Pat Buchanan vs. The Neocons
This is another excerpt from the article on paleocons that never quite came together.
Paleoconservatism is largely a reaction to this usurpation of the right by neoconservatives, although this would not fully become a recognised term until the early 1990s and the Presidential candidacy of Pat Buchanan, who stood against another bland liberal establishment figure, George H.W. Bush, in 1992. Ronald Reagan, under whom Buchanan served as White House Communications Director, was the last Republican to occupy what Laura Ingraham has called “the biggest tent”.[i] The eight years of the Reagan presidency can be seen as a transitional period in which paleoconservatives and populists, who inarguably delivered the landslide elections of 1980 and 1984, vied for control of the party with the elite liberal establishment Rockefeller Republicans, who would largely become synonymous with the neoconservatives. A significant moment in this contest for control came in 1981 when M.E. Bradford, a leading paleoconservative thinker and contributor to Chronicles magazine, was nominated to become Chair for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Neoconservatives led by Irving Kristol launched a series of hit-pieces on Bradford, foregrounding his pro-confederate and anti-Lincoln stances, and successfully connived to deny him the post, which instead went to their favoured candidate, William Bennett. Neoconservatives would repeat this process of cancelling paleoconservatives using leftwing methods many times, most famously when Dinesh D'Souza similarly connived to get Samuel T. Francis, who was an adviser to Pat Buchanan and a contributor to Chronicles, fired from The Washington Times in 1995.[ii]
Neoconservatism can be broadly defined as having three main features: first, an unshakable commitment to Zionism and the security interests of Israel which are often repackaged as somehow being in the American interest; second, an interventionist foreign policy committed to spreading “liberal democracy” around the world as an almost evangelical mission; third, a loose commitment to free markets following Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, which in practice means the protection of the interests of multinational corporations and international finance. A similar list of three features of paleoconservatism would read as follows: an anti-interventionist foreign policy that puts America first, not Israel (or any other nation);