Conservatives try really hard to make a distinction between "Republicans" and "Neocons."?
If "neocons" aren't Republicans, what are they?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
it's simply an attempt to distance themselves from Bush and his policies...
if bush was in your party, wouldn't you try to distance yourself?
- 1 decade ago
The Neocons the neocons, i don't even know what the hell a neocon is. I am a Reganite. And not all Republicans are conservatives. Personally I think a lot of the Republican Party has actually gone to the left. Look at John McCain teaming up with Ted Kennedy, to make a bill giving illegal immigrants amnesty. Just look how it was split in the Republican Party when it came down to vote on that bill.
- bob hLv 51 decade ago
First, there are Conservatives, who believe in small, nonintrusive govt, staying out of other countries affairs, & balanced budgets. The Neo Con record is just the opposite with runaway spending on foreign wars, more bureaucracy, & restricted civil rights. The Republican Party has been under neocon control for especially the past 6 years. Many true conservatives are becoming Libertarians or Independents because they cannot support either neocon nor Republican values.
The same is true with the liberal - Democrat split. I am an Independent that supports many moderately liberal positions, but the party is too liberal for me to affiliate with it.
- 1 decade ago
here is the best answer I ever seen posted by a user who got suspended.
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Considered as a group, the neocons have a fairly concrete identity -- they are intensely hawkish Democrats (or the offspring of intensely hawkish Democrats) who bolted the party in the late '60s/early '70s after it turned against the Vietnam War. They tend to be Jewish, urban and intellectual. Many of them worked for Scoop Jackson (the hawkish Democratic Senator from Washington State.) Some of them started out on the far left fringe of American politics (Trotskyists, etc.) then moved right and kept going. Some are admirers of the late University of Chicago professor and philospher Leo Strauss.
These are all generalizations, but there are enough people who fit enough of the points to make the profile valid.
Ideologically, though, neocon is a much more nebulous term. It's not like there's some kind of neocon Politburo that lays down a rigid party line on any and all points -- although the Project for a New American Century probably comes closest to filling that function.
It's easy enough to point to some common themes that are generally identified with the neocons: contempt for international organizations and the concept of multilateralism; impatience with traditional balance-of-power diplomacy; a cultish devotion to the use of military power; an outspoken belief in the superiority of Western culture and political institutions; a messianic vision of America's mission to "civilize" the world, which at times (Max Boot) makes them sound like caricatures of old-fashioned European imperialists. And of course: an intense identification with the state of Israel, and a willingness, even eagerness, to use American power to protect and further Israeli security interests.
But there are nuances on all these points. Some neocons support the maximum Likud position -- one state (Jewish) between the Jordan and the sea. Some don't. Some are more willing to use multilateral institutions to pursue American interests. Some aren't. Some are more cynical about the "spreading democracy" meme than others.
Personally, I would not describe Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld as neocons. Certainly not on the first count (personal biography). And not on the second (ideological affinity), either. At the end of the day, Cheney and Rumsfeld are politicians and bureaucrats. They are not intellectuals -- not by a long shot. They are consumers of ideology, not producers.
To me, the neocons and the realists are rival schools of foreign policy intellectuals, competing for the patronage of political leaders such as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Delay, etc. With a few exceptions, they are servants of power -- not holders of power.
Since most American politicians (like most American voters) know very little about the rest of the world, they usually don't have detailed positions on the kinds of foreign policy issues the neocons and the realists spend their professional lives debating. Instead, politicians have belief systems, typically reflecting some fairly basic value judgments: America must always be the strongest nation on earth, or America should try to cooperate with its allies, or whatever.
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- Joey's BackLv 61 decade ago
All this trying to place names and labels on folks is just rubbish. I know liberal Republicans and conservative Dems. Neocons are neocons, etc. etc. Maybe it's time to just look at issues and the best way to solve them instead of trying to "name" the people with the proposed solutions!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Neocons are a discredited and defunct faction within the Republican Party, whom no one will ever listen to again. Not all Republicans are Neocons, but they should pay a heavy price for selling their souls to them.
- 1 decade ago
Historically, the term "neocon" referred to liberals or democrats who, starting under Reagan, began to support "conservative" policies. They were considered "new conservatives" -- hence the term "neocon."
