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Just what IS a "Neo-Conservative"?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Seriously, I am getting really confused by this buzz word. And maybe that's just what it is - a buzz word meant to insult conservatives. Like Femi-Nazi but more subtle.

I know what I am. I am a traditional conservative. I want small government, fiscal responsibility (something that has seemingly escaped both parties of late). I believe in funding the military and keeping it at the ready at all times - and I believe the best defense is a good offense militarily. I believe that being an American is a priviledge, whether you're born into it or not, and I really do resent those from other countries who think they have the "right" to come here illegally and take from our economy, society, and government. I believe that I have the right to keep and bear arms, whether that be for sport, collecting, or self-protection. I do think that some regulation of that right is acceptable - for instance, I don't have a problem with restrictions on owning fully-automatic firearms, nor do I have a problem with a background check to enforce already existing laws. I do have a problem with the government keeping tabs on who owns firearms. I believe that those who are willing to give up freedom for security shall have neither.

I get it when Bush is referred to as a neoconservative. His policies sure don't reflect what I see as traditional conservative values. He has spend big, created more and larger government, and restricted individual freedom. Perhaps the times has required some additional government interference, but I don't like the extent to which he has enacted it.

But in the Ted Nugent thread, Sarah referred to him and the article as the "worst of neoconservatism". See, now I'm confused. I see Ted as more of a traditional conservative.

Really, this is an honest question. What in the heck is a neoconservative as compared with a traditional conservative? Or are they all just bad words?
post #2 of 14
I didn't think this was a new term...It has been around for decades.

From wiki, it classifies previous leftists or liberals that adopted conservative values...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservative

From what I understood, it came about in the 80's when it was no longer derogatory to be called a conservative.

I wouldn't call Ted a neo-conservative either..He has been straight up Big Capital C for years if I remember correctly!
post #3 of 14
I'm not sure either, Heidi. I do think there are a lot of terms out there meant to incite feelings, usually anger.

I don't really understand all the need to classify people into further groups than conservative or liberal. Everyone will have certain points that they feel more strongly about, so that isn't really an accurate way to further divide a group.
post #4 of 14
Then what is a Neo-Nazi? Someone who used to be Jewish? Or someone that is not "racially pure" (gag)


(Not trying to make fun of any Jewish people)
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Then what is a Neo-Nazi? Someone who used to be Jewish? Or someone that is not "racially pure" (gag)


(Not trying to make fun of any Jewish people)
Neo literally defines as "new" (Greek)...So, there can be many different forms of something being prefixed with "neo". It is not, in and of itself, a negative term.

P.S So, a neo-nazi would refer to the second wave of nazis or "new" nazis.(like skinheads, for example).
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
So, is the "neoconservative" label as it is used today referring more to the liberal-turned-conservative, or to the conservatives that are more focused on Christianity (social aspects more than fiscal/governmental) and legislating their own moral compasses?

I read through that Wikipedia entry (OK, most of it ), and that's really not how I'm seeing it used. I think the definition has changed in the past 6 years. Just considering the context.

I'd really love to hear from the people who have used it here (generally it's not used in a complimentary manner). What do you think it is? What is your definition of it?
post #7 of 14
Richard Perle was long considered the neo-Conservatives' poster boy. If you google his name, you'll find some explanations, but meanwhile, this link will give you an idea: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1315
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Seriously, I am getting really confused by this buzz word. And maybe that's just what it is - a buzz word meant to insult conservatives. Like Femi-Nazi but more subtle.

I know what I am. I am a traditional conservative. I want small government, fiscal responsibility (something that has seemingly escaped both parties of late). I believe in funding the military and keeping it at the ready at all times - and I believe the best defense is a good offense militarily. I believe that being an American is a priviledge, whether you're born into it or not, and I really do resent those from other countries who think they have the "right" to come here illegally and take from our economy, society, and government. I believe that I have the right to keep and bear arms, whether that be for sport, collecting, or self-protection. I do think that some regulation of that right is acceptable - for instance, I don't have a problem with restrictions on owning fully-automatic firearms, nor do I have a problem with a background check to enforce already existing laws. I do have a problem with the government keeping tabs on who owns firearms. I believe that those who are willing to give up freedom for security shall have neither.

I get it when Bush is referred to as a neoconservative. His policies sure don't reflect what I see as traditional conservative values. He has spend big, created more and larger government, and restricted individual freedom. Perhaps the times has required some additional government interference, but I don't like the extent to which he has enacted it.

