Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Recognition of the Need for the Term "Pseudo-Conservative"

There have been quite a few indications of the need for a term like "pseudo-conservative". In Robert Reich's recent book, Reason, he chose to call so-called "conservatives" or "neo-conservatives" "Radical Conservatives" or radcons. As I noted below Clinton Rossiter suggested "ultra-conservative". In his book, The Fateful Triangle (1983, South End, p. 13) Noam Chomsky places "conservatives" in quotation marks, suggesting his recognition that these people are not conservative.

These individuals are NOT conservative in any meaningful sense of the term. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines conservative as " PRESERVATIVE", and "tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL; marked by moderation or caution; marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners".

Contemporary so-called "conservatives" for the most part are not preservative or "tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions." They are certainly not "marked by moderation or caution". Of course, there are some genuine conservatives left in America but most of the well-known individuals using this label today are misusing it. They are radicals of the right or the Radical Right. Certainly William Kristol, Richard Perle, David Frum, Irving Kristol, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, most people who are at think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, are not conservatives and should not be labelled so. [One individual at AEI who might qualify as conservative is Norman Ornstein, but at AEI Ornstein sticks out like a sore thumb.] George H. W. Bush has a more authentic claim to being a conservative than does George W.

Terms like radical conservative or ultra-conservative are misnomers because they yield the term "conservative" to individuals who certainly are radical and ultra, but in no way conservative in the majority of their views and positions. They are sham or spurious conservatives, not real conservatives but only pretending to be so. They are pseudo-conservatives.

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