Neo-Cons Defined

When did this term “Neo-Con” or “Neo-Conservative” bust out into common parlance? These otherwise intelligent people have been calling into Talk of the Nation on NPR, and talking about how Bush and the Neo-Cons want to force this whole radical anti-feminist, anti-gay, anti-whatever agenda on this nation.

I cringe every time I hear this buzzword muttered, because my fellow Liberals seem to have no fucking idea what the term means.

Neo-Cons are former Liberals who decided to get all hawkish on defense and foreign policy… They really don’t worry about domestic social issues. You can talk theory, (e.g., unintended consequences of action or inaction), but guys like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Pearle are not that different from Lieberman, or Moynihan — except that the latter two actually care about helping people in this country.

Those worrying themselves with socially conservative issues are more aligned with the Religious Right– NOT the Neo-Cons.

Besides, a traditional Conservative foreign & defense policy would be isolationism — NOT pre-emptive war. The Republicans in congress and President Bush before 9/11 fit this traditional mold.

But, it seems that the Neo-Cons have thrown themselves a coming out party, complete with cluster bombs and accusations of Treason (directed toward those who oppose them).

It’s the word on everyones’ lips!

2 Responses to “Neo-Cons Defined”


  • Ummm . . .not to be Alex-esq, but I take exception with a part of what you said.

    “Besides, a traditional Conservative foreign & defense policy would be isolationism. . .”

    That statement is actually inaccurate. If you look through the past 100 years it has nearly always been the republicans (the conservative party) who have had the stronger, more aggressive (and hence less isolationist) foreign policy. Without going on forever here’s a few examples: Bush Part I, Gulf War; Reagan, Evil Empire; Nixon; China & Vietnam. Now don’t think I am defending those soulless, bloodsuckers, but its the Democrats (the more liberal of the two) who tend to be more isolationist in terms of foreign policy. They’re thought of as the domestic party after all, and I think that is part of their problem right now. They have no foreign policy platform when the electorate is increasingly concerned with the world outside.

  • Not to argue with ya, but most of the interventionist wars were Democratic:

    * WWI
    * WWII
    * Korea
    * Vietnam
    * Haiti
    * Bosnia
    * Kosovo

    I admit, the Clinton examples are a bit of a stretch…

    But, it’s the Democrats who take an activist role in foreign affairs — quite the opposite from isolationism. The democrats now, after Clinton, are very multilateral, and quite concerned about the good things you can do with American power.

    Bush I and Colin Powell (and Nixon too) are not really classic conservatives– they are from the “realist” camp. Gulf War I was necessary because there was this gross violation of international law (i.e., the invasion of a sovereign nation), and Bush I et al. believed only an international coalition should respond.

    Guys like Newt Gingrich, & Pat Buchanan — you can trace them back to Barry Goldwater, who was very hawkish about the Soviets, but who was more likely to drop an A-bomb on Vietnam than go in and attempt to nation-build a “democratic” country.

    You heard this all the time during the Clinton years… the Conservatives in Congress kept saying we shouldn’t be “nation-building”, and we should just raise fences on the Mexican border to keep out illegals. That is isolationist… the Democrats, especially under Clinton, were more interested in multilateral items, such as opening up China to trade, and pursuing international treaties such as Kyoto and the international court.

    The Neo-Cons, however, represent a new group flexing their muscles. They’re for unilateral intervention — to the point of preemptive war. Something very different from even President Reagan.

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