I keep hearing about this term on the blogosphere and in other reading material and I have never really understood what is meant by this term.
So in the great tradition of other “What The Heck is…” installments, here is one for those of us dummies that don’t know what a neo–conservative is.
Neo–conservatives support the idea of using America’s military might to bring democracy to other countries.
Some of the main characteristics of neoconservatism include:
little emphasis on diplomacy
more emphasis on the use of military force
little emphasis on the use of international organizations
more emphasis on controlling the Middle East
Neo–conservatives believe that the United States should spread its own ideas of democracy globally, mostly through military force.
According to a Time magazine article from February 2009, neo–conservatives are more interested in confronting their enemies than they are in making friends.
The term itself was used in the early 1920s in opposition to right-leaning liberals. The modern usage of the word (neoconservative) increased with the focus on neoconservatism as part of the George W. Bush administration.
However, neo–conservatives were opposed to Bush’s policies early in his first term. However, after 9/11, his tactics changed quite dramatically and his State of the Union speech in January 2002 was actually written by a neoconservative.
So in a nutshell, neo–conservatives are the conservatives that one could relate the term “war-monger” toward.
With all of this in mind, I could definitely not consider myself a neo–conservative by any means.
While I was reading about neo–conservatives I ran across another term, paleoconservatism, so I thought I would read a bit about that one too.
This is a term used anti-communists and anti-imperialists in the United States that emphasize anti-federalism and the religious, national and Western identity of the country.
Paleo–conservatives are opposed to the funding of foreign wars or a term they use to refer to neo–conservatives, “polite totalitarianism.”
One of the key aspects of their philosophy is their anti-federalist views. They believe that almost all government tasks should be performed at the local or state level and support the decentraliziation of our government and place more emphasis on local rule, private property and minimal bureaucracy.
I actually kind of like this idea and barring further reading about this political philosophy I can just about identify with this sort of conservatism in a lot of ways.