A Modest Proposal in defining our terms
April 10, 2008
This whole business about the death of the paleocon movement and the rise of “post-paleoism”, or whatever, leads me to a modest proposal of what we should call ourselves in the future. Largely just since starting this blog, I have taken to using the word simply “paleo” as opposed to “paleocon”.
I propose that this be a substantive and permanent change. Rather then being a mere faction in the death struggle with the neocons and the “conservative movement”, a simple paleo is anyone, from a Rothbardian to a Bircher to a Kauffmanite leftist to a boringly conventional Obamacon, who falls under Billy Apple‘s maxim of “those who lost”. Paleo can become a catch-all for just about anyone in the broadly defined so-called “radical right”, in short for anyone in the coalition that came together around Ron Paul.
Paleo as a term transcends who is left or right, who is liberal or conservative. It evokes the origins of the classical political labels of Tory and Whig, and is thus auspicious for the future.