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By: Carol Devine-Molin

I'm a mainstream conservative, plain and simple. And we represent the majority of those who self-identify as "conservatives". Unfortunately, other ideological factions often distort the nature and beliefs of mainstream conservatism. True, I'm throwing a few Molotov cocktails, but it's really the best way to clarify matters.

In the Ether Zone forum, a fellow writer referred to me as a "self-proclaimed Neoconservative". Well hold your horses, bucko, I've come to reject that ridiculous label being used by both the Hard Left and the Hard Right to stereotype and assail mainstream conservatives, outrageously casting us as "warmongers". Yes, the term Neoconservative is now the equivalent of an insult being hurled at mainstream conservatives in an attempt to portray us as insidious "warmongers". I readily admit that I was a naive fool to have ever accepted that moniker, failing to realize the "battle cry" it invokes among extremes on both sides of the political spectrum, which I shall readily explore.

In a nutshell, the Hard Left represents dedicated liberals, and beyond that, there is little to say since a Leftist is a Leftist is a Leftist. These are the "Utopian Socialists" that believe if you give government enough power and tax monies, government can solve all problems. Now that's really scary! In reality, what you get from such a socialist system is coercion, lies, misery and dictatorship.

However, the Hard Right is a little more complicated, and is comprised of the Paleoconservatives (Buchananites, John Birchers, and other old-fashioned conservatives with their Isolationist/Libertarian bent) and the Ultra-Libertarians. The Paleoconservatives refer to themselves as the "genuine" or the "traditional" conservatives as they are the self-righteous purist, ready to impugn mainstream conservatives, and all others for that matter, that do not meet their finely tuned standards. And their definition of a "Neoconservative" morphs and changes to include anyone not in agreement with them. Now those who are hawk-ish on Iraq, whether Right or Left, are being snidely dubbed "Neos" by the Hard Right. According to fellow Ether Zone writer Justin Raimondo, "Those damn Neocons are everywhere!" Justin even believes that the Left is being assimilated into the "Borg Continuum" of Neoconservative thought. Isn't this a bit obsessive? Gotta fight those evil Neocons that are all around us! Geezz!

Notably, members of the Hard Right demonstrate little in the way of flexibility, so working within a political party is ultimately doomed. For instance, the Buchananites ran out of the Republican Party (hooray for us!), and quickly took over the Reform Party a few years back. Predictably, they have since been kicked out of there, leaving that independent party in ruins. It irks me that the liberal media (particularly television), in efforts to twist and obscure the true nature of mainstream conservatism, have Paleoconservative leader Pat Buchanan regularly hosting shows and guesting on a variety of programs. Political commentator Pat Buchanan has become the darling of the Left-leaning media, despite the fact that his views are not representative of the majority of conservatives. But Buchanan gives the Left-leaning media exactly what they want. He helps the liberals beat up on the Republican Party and mainstream conservatives. Buchanan's "on air" partnership with liberal Bill Press (MSNBC) is certainly not "fair and balanced". I'll stick with the Fox News Channel.

Up until a few months ago, I thought "Neoconservative" was a perfectly respectable term for those of us who switched parties and came into the GOP over twenty years ago, having become totally disillusioned with the Democratic Party. Many of us were relatively young and did not understand or appreciate the true nature of partisan politics until Ronald Reagan enlightened us about the pernicious Left. In fact, many of us still continue to refer to ourselves as "Reaganites" and hold the same political ideals that include: a) cutting marginal tax rates that unleashes a stimulative effect upon the economy, b) reining in the size and scope of government, c) creating a first class, technologically advanced military, and d) exhibiting a sense of moral certitude as we go about the task of dismantling an "Evil Empire" that poses a global threat. Of course, during the 1980's, the infamous Soviet Union was successfully brought down, thus ending the "cold war" era. Now, we are fighting radical Islamists and rogue nations that work together hand-in-glove, with the goal of destroying western civilization. To use the often cited metaphor, we must "drain the swamps" (rogue regimes) that permit the mosquitos (terrorists) to flourish. Clearly, the Hard Right always revels in the opportunity to criticize our failure at reducing government. And with a lengthy "war on terrorism" being waged, it's uncertain how our nation will reduce costs and the pool of government personnel over the next few years.

Let me reiterate that we mainstream conservatives are no warmongers! The atrocities of September 11th were brought directly to our shores, killing thousands of citizens, and were perpetrated by Islamic fanatics who intend to kill us all. We are mere "infidels" in the minds of these lunatics, the equivalent of insects to be dispassionately disposed of during the course of "Jihad". Americans have no other recourse than to fight this "war on terrorism", and to seek the overthrow of dangerous rogue nations, which aid and abet militant Islamists by providing them with monies, weaponry, and safe harbor. As to the psychopath Saddam Hussein, he is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weaponry that could easily be given to terrorist proxies for the purpose of targeting America. One way or another, we need to dismantle Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. We cannot permit America to be vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear attack.

Lastly, as I indicated in one of my prior articles, entitled "A Radicalized Ether Zone", "It's important to understand that mainstream conservatism is now comprised of a variety of camps, and that Bill Kristol (political commentator, McCain advisor, and editor of the "Weekly Standard") actually represents only a small faction within the overall movement... In terms of further bona fides, I ran on the ballot in early 1996 as a delegate for "flat tax" advocate Steve Forbes in the NY Republican primary, I can't stand McCain, I think our military should withdraw from the Balkans forthwith (leave it to the Europeans), and I probably better exemplify mainstream conservatives in background and ideology than Bill Kristol".

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Carol Devine-Molin is a Republican District Leader, a community activist, and the host of "On The Right Side", a local program sponsored by the Republicans, and seen throughout most of Westchester County, New York. She is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Carol can be reached at DevineMolin@aol.com

Published in the November 11, 2002 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2002 Ether Zone.

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