But in the Ted Nugent thread, Sarah referred to him and the article as the "worst of neoconservatism". See, now I'm confused. I see Ted as more of a traditional conservative.

Really, this is an honest question. What in the heck is a neoconservative as compared with a traditional conservative? Or are they all just bad words?
I have always been under the impression that neo- in front of anything meant a new or modern way of thinking.
post #9 of 14
It's a political ideology that has been around for a long time. Wikipedia has a good definition of it. And yes, I use it as an insult, too, because neoconservatism has become a hallmark for ignorant, bigoted politics and views. But this has been going on in political circles for a long time, too. Same as calling someone a tree-hugging loopy left wing nut. Although THAT is not actually an ideology in itself, like neoconservatism.

George Bush is a classic neocon, and I agree it's probably him that has brought the word back into the zeitgeist. In political forums, it's also used (probably incorrectly) to describe anyone who is fundamentalist or extremist conservative.
post #10 of 14
Neocons to me are people who only care about how much they can cut their own taxes. It's all about accepting bribes and making back-room deals. Basically people who have gotten into politics for the sake of their own private business. Dick Cheney comes immediately to mind.
They use hot-button issues to scare the people who were traditionally liberal into voting with them (ie, abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research, etc). Rural lower-middle class people were traditionally democratic until the neocons used political tools like these to convince them that the party that has never given a crap about them is the right one for them.
Not that they can't make their own decisions etc but somehow issues that are pretty much at a stalemate have become the big issues of politics while things that actually matter are on the backburner, and people who otherwise would despise the party identify with them for taking the 'moral' highground.


Heidi, you are not a neocon. Nobody here is. Nobody outside of politics is.
post #11 of 14
On the political forum that I am on there are several neocons who are outside of politics. And they call themselves that, too. Proudly. Just as I am proud to be a social democrat. You don't see neocons here because they would not be tolerated here. I would say there are a couple of members here who lean towards it, but saying there are no neocons outside of politics is like saying there are no liberals outside of politics.

Neoconservatism, like socialism or libertarianism, is a political ideology and is not that new. Anybody can adopt an ideology. You don't have to be a politician to do so. Heidi, you most certainly are not a neoconservative.

And Cindy, to answer your question. Neo-Nazis are `new Nazis'. They are people of this day and age who are a part of the revivalist movement of the Nazi party. I don't actually understand what you meant in your post. It has nothing to do with Jews or not being racially pure. `neo' doesn't mean `opposite', it means `new'.
post #12 of 14
Just to clarify I will accept that there are plenty of people who identify as neocon. I just don't think they really are neocons. Neoconservatism is a tool used by those is power to get their way, I don't think it even is an ideology. Just splitting hairs maybe, to say that people who agree with the neocon party line aren't neocons, and I'm sure they'd be the first to disagree. I would call them neocon followers. Too bold maybe to say nobody outside of politics-- people like Ken Lay are neocons too. But you must be in power, and in a position to exploit that power for your own good, to be a neocon.

To me.
post #13 of 14
Oohhhhhhh you really, really need to come to this political forum!! You'd meet some people there that would make your hair stand on end.

But I do agree with what you say about power. That's so true. And all the people I know who identify with neoconservatism are people who are just like that - want to have all the power, are aggressive, domineering and obnoxious.

But it's the politicians who are neoconservatives that are so terribly dangerous. People like Bush and Cheney are the first two that spring to mind. I also think that in this climate, if it's not strictly considered an ideology now, it soon will be. It's a growing trend, and a growing mindset. Hopefully the next US election will go some way towards nipping it in the bud. But, sadly, I don't think so.
post #14 of 14
The major difference I see between neo-con politicians and traditional conservatives is in foreign policy. The neo-cons are interventionists just for the sake of being interventionist. Like the crusade to bring democracy to every country. At one time this was seen as a crusade that would be undertaken by liberals. Traditional conservatives tend to be isolationists. They would never undertaken a campaign to change other countries. I doubt that there were too many traditional conservatives that were gung-ho about going into Iraq. Some in Washington were bullied into voicing support because Bush was at the height of his political power at the time. Someone mentioned being more strongly associated with Christian ideals, I don't think religion has much to do with it. There are several prominent Jews that are considered Neo-Cons.
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TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Just what IS a "Neo-Conservative"?