Mandeville, LA – “It is instructive to consider how the various stances of Progressives came to be occupied by conservatives and thereby how in substance contemporary conservatism now provides succor to liberal ends. Throughout the 20th century, almost every matter of public interest—economic, civic, moral—came under the purview of national authority. Some of these policies were affected through the Congress and the presidency, particularly during the New Deal in regard to economic matters. But in the realm of social policy, a watershed moment occurred in 1973 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which not only identified a constitutional right to abort but invalidated a variety of state laws.
The demand to fashion a national response, combined with changes in the party system that facilitated that nationalization and sharpened partisan edges, led conservatives to increasingly abandon local and regional affiliations and to regard the national stage as their natural battleground. But not until the 1960s, with the radicalization of the Democratic Party—its friendliness to socialism at home and Communism abroad—did the Republican Party embrace the label of “conservative” and begin to define this “ism” as a distilled ideology. The space they found attractive had been abandoned by Progressives. If the Left flirted with the idea of a world state, conservatism would counter with fulsome nationalism. If the Left showed signs of increasing secularity, conservatism would embrace a civic religion that propounded the idea of America as Redeemer Nation. If the Left became disdainful of the American and Western traditions, conservatism would demand loyalty to the idea of America as articulated in the Declaration and rationalist political philosophy. If the Left moved in the direction of economic socialism, conservatism would embrace the free-market ideology of libertarian economics, despite the fact that thinkers like Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James Buchanan rejected the label “conservative.” If the Left became increasingly pacifistic, conservatives would respond with a strong assertion of militarism. If the Left’s pacifism led it to withdraw from the difficult military challenges presented by tyrants, conservatism would become the Wilsonian defender of a movement toward worldwide democratization.” – Patrick J Deneen, Counterfeiting Conservatism