I’ve been referred to as a “neo-con” recently (looks at Brad Bull), and that got me to thinking, “Am I a neo-con?” So, I thought I’d throw this out as a light pallet-cleanser before switching from longer-term war strategies to more immediate ones. Plus, I thought this’d be a great opportunity to conduct an informal poll of the vast readership of my blog (both of you).
I have to admit that I have always thought that the term “neo-con” carried a really distasteful connotation, until I looked it up. The definition wasn’t offensive at all. In fact, it was very interesting. I think the weirdness comes from the fact that it’s become a “dirty word” among some liberals the same way “liberal” has become a dirty word among some conservatives. Very interesting.
Here’s what the Wikipedia has to say about the term “Neoconservative”…
Neoconservatism is a political current and ideology, mainly in the United States, which emerged in the 1960s, coalesced in the 1970s, and has had a significant presence in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. It is today most closely identified with a set of foreign policy positions and goals: a hawkish stance during the Cold War and, more recently, in various conflicts in the Middle East. At times there have been distinct neoconservative positions in domestic policies; in particular, the first generation of neoconservatives were generally less opposed to “big government” and to social spending than other U.S. conservatives of the time, though they also called for significant restructuring of the goals and methods of many social programs.
The prefix neo-refers to two ways in which neoconservatism was new: many of the movement’s founders, originally liberals, Democrats or from socialist backgrounds, were new to conservatism; neoconservatism was also a comparatively recent strain of conservative thought, which derived from a variety of intellectual roots in the decades following World War II. While some (such as Irving Kristol) have described themselves as “neoconservatives”, the term is used today more by opponents and critics of this political current than by its adherents, some of whom reject even the claim that neoconservatism is an identifiable current of American political thought.
Within American conservatism, the foreign policy of neoconservatism is particularly contrasted to isolationism, especially as found in paleoconservatism. While the neoconservatives share some of the Christian right critique of a purely secular society, this is not as central to their politics as it is for the Christian right, nor are the neoconservative prescriptions always the same as those of the Christian right.
That said, here’s my question… “Am I a ‘neo-con’?” (Post your poll response as a comment.)
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