John Dean described the makeup of authoritarian conservatism as follows:
Two factions of conservatism currently embrace a contemporary adaptation of authoritarian conservatism: neoconservatives and social conservatives. Neoconservatives are a relatively small group of social-dominance authoritarians, with significant, if not disproportionate influence. Social conservatives, whose core members are Christian conservatives, comprise the largest and most cohesive faction of conservatism. They are, by and large, typically right-wing authoritarian followers.
… Neoconservatism isn’t dead; it can be renovated and returned to prominence, because, even today, it remains unrivaled as a guiding principle for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. [So they say.]
… we held a broader definition of U.S. security, believing that aggression and mayhem anywhere could eventually reach America’s doorstep. [Sounds like a restatement of the old domino theory used to perpetuate the Vietnam War.]
… If democracy had shown its potency in discouraging war elsewhere, it stood to reason that it also could be a cure to terrorism in the Middle East. [Even if it has to be forced on them by the “infidels.”]
Until someone comes up with better ideas …, the neocon strategy of trying to transform the Middle East, however blemished, remains without alternative. No doubt, the results of the midterm elections will produce some course corrections (as Rumsfeld has discovered). But neocon ideas are unlikely to be jettisoned — either by Bush or his successor — until a viable replacement is found. So far, there is none. [What about treating terrorism as criminal acts and using crime fighting resources?]
In 2005, Jimmy Carter said this about the neoconservatives in Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis, they “now seem to embrace aggressive and unilateral intervention in foreign affairs, especially to advance U.S. military and political influence in the Middle East.”
John Dean provided the following quote on neoconservatives from Philip Gold, a former Georgetown University professor. They are “a new aristocracy of aggression that combines 19th-century Prussian pigheadedness with a most un-Prussian inability to read a man or a ledger book, and a near total lack of military – let alone combat – experience. Ask these people to show you their wounds and they’ll probably wave a Washington Post editorial at you.”
So, be wary of neocons and anything related to the American Enterprise Institute.