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neo-conservative

Word Origin and History for neo-conservative
neo-conservative
also neoconservative; used in the modern sense by 1979:
"My Republican vote [in the 1972 presidential election] produced little shock waves in the New York intellectual community. It didn't take long - a year or two - for the socialist writer Michael Harrington to come up with the term "neoconservative" to describe a renegade liberal like myself. To the chagrin of some of my friends, I decided to accept that term; there was no point calling myself a liberal when no one else did." [Irving Kristol, "Forty Good Years," "The Public Interest," Spring 2005]
The term is attested from 1960, but it originally often was applied to Russell Kirk and his followers, who would be philosophically opposed to the modern neocons.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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