ANSWERS: 3
  • The standard definition of a Neocon is someone who subscribes to the tenets of 'New Conservatism', the more extreme social agenda favored by groups like the Christian Coalition. This differs from traditional conservatism and traditional Republicanism in a number of significant ways. Conservative beliefs come in two basic flavors, social and fiscal. Social conservatives believe in traditional values. Fiscal conservatives believe in limited government and free trade. Until the 1960s the Republican party was socially liberal and fiscally conservative and the Democratic party was socially conservative and fiscally liberal. The Republicans liked business and liked individual rights, while the Democrats liked big-government and traditional religious values. The Republicans were the party that freed the slaves and free trade and the Democrats were the party of the KKK and the massive government expansion of FDR. In the 1960s the Democratic party changed, largely as a result of the politics of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson who took the party from being a socially conservative southern party to one which embraced the civil rights movement and other progressive social policies while still favoring big government. This created a problem for traditional Republicans because the Democrats began to cut into their support base in the northeastern states. The Republicans responded by courting traditionally Democratic southerners who were opposed to large government but were also more socially conservative than the northern wing of their party. This started a process of change in the Republican party which eventually led to taking over the Democratic base in the south, and with that acquiring as adherents the most reactionary elements in southern politics, religiously motivated extremists who promoted a radical faith-based social agenda with only limited interest in issues of economic policy. These new Republicans are the Neocons and George W. Bush really isn't one of them. He's not really from Texas and he's not really a southern rancher or oilman. His family is from Connecticut and their background is in banking. They're the essence of traditional New England Republican businessmen. They're patricians who have a long history of political involvement in the Republican party, not the party of the Neocons, but the party of William McKinley and Andrew Mellon. Their ancestors came to America in the colonial period and they have long-established family wealth. They go to private prep schools and then Yale, belong to private clubs, own summer houses in Maine and have all the trappings of the priveleged classes of the northeast and are not given to extreme religious fervor. Bush's grandfather Prescott was in banking before he went into politics and he was a standard business-oriented Republican of his era. Bush's father was one of the most liberal Republicans in congress and had a great deal of trouble finding support and acceptance within his own party as it became more socially conservative in the 1970s and 80s. Part of his problem when seeking a second term was erosion of support among southerners who preferred to vote for a moderate southern democrat than someone they saw as a northeastern elitist.
  • Bu$h NOT a neocon? How do you figure that? Even his own party, mentioned that he was spending money like a "Bunch of Drunken Democrats". His actions spoke louder than his background and beliefs.
  • Thanks, guys, for the new word. Tres cool. Anyway, I would think neocon and Bush in the same sentence would tend to mean "new con" as in mondern day convict. That's far more suitable than some pretentious no word.

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