Did anticommunism fundamentally alter American conservatism? Part 2

Posted: October 5, 2010 by Scott Kistler in Politics

Jeff Martin’s analysis of modern conservatism that I referred to in my last post reminded me of an interview that I listened to while washing the dishes recently (dishwashing is my new time to listen to podcasts).  Marvin Olasky of World Magazine interviewed one of the founders of the neoconservative movement, Norman Podhoretz (article with link to audio here).

Podhoretz said that if he were choosing the name of the movement that he helped to begin, it would have been “neonationalism” rather than neoconservatism “because it was really based on this profound commitment to a new idea about America and about the American role in the world, especially in its conflict with Soviet totalitarianism.”

The neoconservative vision of an aggressive American foreign policy promoting the spread of American ideals certainly fits with Jeff Martin’s description of America as the “universal nation,” which has become so important in the GOP’s foreign policy (it’s been there for a longer time in liberal foreign policy, going back at least to Woodrow Wilson).  Podhoretz’s statement also lends credence to paleoconservative arguments that neoconservatism really isn’t conservative.

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