July 3, 2013

Dear Conservatives: The Neocons Are Not Your Friends

By In History, Politics

In the world of politics, be careful who you trust.  In the world of politically driven columnists, intellectuals, and opinion molders, trust no one.  To all the good conservatives out there who appreciate the likes of Bill Kristol (pictured), Dick Cheney, and Michael Medved, you have been conned.

During the progressive era, the political tables were turned like never before.  Democrats shifted from the relatively laissez-faire party to the cornerstone of progressive and twentieth century American liberalism.  The Republican Party, born in 1854 among the disorganized elements of the neo-Hamiltonians, those sympathetic to the nationalist followers of Henry Clay and his dangerously conceived “American System,” reacted by moving, for the first time, swiftly to the anti-centralist position during Woodrow Wilson’s administration.

What was the leading issue of the day?  War.  The progressives have always loved their war.  It brings them power and sets them on the path to a greater control and an empire (literally) worth fighting for.  The conservatives protested Wilson’s entry into WWI and FDR’s entry into WWII.  To the conservatives, war was the path to a despotic tyranny and a liberalism that smacked of rotten European bureaucracy and anti-liberty.  Preserving culture and economic stability has long been the goal of the (American) conservative.  War does nothing but threaten such a hope.

And what now?  With the Republican Party’s monopoly on the people who would claim to be conservative, it seems that the conservative position on war is a fist in the air and a patriotic, “yes!”

What happened?  The neocons.

As the moderate (Establishment) faction of the Republican Party continued to grow in power and influence, the key election of the twentieth century took place in 1952.  Dwight Eisenhower, carefully crafted and molded by a new Rockefeller organization known as the American Assembly who worked hard behind the scenes to set up Eisenhower’s reputation, was by and large the choice of the largest crony firms throughout wall street and the military industrial complex.  His chief foe during the primaries was the grassroots and conservative hero statesman, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio.  Taft, an Old Right conservative and a hero in the conservative anti-war faction of the Republican Party, was the last chance the nation had for a humble foreign policy until the rise the New Left and the candidacy of George McGovern in ’72.  However, it is more certainly true that Taft was the last chance for a conservative antiwar proponent and champion of the Old World culture.  Even Barry “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater in 1964 was no Taftian conservative.

Eisenhower stole the election from Senator Taft by falsely blaming him for stealing delegates.  Through a crony convention vote, giving Eisenhower and his crew the upper hand, Eisenhower was able to secure himself the nomination and eventually took the coveted position of President.  The Old Right died that day.

From then on it was the dying movement of true “America First” conservatives vs. the establishmentarian moderates, the so-called Rockefeller Republicans, who were suspiciously close in policy and business, with the establishment Democrats.

The so-called Eastern Establishment had won the day and had representatives of their old fascist network dispersed throughout both parties in Washington.  Enter neocons.  In a stunning and admittedly impressive set of political victories, the self-described neoconservatives, with their Sun-belt manufacturing-based “new” money (as opposed to the Establishment “old” money) and cunning political method of utilizing think tanks, foundations, and journalism, the neoconservatives crept swiftly into the Republican Party.  With all their old leftist baggage still intact.  Stepping forth from their Trotskyite (remember him, the Russian extreme Marxist?) and far left socialist roots, their leader Irving Kristol, father of Weekly Standard founder and editor William Kristol, disturbingly called the group “conservative” so as to brilliantly distance themselves from the infamous phrase “Rockefeller Republican.”

It was understood in the late 70’s that “Rockefeller Republican” meant moderate or liberal Republican, and therefore the post-Goldwater right welcomed those socialist pro-war neocon snakes with open arms.  But it was a trap.  For they aren’t conservative at all.  Their pro-war idealism is strikingly reminiscent of the old Wilsonian Progressive school and their deceitful lack of opposition toward big-government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and the like should trigger immediate alerts to those who love the Constitution and individual liberty.  But it was too late.  By the late 80’s the Republicans were faced with the non-choices of Establishment types (such as George H.W. Bush) and neoconservatives (such as John McCain).

If you are a conservative, great.  If you are not ready or willing to embrace the ideology of libertarianism, at least consider your conservative roots.  One of the greatest proponents of old fashioned conservatism is Pat Buchanan.  While no Ron Paul, Buchanan is the stalwart of the “paleocons.”  Would a libertarian agree with him all the time? No.  Is he worth supporting? Absolutely!  Why?  He is anti-Empire.  Hence the hatred cast his way by Bill Kristol and his gang.

Which brings us to 2013.  What is the future of the neoconservative movement?  In a wonderful article in Politico titled Bill Kristol’s big plans start with Chuck Hagel nomination the following is noted:

In the weeks since Election Day — as Mitt Romney faded into obscurity, John Boehner lost control of the House GOP and tea partiers turned on one another — Bill Kristol has been busy charting the future of the Republican Party.

Kristol was among the first conservatives to break with GOP orthodoxy on raising taxes, and he and his allies advanced their hawkish neoconservative foreign policy by pushing the controversy that sank Susan Rice’s potential nomination for secretary of state.

And Kristol is just getting started.

One Kristol-linked group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, has already aired ads targeting former Sen. Chuck Hagel, who is Obama’s nominee for defense secretary and is planning a “substantial” paid-media campaign opposing the nomination. Kristol believes Hagel is both a “bitter opponent of Israel” and “very weak on Iran.”

It won’t end with Hagel, either. Another Kristol-linked group, the Center for American Freedom, has signaled its intent to go after other prospective Obama nominees.

Plus, Kristol and his allies have been talking about starting a “reformist” organization to recraft Republican fiscal policies and champion a rising generation of Republicans, such as Kristol favorites Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. The hypothetical group, modeled on the defunct Democratic Leadership Council, would join an expanding network of media platforms and nimble nonprofits for Kristol and mark an ambitious expansion into domestic policy.

Remember what I said above: “In the world of politics, be careful who you trust.  In the world of politically driven columnists, intellectuals, and opinion molders, trust no one.”  The socialist right is charting the future of the party with which conservatives love to identify.  Look at the friends the neocons are making in Washington: “Kristol favorites Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.”  Are these not the up and coming members of the Republican Party?  Were not Rubio and Ryan favorites for VP under Romney?  Careful who your friends are.  The friends of your enemy cannot be your friend.

And please listen, dearest conservative, the neocons are not your friends.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com