Are you a paleoconservative? You might be a paleoconservative without knowing it. Many paleoconservatives, especially within the 9/11 Truth movement apparently, are unaware that their political stance has a name.
Some paleoconservatives think of themselves as “neither left nor right,” because they agree with the left about some things, such as the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s attacks on constitutional rights, while they agree with the right about other things, such as income tax.
Some youthful paleoconservatives like to believe not only that they themselves are “neither left nor right,” but also that “left” and “right” are nothing but artificial constructs set up by the powers-that-be as some sort of deliberate top-down scheme to divide people and distract people from the alleged “real issues,” whereas these young folks fancy that they themselves have broken out of the “Matrix” and found the Real Truth. Of course, young folks are always omniscient…. As far as I can tell, most of these kids have delved into the history (or, at least, the alleged history) of secret societies but not the history of political movements or the history of political thought. But I digress.
The term “paleoconservative” was coined and adopted by conservatives who opposed the neoconservatives. Far from being “neither left nor right,” paleoconservatives can arguably claim to be more genuinely conservative than neocons like Bush and Cheney.
So, what is paleoconservativism, exactly?
For a good overview of paleoconservativism, see the Wikipedia article on paleoconservativism. If you agree with all or nearly all the beliefs and values spelled out in that article, then you are a paleoconservative.
If you’re a paleoconservative, you’ll find a lot of kindred souls on antiwar.com, which is run by a libertarian but hosts a lot of paleoconservative writings too.
Ron Paul is a paleoconservative, more so than he is a libertarian. Unlike pure libertarians, he favors strong controls on immigration, and he opposes abortion rights.
Paleoconservatives don’t necessarily support the 9/11 Truth movement. But, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of the conservatives who do support the 9/11 Truth movement are paleoconservatives.
Outside the 9/11 Truth movement, most conservatives hold views somewhere in between neoconservativism and paleoconservativism. For example, as far as I can tell, most of the conservative bloggers I’ve looked at agree with neoconserivatives about the Iraq war, but agree with paleoconservatives about immigration.
I’m definitely not a conservative, paleo or otherwise. My views on many issues are much more left wing. I favor keeping Social Security intact, and I favor universal healthcare. I recognize that we need taxes to pay for these things, as well as a lot of other things such as big-city fire departments. I believe that the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people at the top is the root of many social, economic, and political ills. To deal with it, I favor steeply graduated progressive income taxes and estate taxes. I’m a moderate feminist, pro-choice on abortion, and I favor equal rights for gays.
I’ve written this blog entry for the benefit of those paleoconservatives I’ve run into lately, especially in groups like We Are Change, who don’t know that their political stance has a name, and who don’t like being referred to as “right wing,” even though their political beliefs are in fact very right wing.
Of course, the “left-right” duality is an oversimplification of politics. Politics is multi-dimensional. And there are vitally important issues that do cut across the “left”/”right” divide, such as U.S. imperialism and, of course, 9/11. Nevertheless, “left” and “right” do have real political meaning.