Remember the neocons?
For a group that dominated the conservative movement, the Republican party, and two presidential administrations—steering our country into a global war on “terror” and two long-standing, utterly futile occupations of Muslim countries—they sure do keep a low profile nowadays.
As a long-time conservative and sometime Cold Warrior, I considered these people allies back in the 80s, when they were helping Ronald Reagan pursue his dual agenda of pushing back against Communist subversion, and applying reality tests to utopian liberal social policies at home. Soon enough, I began to see the dangers in the neoconservatives’ ideologized version of what America means—which boils down in practice to American soldiers stationed almost everywhere in the world, except on the U.S. borders, which essentially ought to be open to unlimited immigration.
In this Nov. 6, 2013 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
It seems utterly demented to police the entire world while flooding the country with unneeded, unskilled labor to push down the wages for every job that cannot be outsourced to China—but the people promoting these policies had all gone to pricey colleges, and clambered the greasy ladder of conservative institutions, so they got to call the shots.
The liberal internationalists of the Obama Administration have inherited many of the neoconservatives’ intellectual bad habits, only instead of citing the bible they are more likely to channel Immanuel Kant. But the outcome is much the same: America must wipe all the runny noses and impose all the “time-outs” across the globe, because we are so very, very savvy. And we cannot take rational precautions to preserve our citizens and self-interest, because that might reveal the fact that we are ordinary mortals, instead of X-Men.
Now the neocons are using what capital they have left trying to discredit the only Republican candidate who actually seems to understand that America has limits, that it is a country filled with people, not a Valhalla peopled by gods: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
In the usually sensible American Spectator, neocon analyst Jed Babbin has tried to paint Paul as some kind of crazed extremist—by citing the cases where Paul’s consistent, small-government political principles collide with political correctness.
Protesters hold signs outside the hotel where former President George W. Bush was being honored at a private fundraising dinner by University of Denver's Josef Korbel School, Monday Sept. 9, 2013, in Denver. Credit: AP
First he implies that Paul is implicitly racist, because he has some reservations about how anti-discrimination laws affect private property rights. (Similar anti-discrimination laws, applied now to sexual “orientation” are already threatening the religious freedom of Christians, but never mind.)
And that is just a preliminary smear, a plate of edamame to wet your taste buds for the main course: Rand Paul is a dangerous appeaser of Iran. He doesn’t take seriously enough the deadly threat that Iranian nukes might pose to the U.S. That’s the same Iran whom President George W. Bush provided with an invaluable ally, in the form of post-occupation Iraq—the Iran that is helping Syria’s government keep Al-Qaeda terrorists from taking over, so they can massacre all the Christians.
If this all seems like a hopeless, muddled tangle to you, which the U.S. would be better off trying to steer clear of—rather than micromanage—then you, too might be a sane human being with a sense of our country’s limits. You might be a Rand Paul voter.
You are not the kind of person who would conspire to overthrow Ukraine’s elected government (as our diplomats were caught doing via cell phone), then be caught blind-sided when the Russians reacted predictably—in much the same way that Americans might if the Chinese overthrew the government of Mexico.
A fence along the Otay Mesa border near San Diego, California. (AFP/Getty Images)
We all know how well the neocons’ last period of power worked out: Our great-grandchildren will still be paying off the price of our war in Iraq, which created a solid Shiite ally for the Islamists in Iran, while Afghanistan is primed, as soon as our troops skedaddle, to become another deadly frenemy like Pakistan.
And the unguarded U.S. borders proved so porous that leading Republicans (along with our ever-helpful Catholic bishops) are now promoting an unconditional amnesty for the 10 or so million people who managed to sneak into our country. In case you aren’t doing the math, that amounts to 7 or so million new Democratic voters, which could well translate into two to four extra pro-abortion members of the Senate, and a dozen or so in the House.
I know that it’s considered “dehumanizing” to consider the actual consequences to American workers of lowering their wages, or the unspeakably evil abortion laws that recent immigrants will vote to keep in place.
