoconservative, as opposed to a conservative, is a person who follows in the political tradition of Ronald Reagan who advocates fiscal irresponsibility. A neoconservative, like most conservatives, will maintain that public welfare programs should not be supported and that each person should assume personal responsibility, so taxes should be reduced. However, a neoconservative will not reduce public spending and will spend above and beyond the existing budget, thereby generating excessive debts that future generations will have to pay back.

A true conservative is all for each person assuming personal responsibility for his/her own finances, but that means assuming responsibility for the debts as well. A true conservative does not live beyond his/her means. Fiscal conservatism parts company with neoconservatism in that it would never indulge in rampant deficit spending in the manner that neoconservatism habitually does.

Another salient characteristic of neoconservatism is passing the buck. Neoconservatives are notorious for blaming others when things go wrong, something that a true conservative never does. Conservatives assume personal responsibility for their own actions (with the sole exception of Richard Millhouse Nixon, who fabricated stories to the point that had he been Pinocchio, his nose could have been used as a coat rack), whereas neoconservatives will always find someone else to blame when their sins catch up with them.

That, in a nutshell, is a working definition.
on May 09, 2005
neocon translated as "new conservative" if that helps anyone.
on May 09, 2005
From what I gather it is anyone who isn't a liberal, who is in a discussion with a liberal, and the liberal can no longer make his points stick.

Of course, anyone who isn't a conservative, who is in a discussion with a conservative, and the convervative can no longer make his points stick, would be "anti American" or a "bleeding heart liberal". ;~D


Good point.

But I just had to laugh when my friend's wife claimed Pat Buchanan was a neocon. In the course of that conversation I revealed I was one of the sixteen thousand who had voted for Buchanan in 2000 in Illinois.
on May 09, 2005
But I just had to laugh when my friend's wife claimed Pat Buchanan was a neocon. In the course of that conversation I revealed I was one of the sixteen thousand who had voted for Buchanan in 2000 in Illinois.


What is interesting about Buchanan, almost everything that he ran on in 2000 is now being demanded by the average American.
on May 09, 2005
Neo-conservative, as defined in Pat Buchanon's "Where the Right Went Wrong", is one who believes in the Wilsonian idea of spreading democracy through developing world countries, but they believe in doing so by invading them.

Neocons many, many decades ago were liberals. During the Cold War they were strong advocates of eliminating the Soviet Union (NOTE: all those who opposed the USSR are NOT neocons; however all neocons opposed the USSR), because it stood in the way of democratizing the world.

This position is the only true positions neo-conservatives have. They find the party that will most probably accept their democratize-the-world-by-invading policy; whichever party that is, the neocons then absorb all the other positions held by that party and write and support that party all they can. For this reason, I think of neocons as the "souless players on the political scene" because they only truelly believe in that one position. They get their positions on economics, environment, education, health, abortion rights, etc, etc from the party that is most likely to take in their one issue. Over the decades, the party they have chosen is the Republican party.

An example of this is when several neo-conservatives signed a letter to President Bill Clinton, saying that they will support him in everything he does if he were to declare war on Iraq during his 1998 State of the Union address.

Bill Kristol, a neo-conservative writer, once wrote that if the Republican Party would not execute the neoconservative policies and invade Iraq he would become a "neoliberal", proving that the neoconservatives really don't believe in anything except invading developing world coutnries to set up democracies.

(This neocosnervative policy, by the way, was best described by my history teacher as "liberal goal through cosnervative means".)

Many rightists, conservatives, and Republicans have been falsely called neoconservatives. Most neocons on the national scene are writers. High-profile neocons include Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Paul Wolfowitz.