Today, the term is used by critics to refer to the group within the current Bush administration that have endorsed an interventionist foreign policy. Republicans have traditionally been pro-military but also somewhat isolationist. The move from isolationism to a more militant foreign policy has been labeled by some as "neocon."
On 9/11, we were attacked by Al Qaeda with the support of Afghanistant. This was an act of war which resulted in a worldwide response. Bush expanded this war from a war merely against Al Qaedi and its supporters to a general worldwide war against terror. He drew a line in the sand with his statement in the 2002 State of the Union Speech that "you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists."
If you view Al Qaeda and its affiliates as an organization at war with the US (this is how the depict themselves), then you must agree that we are at war. The issue then is not whether to defend ourselves but rather what is the best strategy to do so.
What makes neocons different from both Republicans and Democrats of the past is that they have chosen a strategy of pre-emptive attacks against emerging threats. "Pre-emption" and "emerging threats" are not policies the U.S. has endorsed in the past, and the concept of the U.S. attacking other countries before it has been attacked is frightening to the citizens of many other nations.
If you consider the nature of terrorism, you may see some merit to this argument. The traditional approach to war is to wait until you are attacked (or know that an attack is imminent) and then respond militarily if the attacker is another country. If we apply this policy to terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction (which are much easier to obtain now than during the Cold War), we will likely have a few of our cities destroyed by nuclear, chemical or biological attacks.
So, whatever your position on "neocons" or the war in Iraq, you must agree terrorist organizations with the power to do serious damage are at war with us. Additionally, this is an unconventional war that cannot be won in the traditional battlefield with bombers and heavy armor.
At the outset of the war in Iraq, there was strong popular support in the US and at least tepid support among many other countries. The philosophy behind the war was to (1) prevent WMD's from eventually getting in the hands of terrorists and (2) to create a strong democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Had this strategy succeeded, we would have made the world a far safer place from terrorists.
Most people have agreed with this strategy from a purely theoretical point of view. The problem in Iraq is one of incompetent management than incorrect philosophy. Every step of the process, from the heavy-handed pre-war diplomacy to the post-war occupation, was bungled.
Although Neocons started as Democrats, the Neocons with any influence today have been in Republicans in the Bush administration (such Cheney and Rumsfield). Their dismal track record has discredited the term "neocon." It is now used mainly as a label by critics, so it has lost its real meaning.
The more important question would be what is the difference between Bush and traditional Republicans. The recent loss of Congress by the Republicans was due mainly the Republican base adandoning Bush. Here are some important differences:
1. Republicans favor limited government. Bush has expanded the cost and role of government more than any other president in history. Even if you take the cost of the War on Terror out of consideration, Bush still has expanding spending more than any other president -- even more than big-spending Democrats like FDR and Johnson.
2. Republicans tend to be civil libertarians. Bush is definitely not part of this group (Patriot Act, illegal wire taps, secret prisons, etc.).
3. Republicans tend to support a larger military force. Bush certainly has spent a lot of money on the military, but he has followed a "do more with less" approach to the war on terrorism. We sent relatively few troups to Afghanistan and Iraq, and our military is spread out too thin to be sufficiently effective in the worldwide war on terror.
About the only areas in which Bush has something in common in Republicans is in tax cuts. He calls his policy of combining big tax cuts with big increases in social spending "compassionate conservatism."
So... we have two labels here:
"Compassionate Conservatism" - Bush's domestic policy of spending increases and massive deficits combined with tax cuts. The "compassionate" part is the social spending; the "conservative" part is the tax cutting.
"Neo-Conservatism" - Originally the "Reagan Democrats" from the 1980's, now the policy of pre-emptive military action.
- 1 decade ago
The Republican party may be shifting to Neo-Cons because of Bush/Cheney, but not all Republicans are neo-cons. Neo-cons are pro-war more executive power, a "conservative" is smaller government and less government interference in American lives.
Thats another point in which the Republican party has shifted from conservatism, because gay marriage and abortion amendments are not staying out of people's lives...
- 1 decade ago
you donts even know what a neocon is.
reported for stupidities
- J Q PublicLv 61 decade ago
neocons control the repub party.they are an evil bunch that seek to destroy america.