GOP should abandon neoconservatism

By By Jonathon Deesing

By Jonathon Deesing

The Bush administration tried its damndest to leave a lasting positive imprint on our country. All of its efforts failed8212;miserably.

Neoconservatism doesn’t work on any level, as we found out through the past eight years when former President George W. Bush and his cronies tried to shove it down our throats. This is the way of the neocons; their only tools are fear and coercion.

They used fear to force our country into a war we didn’t want to fight. They used fear to gain re-election. And ultimately, when the fear dissipated, America finally saw the neocons for who they really are8212;crooks and madmen.

Much of this disenchantment fueled President Barack Obama’s victory last year. College students were among those voting, at the very least, for change. In fact, in exit polls conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, Obama held a majority in every demographic with education equal to or greater than a high school diploma. Furthermore, 66 percent of college-age students (18-29) voted for Obama. The educated and the youth (myself included) have clearly grown tired of the current ideals of the GOP.

Even in Utah, arguably the reddest state in the nation, people began to see through the neocons’ lies. For much of Bush’s presidency, Utah gave him the highest approval rating in the country. However, a January poll conducted by Mason-Dixon polling of Washington, D.C., found that only 44 percent of Utahns approved of his job performance. Before this poll, Bush never had less than a 50 percent approval rating in Utah.

Unfortunately, some are unfamiliar with the term “neoconservatism” even though we lived under its values for eight years. This is because the minds behind the Bush administration (i.e. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney) cleverly and deceptively masked their ideals as simple conservatism. Neoconservatism preaches the spread of democracy at any price. In most neocons’ opinions, spreading democracy is more important than making or maintaining allies. Furthermore, as seen during Bush’s reign, they care little about human rights, as secret prisons, wire tapping and torture can all be justified because they make the nation “safer.”

Sadly, neoconservatism has also contributed to the decline of the Republican Party. Although I am a Democrat, I have always believed in the necessity of a two- or-more-party government, so I do not relish in this downturn. We all saw what Bush did with a unilateral government in the first term of his presidency.

Perhaps this decline is a result of the old adage of “cutting the head off a snake.” As Bush and his cronies left office this year, they were blessed to be able to wash their hands of the past eight years and return to their respective ranches unmolested. These men were some of the last of the neocons, and they also were the leaders of the Republican Party. So when they left, they left the rest of the Republican Party headless, trying to figure out why they had been trounced so badly this past election.

However, like I said, I do not enjoy this. My mother, grandparents, friends and acquaintances are conservatives. But many of them voted Democrat in this most recent election for lack of a proper alternative. No educated person could possibly want another bumbling country bumpkin in the White House. What right-minded voter wouldn’t vote for Democrats promising change and hope as opposed to Republicans only promising more of the same?

I can’t blame the GOP; Bush dug this grave, and they’re just standing in it. Beyond promising peaceful coexistence between man and fish, neocons have done nothing positive for our country. Debt, war, financial collapse and a tenuous (at best) international standing were the only gifts bestowed upon our nation by Bush and his cronies.

The only hope for the Republican Party, and the only hope for a sane, bipartisan nation is for Republicans to acknowledge and learn from the mistakes the neocons made and move forward. As the educated future generation of America, we must do the same. We cannot allow such an oppressive taint to once again stain our nation because a lot of damage can be done in eight years.

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Jonathan Deesing