July 13, 2003

We've Been Neo-Conned

Rep. Ron Paul has some strong words for neo-conservatives:

The fact that neo-conservatives ridicule those who firmly believe that U.S. interests and world peace would best be served by a policy of neutrality and avoiding foreign entanglements should not go unchallenged. Not to do so is to condone their grandiose plans for an American world hegemony.

The current attention given neocons usually comes in the context of foreign policy. But there’s more to what’s going on today than just the tremendous influence the neocons have on our new policy of preemptive war with a goal of empire. Our government is now being moved by several ideas that come together in what I call "neoconism". The foreign policy is being openly debated, even if its implications are not fully understood by many who support it. Washington is now driven by old views brought together in a new package.

We know those who lead us - both in the administration and in Congress - show no appetite to challenge the tax or monetary systems that do so much damage to our economy. The IRS and the Federal Reserve are off limits for criticism or reform. There’s no resistance to spending, either domestic or foreign. Debt is not seen as a problem. The supply-siders won on this issue, and now many conservatives readily endorse deficit spending.

There’s no serious opposition to the expanding welfare state, with rapid growth of the education, agriculture and medical-care bureaucracy. Support for labor unions and protectionism are not uncommon. Civil liberties are easily sacrificed in the post 9-11 atmosphere prevailing in Washington. Privacy issues are of little concern, except for a few members of Congress. Foreign aid and internationalism - in spite of some healthy criticism of the UN and growing concerns for our national sovereignty - are championed on both sides of the aisle. Lip service is given to the free market and free trade, yet the entire economy is run by special-interest legislation favoring big business, big labor and, especially, big money.

Instead of the "end of history," we are now experiencing the end of a vocal limited-government movement in our nation’s capital. While most conservatives no longer defend balanced budgets and reduced spending, most liberals have grown lazy in defending civil liberties and now are approving wars that we initiate. The so-called "third way" has arrived and, sadly, it has taken the worst of what the conservatives and liberals have to offer. The people are less well off for it, while liberty languishes as a result.