I guess I am a neoconservative

Neoconservatism is considered uncouth on both the right and the left. The left considers neoconservatives to be warmongering nuts hellbent on taking over the world. Those on the right agree with this conclusion yet also add that neoconservatives are also closet liberals in disguise.

Yet from reading Irving Kristol's "Reflections of a Neoconservative" for my Publius fellowship, I can't help but agree with almost everything he says.

First, he argues that "Neoconservatism...is reformationalist...It tries to reach beyond contemporary liberalism in the way that lal reformations, religious or political, do---by a return to the original sources of liberal vision and liberal energy so as to correct the warped version of liberalism that is today's orthodoxy.

In other words, neoconservatives are those who try and preserve the liberal American society by correcting the defects inherit within it. I always thought this to be my political position. I am interested in trascending contemporary liberalism and correcting where it is wrong and preserving that which is good.

Kristol goes on to lay out several common characteristics inherit to neoconservatism.

1) It is a current of thought provoked by dissillusionment with contemporary liberalism
2) It is a philisophical-political impulse rather than a literary political impulse (ie more realistic than idealistic)
3) Its philisophic roots are to be found mainly in classical---that is premodern--political philosophy. According to Kristol, many neocons respect Leo Strauss, although some consider him to wary of modernity. Neocons tend to admire Aristotle, respect Locke, and distruct Rousseau
4) Neocons don't diefy the liberal order, they just realize that it is the best of all possible alternatives for a fallen world
5) They believe in a primarily market economy as necesseary but not sufficient to a stable secure society
6) Economic growth is vital to the stability of the political order, but it is not a god to be worshipped
7) There exists a conservative welfare state that can be brought into existence that can promote efficiency and equity without falling into the trap that welfare has previousely fallen into
8) Neocons consider family and religion to be vital to a decent society.

I really have nothing else to add, but to merely say that he is dead on in point number 7. For instance, one can support the concept of social security in a way that encourages individual initiative. Likewise, one can also support health care reform without also advocating a single-payer system.

I guess this makes me a neoconservative then.