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What is a Neo-Con?

  1. Mar 20, 2007 #1
    Is that a term for all conservatives or is there a definate set of criteria that distinguishes a conservative from a neo-conservative?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2007 #2
    Typically, they are nutjobs! :rofl:
  4. Mar 20, 2007 #3


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    Neo-cons were originally Democrats that were hawks on national defense. Many switched parties because social issues began to take priority in the Democratic Party. So, technically, neo-cons are now Republicans whose main priorities are national defense issues and global strategic issues.

    They may or may not be more moderate (or more conservative) than other Republicans on other issues. The other issues just aren't as important as defense and global strategic issues.
  5. Mar 20, 2007 #4
    I think the best answer was given by Bush senior when asked by Bush jr the same question. As the story goes, by a very solid citizen priivy to many fly on the wall viewpoints, Bush sr said one word, "Israel". In looking at the neocon agenda and actions thus far, one wonders...
  6. Mar 21, 2007 #5
    BobG is the only one who offered a reasonable explanation. Due to the limited responses to this post I have come to two conclusions based on the limited responses:

    1. Neocons are former Democrats turned Republicans who are interested in national defense and global stategic issues. Other than that they are all over the board regarding other issues.
    2. The word Neocon is a term spoken with disdain towards anyone who is conservative.

    Though number one may be the technical definition, it seems that number two is the most common use of the term.
  7. Mar 21, 2007 #6


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    Number 1 would be incorrect (today, at least). The neo-con movement may have originally been a Democratic movement, but that was back in the 70's and early 80's. It's a true statement about a lot of older neo-cons, but a lot of life long Republicans are neo-cons, as well - hence the term neo-con being tossed about for any Republican conservative (number 2).

    If one evangelical Christian supports a neo-con agenda (expanding freedom of religion to a new country means more opportunity for recruiting converts), then neo-con must mean all conservative Christians, etc. That loses sight of the fact that conservative Christians have issues that have a lot higher priority than expanding the chance to recruit new converts. Expanding democracy is a good thing, but not if it sucks attention from higher priority issues. Someone like abortion foe Marilyn Musgrave couldn't care less about Iraq policies - in fact, it's only after a second close election (in a overwhelmingly Republican district) that she's shown any interest about economic issues in her own district, let alone world affairs.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  8. Mar 21, 2007 #7
    Thanks, BobG.

    Now, my next question is:

    What is the Neo-Con conspiracy?
  9. Mar 21, 2007 #8


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    The theory that Israel's Likud party has cleverly installed its own puppet government in the US via Wolfowitz, Feith, et al, and plans to reshape the Middle East in a manner guaranteed to eliminate the entire Muslim religion from the region. I believe the theory originated with Baghdad Bob (no relation to BobG :rofl: ).

    A little over the top exaggeration, to be sure, but the theory does assert that Jewish influence on foreign policy may cloud thinking and result in a less effective foreign policy in the Middle East than if we treated Israel with the same regard we have for Peru, Mozambique, or any other small country of the world.

    In other words, it's an insult implying the neo-con foreign policy must not work because it has a valid reason not to work.

    In light of how well our Middle East policy is working today, liberals probably don't have to resort to conspiracy theories anymore.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  10. Mar 21, 2007 #9
    So from the liberal standpoint are conservatives lumped into this idea? As a conservative, personally, I have no desire to promote Isreal in abolishing the muslim religion if that is actually an agenda. Actually, I'd just as soon leave the ME to themselves but encourage democracy to those there that pursue it.

    Interesting stuff.
  11. Mar 21, 2007 #10


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    Under the dictionary definition of neoconservative -

    I think definition 2 is the most commonly used one.

    I don't believe conservatives and neoconservatives are lumped into a common idea or term.

    I do think both extremes of the political spectrum mischaracterize the other side such that 'liberal' and 'conservative' have become epithets or terms of disparagement.
  12. Mar 21, 2007 #11


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    The first paragraph was satirical, as in humorous.

    The second was more accurate. It's human nature to assume anyone who disagrees with you must be irrational and/or have ulterior motives for pursuing the policies they do.

    I don't put much stock in that kind of bs. It's more of an ad hominem attack instead of actually debating what will or will not work in foreign policy. It's possible to be wrong without being either irrational or because of ulterior motives.
  13. Mar 21, 2007 #12
    The neocon theory (AFAIK) was born during the cold war, and one of its linch pins is based around the theory that a society needs to have a common enemy, and to be fearful of that enemy to act in a cohesive and more conservative manner. Thus stoping liberal ideals turning the state into a counter culture, dare I say it, communist state.

    I would say the ideal *was* born from the disillusionment of the liberal dream, not from of Democrats.
  14. Mar 21, 2007 #13
    It seems like lately I see the term "liberal fringe" used by FOX news to describe any democrat wo thinks Gonzales was't appointed by God. This of course is not to be confused with the ultra right "lunatic fringe".:rolleyes:

    Edit: I guess it wouldn't be fair to leave out PNAC.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  15. Mar 21, 2007 #14


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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  16. Mar 21, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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  17. Mar 22, 2007 #16
    Barry Goldwater started the NEO-CON movement
    on a national level taking some ideas from the john birchers

    nixon was the next national leader with his Southern strategy
    but his disgrace and liberal laws lead many of the current neo-conned to reject him

    then we get to ronnie raygun the braindead puppet of nasty nancy
    and the modern newly conned movement was in full swing

    some ideas of the neo-conned I like , less goverment for one
    but their take over by the christian nuts has lead to a movement
    based and biased to ideas that have little to do with less goverment
    and more to do with bible based laws much like the tali-ban
    other ideas of the neo-conned like balanced budgets and spending cuts to match tax cuts have been lost in the rush to war

    in short I see the neo-conned as conned by the rich who think they are better then you so should pay no taxes
    and the rightwing nut churchs who do pay no taxes but want power over others thru control of the laws
    so I fail to see what the middle class avg joe gets out of this movement
  18. Mar 23, 2007 #17


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    Is it a take over of the neo-con movement by evangelicals or neo-cons realizing they'd be a fool to overlook a faithful army gullible enough to buy into the Ernest Angleys of the world?

    Here's an example of the type of articles that get passed right from neo-cons into e-mail chains passed about by evangelicals: The Coming War with Islam. The article comes from David Horowitz's neo-con website, but a lot of evangelicals can buy into this type of thing hook, line, and sinker.

    I'd pretty much call the article religious bigotry.

    Edit: Besides, not a single point you like about neo-cons is actually a neo-con philosophy.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  19. Mar 23, 2007 #18
    I personally think we have missed the point--in common parlance the term refers not to conservatives, nor to previously liberal conservatives, but a small bloc w/in the republican party that first took shape around the time of Reagan, but who siezed the rebublican agenda ca 1992-til now. The policy dictates are clear, and have been ipso facto law for the past 7 years. This by no means includes all conservatives, any way, shape, or form, but a zealous sliver like Cheney, Wolfy, Rove, et al. Kind of like we know best, we are the world's best hope, and all options including nuclear are open options. I think this better captures the spirit of the neo-cons than wandering democrats.
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