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The Influence and Reach of Neo-conservatism

Updated on November 13, 2009

“Americans are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in the homeland Americans have turned on Americans, and we are fighting a war of ideas.”

The original founders of Neoconservatives or “New Conservatives” are former liberals, Democrats, and socialists with what they describe as a new conservative thought. Neocons believe the U.S. should support the formation of a Jewish State. They are war hawks when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. In order to advance U.S. foreign policy, Neocons support a robust military in order to be equipped and ready to face any aggression against any foreign government

They strongly supported the invasion of Iraq. They believe the best way to ultimately attain America’s national security is by spreading democracy and freedom around the world even if it means using military power to preemptively invade a foreign nation and impose America’s view of democracy on it.

Neocons, as they hate to be called, strongly advocate rooting out autocratic governments (by military force if necessary) and replacing them with democratic ones, which is hypocrisy when in our own country they supported Bush’s belief that he had absolute power as president. That position is clearly not constitutional and not democracy as we know it. During Bush’s two terms, they consistently opposed any person or group that questioned his presidential powers. Sadaam had absolute power as president of Iraq.

We first saw the power of Neocons’s influence on U.S. foreign policy under Ronald Reagan. They are well organized and well connected. They are empowered by publications like The Weekly Standards and think tank groups like the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Their influence and power were greatly expanded under the Bush administration.

Neoconservatives favor free trade whereas Paleoconservatives (formerly referred to as the “Old Right”) strongly oppose it because they believe free trade do away with American jobs. Neocons label opponents of free trade as protectionists.

Neocons are less of traditionalists than Paleocons. Neocons support civil equality for blacks and other minorities, but not to the same degree those rights are afforded whites. They don’t agree with limiting immigration into the U.S. because it backs their pro-business stance.

They are hell bent on stifling any free expression of ideas that conflict with conservatism. They refer to it as the Culture Wars, and they are the culture warriors. They oppose a woman’s right to choose, gun laws, separation of church and state, privacy laws, homosexuality. They don’t support the government using tax dollars to fund programs that provide assistance and care for the elderly and the poor.

Another hot button issue for them is free speech. They believe in some instances, even in a democracy, the citizens should be prevented from speaking out against the government. That was evident in the way they have assaulted the character of those who opposed the Iraq War. They view any opposition to their conservative belief as warfare.

Americans are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in the homeland Americans have turned on Americans, and we are fighting a war of ideas. Conservatives have their belief about the role of government and the military and liberals and progressives have theirs. Both groups are becoming increasingly vocal about their position. You better know what it is that you believe, because if you don’t believe in something, then you’ll fall for anything. Do your research.


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      Angela Easterwood 8 years ago

      I printed this to read on the train ride home from work. You would have thought I was in church. I cannot count the times I said aloud...AMEN!