"The heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism," Ronald Reagan said on many occasions, including a speech at Vanderbilt University when I was an undergraduate.
I'm not so sure. But at least the conservatism of Sen. Robert Taft, Sen. Barry Goldwater, and Reagan stood for a limited constitutional government in opposition to the federal aggrandizement of the New Deal and the Great Society. Back in the FDR-JFK-LBJ years, conservatives even stood for congressional government and against the imperial presidency.
But what does conservatism stand for today, other than opposition to President Obama? President Bush expanded entitlements, increased federal spending by more than a trillion dollars, federalized education, launched "nation-building" projects in two far-flung regions, and accumulated more power in the White House than any previous president.
Yet the masses assembled at the Conservative Political Action Conference chanted "Four More Years!" at him in the eighth year of his reign. Is that really a record that conservatives wanted more of? [...]
Ouch! The last Republican Administration pre-paved the way for much of what the current Democrat Administration is doing now. The truth hurts sometimes.
Read the whole thing, to see how we got where we are, and what we could conceivably do about it now. There is still hope, if conservatives can learn to be flexible where they need to be flexible, in our Brave New World.