The word seems to have become a brand that some people attach to a set of partisan policy preferences, rather than the set of underlying principles about government and society it once was. Conservatism has become a dog’s breakfast of Wilsonian internationalism brought over from the Democratic Party after the New Left took it over, coupled with fanatical libertarian economics and religiously-driven positions on various culture war issues. No one seems to have any idea or concern for how these positions are consistent or reflect anything other than a general hatred for Democrats and the Left.
Well, yeah. Get rid of those things, and I could call myself a conservative. Likewise, get rid of the identitarian fundamentalists, the postmodernist academics, the vestigial Marxists, and the social media garbage babies from the left and I could call myself a progressive, too. This is how people like Plato end up developing theories of eternal Forms, when reality refuses to be neat and orderly. Let us exiles just get together and hash out exactly how much of a welfare state should exist, and then we can all get on with far more important things in life than politics.