Naturalists like to argue about taxonomy. Does the Australian bird-eating spider belong to the genus Phlogius or Selenocosmia? Similarly, political columnists and would-be historians like myself like to argue about what identifies the genus “neoconservative.” I don’t have an answer, but I have an observation based on several things written about or by neoconservatives.
The lines most cited in Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech were those about evil: “Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism--it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” These lines won approbation from both liberals and conservatives.