Some of my best friends are neocons. Like the swallows of Capistrano, the upper crust that has segued to Aspen for the summer season have among their number a choice selection of neoconservatives. Given the nature of my friendships with said neocons—more degrees than a thermometer—you would have thunk that I might have a less infrequent reading on the dominant foreign policy philosophy of our time. But neocons are funny that way: if you’re not on their side they’d just as soon do without you.
Neocons don’t play well with others.
Case in point. An Aspen neocon invites Richard Perle, one of the lower-case godfathers of neoconservatism to his house for a private presentation for sixty bucks a head. Everyone I know gets invited—except me—even though said neocon has been a guest on my “Con Games” radio show and has an open invitation to return. As it was I had to hear second-hand by someone who walked out that Richard Perle still takes no responsibility for the carnage in Iraq, that he claims to this day there was only one neoconservative, Dennis Wolfowitz, in the Bush Administration. That sounds like a whopper and I’m sorry I missed it.
My hope is it was all an oversight and it may well be. But how about this? I invite two neocons out to lunch in Aspen, thinking they would have much in common and that this would be fun. I should have worn my Kevlar vest. Not only was there no backing down about Iraq despite my hacking away, but when one neocon invited the other over for dinner that week I was odd man out, even though I had done the inviting in the first place. Instead they had dinner on Red Mountain with the conservative candidate for Governor of Colorado.
Let them eat cakewalk.
Oh, well. At least I brought my neocons friends together. I know, I know: as a liberal I’m too sensitive about these things. I keep hoping that I will meet a neoconservative with an open mind—an oxymoron if ever there was one. To me, neoconservatism is about seeing everything as appeasement, no matter the size of the pea-shooter, and making the philosophy fit the crime, regardless of the consequences. By ignoring the opinions of others, neoconservatives have dug themselves a very deep, very black hole.
One exception to the rule: I have friend in Aspen who is a neocon dyed in the bull—he still believes Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons reside in Syria—but he’s also the greatest guy I know, and happy to argue politics down the line. So maybe there’s hope. Maybe the problem isn’t that neoconservatives won’t listen to anyone who disagrees, but that liberals need to give them the love.
For the neocons out there, it can be lonely at the top, especially when your friends tell you that right or wrong you are always right.