William Kristol is an example of what I call a pseudo-con. I use the label because the attempt to claim a neo-con status by suggesting there is something new or principled or moral behind the movement is false. Mr. Kristol just recently began writing a weekly op-ed column for the New York Times and he wote about the conservative movement in his column this morning (February 4, 2008).
"The American conservative movement has been remarkably successful. We shouldn’t take that success for granted. It’s not easy being a conservative movement in a modern liberal democracy. It’s not easy to rally a comfortable and commercial people to assume the responsibilities of a great power. It’s not easy to defend excellence in an egalitarian age. It’s not easy to encourage self-reliance in the era of the welfare state. It’s not easy to make the case for the traditional virtues in the face of the seductions of liberation, or to speak of duties in a world of rights and of honor in a nation pursuing pleasure."
Let me address briefly the 'traditional virtue' aspect of this comment. It is a traditional virtue for one to be held accountable to others for his/her own actions. The pseudo-con movement, however, thinks that the virtue applies only to human beings and does not extend to large corporations who should be free to trod over the landscape and kill and maim and wiretap Americans without being held responsible for their actions. To encourage 'self-reliance' this Bush administration passed one of the biggest government handouts in history by establishing the prescription drug program which is nothing more than a fop to the drug industry in that our government is prevented from negotiating the price of drugs. Also, the notion that Bush and his minions have carried out their duties is 'a world of rights and of honor' makes me want to puke. The eight year experiment with this false movement is gratefully coming to an end. It is, indeed, ironic that those presidential candidates who have appealed most to Americans of all political persuasions recognize the duplicity that lies beneath the pseudo-con movement.