I don't think today's Republican party has a clue about real conservatism. Even if they do, they've let it become washed away by their dogged determination to turn their party into a wing of evangelical Christendom. And when that happens, well, we've seen what happens: they become bogged down in perverse and blind religiosity, warring against marriage equality, against science, against reason. They become overtaken with paranoia, bent on insulating themselves every more completely against recognizing any needs but their own: namely, blindly to keep fighting against the tide, pushing an agenda meant only to reassure themselves that it's all okay. That someday -- not necessarily in this life on this planet -- they'll be vindicated. The country's future? Not relevant.
In Great Britain, conservatives -- as they should, being true conservatives -- embrace marriage equality. As a political matter, it's uncontroversial: any conservative worth his or her salt would agree that government has no business, no reason to get involved. On this side of the pond, however, the R party is no longer concerned with political philosophy: their brand of severe religious fundamentalism is their supreme concern. Abortion, school prayer, same-sex marriage, creationism, global warming: on all these issues they've abandoned the traditions of conservatism -- ie, either keeping government out of it, or basing positions on verifiable facts -- in favor of a form of religious purity that places biblical literalism above all else. In terms of party viability, it's a suicidal path. One might hope.
But it's not wishful thinking on my part, even if it's true I wish it to be so. It's because at some point, everything they claim that hasn't already been disproven will be. And whereas there'll undoubtedly be some who'll never see it, for most it'll be undeniable: human-caused global climate change is real. Same sex marriage won't cause all hell to break loose. Barack Obama isn't going to round up their guns, and he won't destroy capitalism. Obamacare won't take away their choice of doctors; and when problems in it arise, they'll be addressed. Immigrants will be seen as a net positive for society, as they're about the only ones who retain belief in the American dream. Without adequate investment, infrastructure will continue to crumble, schools won't be able to keep up, the environment will become more polluted.
And the effects of concentrating so much wealth and political power in the hands of so few will come to be recognized as the end of democracy. But by the time it's obvious to today's Republicans, it'll be far, far too late.
[Just in time for publication of this, a friend sends a link to MoDo's latest. I've been finding her less interesting lately, but this one is right on and just happens to be what I'm talking about here.]