By Ben Cohen
In my latest installment of 'Top 10' lists, I thought I would compile a post that would be of use to the general public. Bashing Republicans and Democrats is good fun, but 'How To' lists are slightly more practical in our confusing political environment.
Over the past 8 years, we have learned that threats to our national security do not consist of Iraqis, Weapons of Mass Destruction, gay marriage or 'Welfare Queens', despite the Bush Administration's insistence that they do.
The greatest threat comes from a cabal of extreme imperialistic fanatics hell bent on attacking Arab countries and spreading McDonald's style capitalism around the world.
Otherwise known as the 'Neo Cons', their relentless dedication to violence, reckless spending and incompetent governance has led to the catastrophic disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths, the disintegration of the economy and spiraling mistrust of government.
It's easy to spot the homosexuals destroying the fabric of American life (look out for groomed facial hair, tight pants and a weak handshake), Arabs (again, facial hair), and Welfare Queens (anyone who isn't white), but how do you spot a Neo Con?
Here's a how to guide preparing you for the easily ignored sociopath:
1. The Neo Con is characteristically white and unathletic. Think Woody Allen meets Dick Cheney. Here's an example:
2. When discussing poetry, if the conversation keeps moving towards high powered weaponry, American military history, and the 'power of the free market', you are most likely talking to a Neo Con. Proceed with extreme caution.
3. The typical Neo Con has no actual experience in the military, or of real fighting. He will most likely have been bullied physically by older boys at school, and as a consequence, feels the need to exact violence on as many people as possible. He is liable to outburst of uncontrolled aggression, so make sure he has no access to weapons (he won't attack otherwise).
4. Neo Cons are unusually smug and self-satisfied. Convinced of their own moral clarity, the Neo Con displays an air of superiority and is likely to dismiss counter arguments quickly. Have facts to counter his? It won't matter, as Neo Cons rely on a tautological loophole that justifies pretty much anything. An aid to the Bush White House once told a reporter,
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
5. The Neo Con is a virulent proponent of 'Exceptionalism'- the belief that their country is morally superior to everyone else. If you are a foreigner and disagree with this assertion, do not expect him to take you seriously. He will not understand why you do not want to be an American, and will look to convince you by a massive display of military might and sneering arrogance. Neo Cons are likely to have access to people still in places of power, so be especially careful if your country is particularly small and defenseless. You may well be invaded.
6. In almost all circumstances, Neo Conservatives are incapable of drawing meaningful historical analogies and make frequent comparisons between tin pot dictators of bankrupt third world countries (Saddam Hussein) and Adolf Hitler, (the leader of the most technologically and industrially advanced country of its time). As we have seen, the Neo Con has his own particular method of reasoning, which may not appear logical to the naked eye. For example, the Neo Con rationale for invading Iraq goes as follows: We invade Iraq because Al Qaeda is there, even though they only came because we invaded.
Confused? Don't worry, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. As George Bush put it plainly, '"So What?"
7. Most typically, the Neo Conservative believes strongly in the welfare state. A limitless supply of money should be available for government contractors, the military industrial complex, and giant corporations should they not survive the market. If you have paid to help elect a Neo Con, you may also be entitled to government dollars.
8. Paradoxically, the Neo Conservative is also a militant free marketer and will go to great lengths to explain the beauty of laissez faire economics. He believes government intervention in areas that benefit the working class, the sick and the uneducated breeds dependency and moral depravity, and the free market will separate the worthy from the unworthy. The Neo Con wants harsh market discipline for the majority of the working population, and government subsidies for the privileged and wealthy. A somewhat schizophrenic view, you may say? Maybe, but remember, the Neo Con does not answer to mere mortals. He is the law unto himself.
9. An astonishing ability to predict that exact opposite of what will happen is another defining characteristic of the Neo Conservative. Check out this golden nugget from William Kristol:
"If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she's going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then. ... Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I'll predict that right now." -- Fox News Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006
Kristol's litany of catastrophic predictions was so impressive, he landed a gig at the New York Times, proof that no matter how badly the upper classes screw up, they can always find a job.
10. Most disturbing is the Neo Conservative's willingness to sacrifice others for their ideals. Take for example, chief war cheerleader Dick Cheney. The current VP has supported pretty much every war Bill Clinton was not involved in yet has religiously avoided any service himself. Check this incredible fact out about the Dark Prince. According to the New York Times:
On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Exactly nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney's first daughter, Elizabeth, was born.
No kidding. Cheney also deferred 5 times from military duty, stating: "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service." Expect the Neo Con to use this type of justification when confronted with hard questions, an ability that gets better with age. Just watch Cheney's response when told that two thirds of Americans feel the Iraq War was not worth it:
If only life for everyone else was so easy.
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