I have been fascinated for some time about the use of the term “NeoCon” to describe just about anyone with whom the liberal establishment disagrees. This term is used a pejorative adjective apparently because anyone who dares to think that the wild excesses of the Obama Administration are just that – excesses or that George Bush and his supporters are anything other than jingoistic war criminals are by definition “NeoCons” and thus without any intelligence or opinion worthy of expression.
Well it seems that the term NeoCon or Neoconservative goes back a long way – to 1950’s. Ironically it was originally used to describe those liberals who felt that the Liberals had gone too far left and were disagreed – thus they were moving to the right. Now understand these were not real conservatives – these were just liberals who had come to the conclusion that the welfare programs so cherished by their leftist colleagues had failed. But these “NeoCons” were people who had supported the socialist programs of the 1940’s—the New Deal, Trade Unions, and my personal favorite “Trotskyism” So the Neoconservatives were not real conservatives in the sense that they believed in capitalism, personal responsibility, low taxes, or the people. OH no—these were people who wallowed in the belief that they were the anointed intellectuals who knew how the rest of us should live but came to the conclusion that the left had moved to far left even for them but they remained the bedrock of the Democratic Party. The irony of that seems to escape most of the media today.
These neoconservatives supported the liberal causes like civil rights, integration, and most of the liberal causes and thinking of the post world war period but eventually came to think that the excesses like the black panthers, Weathermen, and other extreme left wing groups were too extreme and began to move to the right – meaning back to the mainstream Democratic thought but by the 1970’s it was too little too late. The extreme left had captured the Democratic Party which continued to support the far left Marxist inspired agenda. So these liberals came to the conclusion that the anti-American, anti-business, counterculture supported by the reformed Democratic Party was too extreme for them. They believed in America and they believed that if America intended to fight in Viet Nam they should fight to win but that the Democratic Party, the Peace Activists, and the Johnson Great Society were not positive things for America. They became the “Silent Majority” which still believed in the Democratic Party Ideals but not the Reformed Democratic Party.
These neoconservatives still believed – as many still do today – in Economic Liberalism but Social Conservatism. But they were unable to convince their colleagues in the Reformed Democratic Party that the party was out of touch with mainstream America. The result was the crushing defeat suffered by George McGovern – the “Peace Candidate” as the “silent majority” voted Nixon into the White House. Thus the extreme left that had usurped the Democratic Party was then much as it is today – deaf to any voice that disagrees with their socialist and Marxist agenda. An even greater irony is that many of the most hated NeoCons today – people like Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith were Democrats who supported Scoop Jackson as the Democratic Candidate for President. Even Ronald Reagan was initially a Democrat.
Admittedly some of these Neoconservatives did drift back to the core Democratic Party but not all. The reality is that the NeoCons still exerted influence but increasingly on the Republican Party as they leaned more toward military solutions as the way to enforce humanitarian improvements in countries like the Philippines and Chile bringing down Marcos and Pinochet. It was these NeoCons who influenced the foreign policies of both President Clinton and President Bush. They pushed hard for Human Rights and the need to bring democracy to the world and charged both Administrations of lacking “moral clarity” and more importantly a failure to act forcefully in America's interests. Thus these once far left liberals – the bedrock of the Democratic Party – have become in the eyes of their former ideologues -- apostate and worst of all “Republicans”. The reality seems to be that the true Republicans have been overshadowed by these NeoCons who now dominate the Republican Party.
Ironically it appears the Tea Party – which is made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents comes closer to the actual philosophies of the original Democratic and Republican Party’s than those party’s do today. How this will ultimately work out is to be determined but it seems that the Obama Administration moved the Democratic Party to the breaking point and whether it can survive without dramatic change is highly problematic. But the same goes for the Republican Party – they cannot continue allowing the Constitution to be twisted by the courts into some unrecognizable thing nor can they continue their tendency to serve lobbyists rather than the people.
So if you voted Republican and are called “NeoCon” there is a great probability that the person making the accusation has no clue what a NeoCon really is.