Friday, August 15, 2003


Just what is Neoconservatism? Is it the sanderous libel that the Left paints it to be? Is it the worst of the Republicans? Are Neoconservatives a bunch of anti tax war mongers? Here is great piece by Irving Kristol about just what Neoconservatism is and isn't.

Neoconservatism is the first variant of American conservatism in the past century that is in the "American grain." It is hopeful, not lugubrious; forward-looking, not nostalgic; and its general tone is cheerful, not grim or dyspeptic. Its 20th-century heroes tend to be TR, FDR, and Ronald Reagan. Such Republican and conservative worthies as Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked. Of course, those worthies are in no way overlooked by a large, probably the largest, segment of the Republican party, with the result that most Republican politicians know nothing and could not care less about neoconservatism. Nevertheless, they cannot be blind to the fact that neoconservative policies, reaching out beyond the traditional political and financial base, have helped make the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters. Nor has it passed official notice that it is the neoconservative public policies, not the traditional Republican ones, that result in popular Republican presidencies.

I was never really sure but now it's safe to say I am closer to Neoconservatism than any other political movement in the world today. I believe in reason, intellectual honesty, learning from the lessons of history, the environmental conservation and robber baron busting of TR, the vision, principles and moral clarity of FDR, the strength and activism of JFK and finally the optimism and economic dynamism of Reagan. If that makes me a "neocon"... then so be it.

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