Against the Neoconservatives: Mythologies of a Simon-Pure Conservative

Against the Neoconservatives: Mythologies of a Simon-Pure Conservative

A not-so-simple Simon says that now is A Time for Truth, the “truth” as a present-day conservative sees it. In this facile, freeswinging book (published by McGraw-Hill in 1978), William Simon, former secretary of the treasury under Nixon and Ford, lets loose a blast that spares no one, including his two famous employers. He thinks it’s time for true libertarians to speak out against a modern liberalism that has infected both the Democratic and Republican parties. His vigorous little volume deserves the serious attention of liberals and radicals, less for what it is in itself than for what it represents as a popular summary of American conservatism today.

The natural tendency of liberals and radicals will be to dismiss this book as trash, the detritus of a political Neanderthal, a man without compassion. But invective does not bother him: he wears the pejorative labels as badges of honor. He hands out his own contumely: liberals are “intellectual basket cases,” Leonard Silk of the New York Times is charged with “ideological malice,” and top people in the press are indicted for their “sheer ignorance.”

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