According to Jeffers's biography of Podhoretz, the neoconservatives "were faithful to the liberalism that had guided the activist, Democratic presidents of their youth--Roosevek, Truman, Kennedy--who had been progressive at home and anti-totalitarian abroad." "Paleoliberalism
," Jeffers suggests, would have been a more accurate term for their position.
A related contradiction is the ever-deepening alliance of the neocons with the Likud's major supporters in the American electorate, the Protestant ayatollahs of the Bible Belt, which inspired Irving Kristol, William Kristol and Norman Podhoretz to open their magazines to religious-right tirades against abortion rights, gay rights, gun control and--my personal favorite--"Darwinism." This apertura to Southern Christian fundamentalism--the opposite of everything that neoconservatism defined as "paleoliberalism
" once stood for--led to my departure and that of several other former neoconservatives.
Success for Gephardt's brand of frightened "there is power in a union" paleoliberalism
would have implications for the world's economic future that go beyond the humble realities of NAFTA's actual impact so far.