The apparent balkanization of the Republican party got me thinking about just how diverse are the views held under the political umbrella of that party. Using the familiar jargon of the popular media, there are the social conservatives, the fiscal conservatives, the evangelicals, the moderate conservatives, big government conservatives, libertarian conservatives, and about a dozen or two more variations and combinations among the rest of prospective voting blocks, ranging from Tea Party conservatives to moderate swing voters. There seem to be very few individuals any more capable of capturing the imagination and enthusiasm of the entire GOP voting block and really uniting it the way Ronald Reagan did, just as there seems to be nearly nobody anymore who can unite this deeply divided country of these "United" States.
Just how deeply this balkanization runs was driven home for me by a video clip by Sen. Ron Paul I recently discovered from May of last year in which he endeavors to expose the neocon agenda in American government by showing us what nocons really believe. The term "neocon," of course, is about as hard to pin down as "liberal" or "fundamentalist" these days; but what Sen. Paul means by it is the political movement whose descendants stem historically from left-wing Ashkenazi Jewish Trotskyites who now identify themselves explicitly as "neo-conservatives" and include the spiritual stepchildren of Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol, like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearl, Elliot Abrams, Robert Kegan, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey,Frank Gaffney, and others like Dick Cheney, William Bennett, Ronald Rumsfeld, and Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox New, The Wall Street Journal, and, I believe, the New York Post and Weekly Standard).
He mentions as key beliefs and assumptions of such neoconservatives: (1) Trotsky's historical tenet of permanent revolution, (2) redrawing the map of the Middle East, (3) pre-emptive war to achieve desired ends, (4) that the ends justify the means, (5) support for the welfare state, (6) American Empire-building, (7) the necessity of deceiving the public in the interest of the state's survival, (8) the necessity of a strong, centralized federal government, (9) the government by an 'elite', (10) opposition to American neutrality in foreign affairs, (11) reject libertarianism and constitutionalism, (12) the necessity of compromising civil liberties for security, as in the Patriot Act, (13) unconditional support for Israel and the Likud Party.
He mentions also the promotion of these ideas via the agenda of the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for a New American Century, as well as its parent organization, the Bradley Foundation. He mentions the (unwitting?) support for this neoconservative agenda, as well as for Israeli Zionism (usually for fundamentalist biblical-theological reasons) by various Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists.
You get the picture. None of this is really new, though it may be news to some. It has all been said by others before in various places, including Dale Vree, the former editor of New Oxford Review, in a December, 2005, editorial, "What is a Neoconservative? -- & Does It Matter?," who talked at some length about the ultra-Left Communist (Trotskyite) origins of modern American political neoconservatism. It has been said before by the likes of Jack Bernstein in "The Life of an American Jew in Racist Marxist Israel" (1985), who, among other things, pointed out the radical racial discrimination between the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel, the former of European descent, usually Zionists and often of Marxist orientation; the latter of Middle Eastern descent, religiously conservative, poor and persecuted. The agenda of American neoconservativism would be perceived as "friendly" by the Jewish Zionist movement, while there are other Jewish groups decidedly opposed to such an agenda, such as the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
None of this is surprising as such. What surprised me, however, is that it came from Sen. Ron Paul. But then, what did I know about Ron Paul? Next-to-nothing, except for what I've read and seen in the mainstream media and the public debates, where he hasn't been very impressive.
Like most everyone else, I see things I like and dislike in all of the Republican candidates. I like the fact that Sen. Santorum has a clear Catholic vision and can articulare an intelligent rationale for some of the Church's positions on social issues. I like some of the zingers launched by Speaker Newt Gingrich in his debates. I like the flat tax idea floated by Gov. Perry. I like the usual poise under pressure of Mr. Romney. I even like the occasional statement by Sen. Paul. But I'm not confident that any of these can unite the party, let alone the country, although I would just love to be pleasantly surprised. I am more-and-more confident, however, that the real winner in this election, like the last, will be the mainstream media; and while I hope it makes some difference which party occupies the presidential office, I'm no longer convinced that any candidate, once elected, can likely turn this country around, now that it's hit the greased skids to what looks like spiritual as well as socio-economic suicide.