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In America, there are two main kinds of conservatives: "old fashioned" or "true" conservatives like Pat Buchanan, who may have bizarre ideas on some issues but are firmly placed within the European tradition. Then you have the "Christian" conservatives, who are not really conservatives at all, because they wish to radically transform the US, turning it into a Christian fundamentalist theocracy.

Nothing to do with the difference between the two - that's about foreign policy. Buchanan is the very incarnation of the extreme Christian right on the culture war front. And while Pat Buchanan is certainly placed within a European tradition, it's not one of the better ones, given his love for Franco and somewhat more qualified appreciation for Mussolini. These are traditions I wish the Europeans would keep to themselves - his tradition is that of interwar right wing populist, authoritarian and semi-fascist fundy Catholicism. Frankly, I'd vote for the neocons over Pat any day -  he wouldn't be as bad for the rest of the world, but he'd be much worse here at home i.e. where I live.

by MarekNYC on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 03:11:00 PM EST
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The neocons and Christian fundamentalists are two completely different groups, although there alliance, together with bug business, is what defines the Bush wing of the Republican Party.

Buchanan is a right-wing Catholic, whereas Christian fundamentalism is an offshoot of American evangelicalism (and now largely dominates the latter). Right-wing Catholics and Christian fundamentalists may form alliances (the fundies picked up opposition to abortion from the Catholics to have something to agitate about, for example, and fundies may be fans of Mel Gibson's movies), but the two are two distinct groups, with completely different theologies.

This is not to disagree with your point that the right-wing Christians (of either or both varieties) would be worse at the helm than the neocons.

My post was confusing in that "Christian conservative" can have two meanings. One can be a Christian who is politically conservative, like Buchanan, or one can be a "Christian" who adopts a conservative (i.e., fundamentalist) approach to understanding Christianity. While Buchanan may hold certain "fascist" ideas, he does not reject reason, which is what the fundies do.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Mon Jan 22nd, 2007 at 03:32:02 PM EST
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