We Need to Boot the Neocons

Don’t get conned by the Neocons.

That should be a campaign slogan somewhere. Most Americans probably wouldn’t get it, but unfortunately most Americans have already been conned by the Neocons.

In both parties.

If you talk to people who have been around American politics for some time, they’ll tell you the Neocons weren’t much of a problem until the late 1970s.

Sure, they were around, but they were an almost insignificant minority in American politics, a bunch of disaffected liberals who wanted to go expand the American empire at all costs.

Their ardent Cold Warrior streak appealed to both conservatives and even some on the left. And they embraced at least the framework of the Great Society and the Civil Rights Movement.

You could say the same thing about many establishment Republicans beginning in the 1930s. Alf Landon’s 1936 presidential run didn’t look much different from Franklin Roosevelt’s. Landon even supported the Great Society later in life.

But the Neocons didn’t start playing much of a role in the general government until Ronald Reagan won in 1980. They were around in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but Reagan rolled out the red carpet, particularly after Mel Bradford was snubbed for an appointment to the NEH.

The Neocons always had a nose for power. That is their primary objective, even to this day.

Once embedded in Washington, they began dolling out federal grants and positions of power to their allies which allowed them to take over many of the important “intellectual” positions in the growing “conservative movement.”

One thing that made the neocons attractive to others on the right was their glowing support for Abraham Lincoln and the 1860s Republican Party. You see, only Southern conservatives (a group that has always been the real conservative backbone in America) found fault with “Honest Abe.” Old libertarians joined hands with their Southern brethren, but most other critics of “big government” thought St. Abraham was their patron saint, and they were willing to die on that hill.

They still are.

And that matters. You can’t conserve “conservatism” by supporting a 19th century leftist revolution. That will always circle back to the “remaking of America” in the 1860s.

That includes foreign policy, an area where he Neocons live and breathe.

They have never seen a war they didn’t like, particularly to “make the world safe for democracy.”

And now as Ron Unz points out in this superb piece, they are the establishment in both parties.

They dominate American foreign and domestic policy.

If we want to rid ourselves of the Neocons, we have to rid ourselves of their worthless 19th century progressive ideology. And that includes singing hosannas to Honest Abe.

I discuss Unz’s piece on Episode 816 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

Subscribe to The Podcast

Comments are closed.