In order to keep my credentials in the Catholic commentariat, I’m supposed to let my brain fill up with an inchoate pink fog, just because many of these immigrants happen to be fellow-Catholics. Patriotism and concern for my fellow citizens are meant to go by the wayside, and I’m expected to act like a Catholic tribalist. Which is to say, like an Islamist—siding with my hierarchy even when it is wrong, and covering up for my co-religionists even when they break the law. That’s exactly the mindset that gave us, successively, the Sept. 11 attacks and the sex abuse crisis.
I’m too old, and frankly too honest, to play that sordid game.
[sharequote align="center"]I’m too old, and frankly too honest, to play that sordid game.[/sharequote]
But back to the neocons. They are still out there, flying a little below the radar.
Sheldon Adelson, who rakes in hundreds of millions by feeding American’s addiction to gambling, has tried to turn the Republican presidential race into an auction, with most of the aspirants to that office competing to see how cravenly they can beg for his campaign cash—in return for supporting his bellicose, inflexible views on the Middle East.
The intransigence he wants to foster in Israel is not even in that brave country’s real interests, since getting rid of the West Bank and its fertile, volatile inhabitants before they outnumber the country’s Jewish residents is vital to Israel’s safety—as no less than Ariel Sharon was candid enough to point out.
But Adelson doesn’t have to live in Israel, so he can endanger its citizens by goading them to play chicken, while he counts cards in the safety of Los Vegas. And our country’s soldiers can go occupy yet another ungodly Arab quagmire in the name of “democracy,” at your grandchildren’s expense.
US business magnate Sheldon Adelson speaks on the phone after attending the first presidential debate between US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Denver,Colorado on October 3, 2012. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
We will borrow that money from the Chinese, whom our Japanese allies are busily provoking over useless, uninhabitable islands—confident that our military will back them up if they go to war again with the nation they raped in the 30s and 40s, in a series of crimes that the Japanese still won’t admit to, housing their worst war criminals in a “sacred” shrine that Justin Bieber haplessly blundered into last month.
I don’t blame Mr. Bieber for not knowing all about the Rape of Nanking. But I do blame Japanese politicians for fostering nationalism in a country that lost any right to it, in perpetuity—and that anyway, since no one is having sex over there, will soon be itself a series of uninhabited islands.
Some of that Chinese money we will use to confront the Russians, who controlled Ukraine until 1990—which means that renewed Russian dominance over Chernobyl and the Pripet Marshes is an intolerable threat to American security. We will pour troops and weapons into helping defend the wealthy, almost unarmed Western Europeans against a Russia which they don’t see as a threat. (They certainly aren’t acting as if they do.)
An elderly woman holds a calendar depicting former Soviet leader Josef Stalin while watching a broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech on Crimea in Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, as thousands of pro-Russian people gathered to watch the address. Fiercely defending Russia's move to annex Crimea Putin said Russia had to respond to what he described as a western plot to take Ukraine into its influence. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The only people who really deserve our help in that part of the world are the Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Lithuanians and other ex-captive nations—which in a sane world would be allied with a robust, well-armed Germany and France. But as long as the U.S. “enables” those two nations by threatening Russia with a mutually exterminating nuclear war, they will continue to act like blasé teenagers, using a credit card whose bill we’re stuck with paying.
This situation came to us courtesy of the neocons, who spent the 90s expanding NATO instead of dismantling it.
There is much that is great about the United States of America. Those Catholics who have taught themselves and are teaching others to hate it are acting like spoiled adolescents, and they simply ought to emigrate—to nations that were never tainted by our Founding, where Catholic social teaching and morality still prevail….places like Belgium.
But you can love a country wrongly, excessively, inordinately and irrationally. You can love it not for its virtues but its vices. You can foster its flaws and feed its addictions. And that is what neocons do to America.
They fatten on the utopian self-image that has often emerged in America, our own version of Jacobin or Bolshevist universalism, which presents the United States not as a worthy model that some countries might wish to emulate, but as the final and perfect vision of how all men should live—an Epcot heaven conveniently built right here on earth, whose missionaries and legionaries our citizens must be, marching ever onward to convert or conquer the heathen. That’s a fair description of the Spanish Empire, which went from world domination to squalor and poverty in less than 100 years.
If Americans keep on charging at every windmill, we will share Don Quixote’s fate.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.