I would think it important to separate this new “conservatism” from the traditional variety. Remember the American vice is to use language to hide meaning. I’ll quote myself from an earlier post:
One of the most disturbing things about America is the incoherence of American language, the endless euphemism-laden double talk. American terminology is confusing and perhaps the confusion is deliberate.
Examples? There are many.
For example, everywhere but in the USA, “red” is the color of the left, but in America, the term, “red state”, means one that is right-wing and “blue”, which is a color that in most countries is associated with the right, to ultra-right, in the US is used to label what Americans call “liberal”, which in the USA means the left, but which everywhere else is used to label the economic right-wing… These examples are just the tip of a semantic iceberg.
This brings us to the word, “conservative”.
The new conservative is, in plain English, in fact, a neo-fascist and the personality traits we observe on the American right these days are those of a fascist.
What is the difference
If a person is born into a well to do, stable family, where the parents respect and perhaps even love each other and treat the child kindly and his/her exposure to traditional religion is benign. He/she is likely to accept the family’s traditions and values unquestioningly.
From that point his/her attitude will be one of prudence, of not spoiling (for him/her and his/her family) a good thing… and his/her attitude toward the less fortunate than himself/herself may even be benevolent and paternalistic and be expressed in contributions to charity and other good works.
What we are seeing in the Republicans now, has little or nothing to do with that kind of conservatism. We are looking at exasperated, paranoiac, xenophobic, racist nastiness, in short a fascistic mentality of crippled personalities in reaction to changing mores and a failing economy.