Monday, October 04, 2004

From the godfather's mouth to my ears

I just read Irving Kristol's article in the Weekly Standard published on August 25th of last year, and I must admit it deeply disturbed me. I had first come across it from a DiLorenzo commentary, and then when I went over the Jesse's blog, there was a link to Karen DeCoster's comments on the Lew Rockwell blog, and that's how I found the link.

"...one can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, (emphasis added) into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.


Can you say, "merry little totalitarian?"

"Its 20th-century heroes tend to be TR, FDR, and Ronald Reagan."


As Thomas Woods pointed out in his lecture at the Mises Institute, Teddy Roosevelt was an absolute head case, who violated his oath of office routinely.

Franklin Roosevelt almost singlehandedly made the Great Depression as painful and long lasting as possible.

And as for Ronald Reagan, Reagan did nothing of substance, which can be borne out by the fact that when he was eulogized, the only thing people really talked about was his warm personality.

"Such Republican and conservative worthies as Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked."


To call Herbert Hoover a great "conservative" in the old style sense is like calling a prostitute chaste. When he left office, contrary to what we're taught in school, he bragged that he'd used every method of government possible to help end the depression. He was no laissez-faire capitalist.

No comment on Ike. Whatever.

Coolidge was a great president. He did what he could to get the government to leave people alone. Goldwater would have done the same had he been elected. He also might have nuked Vietnam, but no one's perfect.

Nevertheless, they cannot be blind to the fact that neoconservative policies, reaching out beyond the traditional political and financial base, have helped make the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters. Nor has it passed official notice that it is the neoconservative public policies, not the traditional Republican ones, that result in popular Republican presidencies.


Translated into English, the neoconservatives made the Republicans as close to Democrats as they possibly could in order to make them more palatable to the voting public. Sweet!

Kristol then went on about tax cuts to stimulate economic growth, conveniently leaving out how those tax cuts are meaningless if spending isn't cut back also.

The rest of it made me sick to my stomach, so there you go.


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