The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, December 28, 2003  

Or Just a Garden Variety Conservative?

Are you a neoconservative? If you’re reading The Rittenhouse Review for some purpose other than sending the editor/publisher hate mail, I’m guessing you’re not.

But are you sure? Is it possible you are a closet neoconservative, like “Tiffany Midgeson” or “Mary Rosh”?

After all, I once considered myself a neoconservative, or at least I was aligned with their views on U.S. foreign and defense policy. But that was when I was young and foolish. And besides, in case no one on 17th Street noticed, the Cold War is over.

In the event you have doubts, fears, or just the creeps, I suggest you take the quiz prepared by The Christian Science Monitor, “Are you a neonconservative?”

The 10-question quiz features a graphic with the faces of prominent neocons Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and William Kristol, with Wolfowitz and Kristol looking suitably grim and Perle looking appropriately guilty for his repeatedly exposed wanton grabs at power, influence, and money.

Taking the quiz is like slogging through one of Commentary’s overly longwinded symposia. And the differences between the available responses are sometimes nuanced to a degree that can only be called frustrating. It’s helpful nonetheless.

In the end, I failed miserably, if “failure” were to be defined as not being a neoconservative. The quiz pegged me as an “isolationist,” which is far from true. Regardless, I’m happy to have shaken off a bad habit from years gone by.

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