I recently got into a debate with a friend of mine. I was complaining about how the National Republican Party had been high jacked by “neocons,” who were not conservatives at all. My friend seemed to resent the term “neocon.” He suggested that people who used the term neoconservative were closet anti-semites or somehow anti-Israel. However, my main gripe has nothing to do with foreign policy.
My argument is that the dominance of neoconservatism in the Republican party has alienated two important factions: traditional conservatives and libertarians. They have done this by influencing the G.O.P. to abandon both national identity and limited government.
BIG GOVERNMENT CONSERVATISM
The main problem that conservatives and libertarians have with â€œneoconsâ€ is the fact that they embrace big government. Don’t take my word for it: just ask Irving Kristol, the grandfather of the neoconservative movement.
In August 5, 2005 issue of The Weekly Standard, Kristol said that “The historical task of neoconservatism is to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”
Read that again.
Think about it.
Kristol says that he wants to change conservatism. But how exactly?
Simply put, he wants to do away with what I consider THE central issues of the conservative/ libertarian cause: smaller, less intrusive government and fiscal responsibilty. Irving Kristol has said that this â€œnew conservative politics feels no alarm or anxiety about he growth of the state in the past half century, seeing it as natural, even inevitable.â€
This is the essence of neoconservatism. Conservatives and Libertarians look at the â€œLeviathan Stateâ€ and cringe. By contrast, Neoncons look at it and say â€œCool!â€
I despise the neocon philosophy, because big government goes against everything that true conservatism stands for. Traditional conservatives believe that the size of he state can only grow at the expense of human liberty and freedom, and donâ€™t see the growth of government as â€œinevitable.â€
Perhaps the second biggest player in the neoconservative movement is William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, the neocon bible. As the debate over illegal immigration was coming to a head in 2006, Bill Kristol expressed his disdain for those who opposed amnesty for illegal aliens. He used the word â€œyahooâ€ to refer to those who favored an “enforcement only” stance on illegal immigration.
In the April 2006 issue of The Weekly standard, he mocked those who opposed amnesty for illegal aliens:
Most Republican officeholders know that the political–and moral–cost of turning the GOP into an anti-immigration, Know Nothing party would be very great. It could easily dash Republican hopes of becoming a long-term governing party. How many Republicans will have the courage to stand up and prevent the yahoos from driving the party off a cliff?
Most insulting of all was Kristolâ€™s treatment of Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo. He referred to Tancredo as an â€œanti-immigration yahoo.â€ Really, I’m not making this up.
I’ve given two examples here about how the neocons have driven the G.O.P. over a cliff. Entire books have been written on the poisonous influence of the neocons on the Republican party. Simply put, they are more than worthy of our disdain, whether you are a conservative, libertarian, or even liberal.
Yes, conservative pundits are always happy to bash â€œliberals.â€ Thereâ€™s a time and a place for that sort of thing, but what the G.O.P. needs right now is a civil war in which the neocons are defeated.