Friday, June 04, 2004

Everybody's using the term, but does anyone actually know what it means?
Ask five people what a 'neoconservative' is, chances are, you'll get six or seven different answers.

Whenever I hear a buzzword bandied about, I like to get the bottom of it - origins, meanings, etc. Neoconservatism piques my curiosity particularly because I think it might be something that touches on my world view at this point. At first, I thought it a change from current 'liberal' values to 'conservative' ones with regard to foreign policy after 9/11. Then I heard that a neoconservative was a follower of a relatively obscure economics professor at a midwestern university. From my snarkier Cambridge or European counterparts - I learned it was being a Jew in politics.

About a week ago, Opinionjournal had an interesting article - it's been one of the more helpful essays on the subject that I've seen. Their maintenance is that it is not 'neo,' (has its origins in the origins in this country), it is not 'conservative,' (too idealist) - but something uniquely American. A balance between idealism and pragmatism.

I'm not a Jewess (but can play one on TV), however I am an American and not ashamed at all of that. I'm not a politician. I think my liberalism is more in tune with classic liberal values rather than the idealization of a socialist state that seems to define the term nowadays. I know that in everything I do, there is serious given to what I'd like something to be vs what the actual reality before me is. There might be something to this.

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