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  • American Heritage Dictionary: "Extremely or stubbornly conservative in political matters." isn't going to be sufficient in today's usage.
  • Wikipedia which begins with "The neutrality of this article is disputed."
  • Of ten listed ideologies, "'Paleocons' want less US involvement in foreign affairs than other conservatives and oppose mass immigration. They are also more favorably disposed toward the South and the idea of secession, or at least decentralization, than neoconservatives."
  • "In direct contrast to neoconservatives, paleoconservatives reject internationalism and interventionism that is not directly related to protecting U.S. national interests (largely defined as economic interests). Their roots can be traced back to the conservative isolationists and profascists of the 1930s and to the America First movement of the 1940s. After the end of the cold war, the paleoconservatives were one of the few political sectors that criticized the new military interventionism, including both the Gulf War and the humanitarian interventions of the 1990s. On economic issues such as free trade, the paleocons are nationalists and protectionists, while on most domestic issues their posture is one of reactionary populism that includes elements of racism and nativism." FPIF

This is a term which I haven't encountered before today. Preliminary research (not including the Wikipedia article) indicates that it could be useful as describing a branch of conservatism which maintains that they support the original conservative values while the neo-conservatives have become something else.

Not surprisingly, there is much print from neo-conservatives which make the claim that their values are heritage, and that the paleo-conservatives, having opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq, have strayed from their roots.

While this could be a fascinating study, at this time I'm going to just post a few notes and clear a few dozen browser windows off my monitor.

It's refreshing to see that there could yet be some old fashioned conservatives who can still discourse about a center with classic liberals. In that light, it doesn't seem to be the neo-cons whose power trip and capacity for rational discourse is more reminiscent of the barbarians of the first century.


David Frum (said to have given the "axis of evil" line to George W. Bush) spurred some discourse in the conservative community when he used the term in an article for the National Review titled "Unpatriotic Conservatives; A war against America." posted online March 19, 2003, where it is noted to be printed in the April 7, 2003 print issue. It's the kind of writing which makes progressives' teeth hurt. He's labeling dissident opinion as a "war against America".

"Some of the leading figures in this antiwar movement call themselves "conservatives." These conservatives are relatively few in number, but their ambitions are large. They aspire to reinvent conservative ideology: to junk the 50-year-old conservative commitment to defend American interests and values throughout the world — the commitment that inspired the founding of this magazine — in favor of a fearful policy of ignoring threats and appeasing enemies."

The then labels a few individuals:

You may know the names of these antiwar conservatives. Some are famous: Patrick Buchanan and Robert Novak. Others are not: Llewellyn Rockwell, Samuel Francis, Thomas Fleming, Scott McConnell, Justin Raimondo, Joe Sobran, Charley Reese, Jude Wanniski, Eric Margolis, and Taki Theodoracopulos. [note: links anchored by these names are to their rebuttals of the Frum accusation]

and froths on with

the antiwar conservatives have gone far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies. They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies.

tags a similar derogatory and un-substantiated (blatantly false) label on others:

John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky, Ted Rall, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other anti-Americans of the far Left.

After citing some quotes from those he has labelled "antiwar conservative", he claims

The writers I quote call themselves "paleoconservatives," implying that they are somehow the inheritors of an older, purer conservatism than that upheld by their impostor rivals.

though I haven't verified the veracity of the self-labelling claim.

This article goes on a considerable length, about 6500 words, and it gets worse.

  • "WHO was the first paleo to blame Israel for 9/11? It's a close call, but Robert Novak seems to have won the race. His column of September 13, 2001, written the very day after the terrorist attack, charged that "the hatred toward the United States today by the terrorists is an extension of [their] hatred of Israel." Novak lamented that, because of terror, "the United States and Israel are brought ever closer in a way that cannot improve long-term U.S. policy objectives.""

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neo-conFEDERACY !?!?