(Although Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were not really neo-conservatives, they were swayed to adopt their policy by the neocons that currently rule the pentagon)
on May 09, 2005
Heh heh. While I think this is a good question to ask for the sake of political discussion, I must admit that I did forsee this as a potential points-whoring article.
on May 09, 2005
It's inconceivable that in a supposedly educated society like America 2005 there could be someone of reading age who does not know about the so-called neocon involvement in American politics. The real definition of a neocon is not appealing, hence the common American's lack of knowledge about them and their influence in your government. A neocon is someone who can be caught red-handed (early 70, Mr. Perle) giving vital classified intelligence to Israel from his national security office and later be promoted and given even more powers. That's why the latest American traitor spy is going to be interesting. Will this latest stooge be valuable enough to merit such weak measures against him? We shall see. Never mind the fact nations execute traitor spies, for lesser crimes.
on May 09, 2005
You know, I have no clue what a neocon is, really, but if I had to pin a name on the liberals in the 60s and later, I'd call them "Neolibs".
Since so many of their beliefs were so much farther to the left than their "liberal" predecessors like Roosevelt and Truman, for example, this represented a new, or "neo" change in policy.
The ideals of the more radical, hippie-dippie 60s liberals were (and still are, to some extent) very often based in Marxism-Leninism, a vast split from the more moderate and centered beliefs of their political ancestors, and this has only caused problems in the government of the last 25-30 years, as they've slowly come into power.

Conservative ideals haven't changed all that much, really, since their inception generations ago. God, country and all that.

Perhaps "neocons" are what the libs choose to derisively call those of us who, in 1980, destroyed what they saw as a total liberal victory over conservativism by electing Reagan instead of putting their waffler back in office?
on May 09, 2005
The term neo is added to the abreviation 'con' (for Conservative, of course) just because liberals think it makes us sound evil, kinda like "neo-nazi."

"Conservative" alone would sound too reasonable to describe us, (in their hateful opinion) and shortening it to "con" gives it a negative connotation, because a "con" is not a nice thing.

But they didn't stop there, oh no! Even "neo-con" didn't sound quite sinister enough, so they now routinely add "deathcult" to it.

Maroons, every last of of them.
---LW

Well-reasoned. Might be it.
on May 09, 2005
It's inconceivable that in a supposedly educated society like America 2005 there could be someone of reading age who does not know about the so-called neocon involvement in American politics. The real definition of a neocon is not appealing, hence the common American's lack of knowledge about them and their influence in your government. A neocon is someone who can be caught red-handed (early 70, Mr. Perle) giving vital classified intelligence to Israel from his national security office and later be promoted and given even more powers. That's why the latest American traitor spy is going to be interesting. Will this latest stooge be valuable enough to merit such weak measures against him? We shall see. Never mind the fact nations execute traitor spies, for lesser crimes.


So, are you going to define what a "neocon" is or not, Reiki?
on May 09, 2005
Neo-conservative, as defined in Pat Buchanon's "Where the Right Went Wrong", is one who believes in the Wilsonian idea of spreading democracy through developing world countries, but they believe in doing so by invading them.

Neocons many, many decades ago were liberals. During the Cold War they were strong advocates of eliminating the Soviet Union (NOTE: all those who opposed the USSR are NOT neocons; however all neocons opposed the USSR), because it stood in the way of democratizing the world.

This position is the only true positions neo-conservatives have. They find the party that will most probably accept their democratize-the-world-by-invading policy; whichever party that is, the neocons then absorb all the other positions held by that party and write and support that party all they can. For this reason, I think of neocons as the "souless players on the political scene" because they only truelly believe in that one position. They get their positions on economics, environment, education, health, abortion rights, etc, etc from the party that is most likely to take in their one issue. Over the decades, the party they have chosen is the Republican party.

An example of this is when several neo-conservatives signed a letter to President Bill Clinton, saying that they will support him in everything he does if he were to declare war on Iraq during his 1998 State of the Union address.

Bill Kristol, a neo-conservative writer, once wrote that if the Republican Party would not execute the neoconservative policies and invade Iraq he would become a "neoliberal", proving that the neoconservatives really don't believe in anything except invading developing world coutnries to set up democracies.

(This neocosnervative policy, by the way, was best described by my history teacher as "liberal goal through cosnervative means".)

Many rightists, conservatives, and Republicans have been falsely called neoconservatives. Most neocons on the national scene are writers. High-profile neocons include Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Paul Wolfowitz.

(Although Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were not really neo-conservatives, they were swayed to adopt their policy by the neocons that currently rule the pentagon)


This is the type of response I was hoping for. Keep it up, folks. I'm interested in what liberals and left-wingers have to say, too.
on May 09, 2005
So, are you going to define what a "neocon" is or not, Reiki?


Nah...R-H just likes to hear himself talk, as long as it's anti-right-wing stuff. Don't expect him to actually have point.