I once had a thought of writing a review of Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. I gave up, in disgust, around Pg 35. Kirk boldly announces that bastions of conservative thought are ignorance and prejudice. I am not making this up. These are his words, as you can easily see for yourself in the book. I also concluded from the writing that the other two pillars are magical thinking and its close companion false choice.
William F. Buckley said of the National Review, "It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."*
Let's consider for a moment what this suggests. I will quote Andrew Bacevich, not exactly a flaming liberal. On Pg.26 of The Limits of Power he announces:
Pick the group: blacks, Jews, women, Asians, Hispanics, working stiffs, gays, the handicapped - in every case, the impetus for providing equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution originated among pinks, lefties, liberals, and bleeding-heart fellow travelers. When it came to ensuring that every American should get a fair shake, the contribution of modern conservatism has been essentially nil. Had Martin Luther King counted on William F. Buckley and the National Review to take up the fight against racial segregation in the 1050s and a960s, Jim Crow would still be alive and well.
I'll take it further. Yelling "Stop!" at history has always been casting a "yea" vote for Royalism, racism, nationalism**, oppression, and ignorance. If conservatives had their way, the earth would be flat, Black Americans would be slaves, and women would not be allowed to vote, own property, or even go to school. They would be in the kitchen, bare-foot and pregnant.
And that refers to the most ethical and thoughtful conservatives. Conservatism in the U.S. has degenerated, since the days of the effete, pseudo-intellectual Buckley, to raving insanity. Those who call themselves "conservatives" deny the New Deal, promote unjustifiable war, like torture, support law breaking by Republicans, rationalize their every moral transgression, and indulge absurd conspiracies, even denying Obama's citizenship. The list goes on, but this is more than enough.
I would expect that "conservatives" would at least have respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. But, for example, instead of criticizing the Bush administration for outing Valarie Plame, they defend Bush and vilify Plame.
John Dean deals at length with the moral and intellectual failings and irrationality of a certain type of "conservative" in Conservatives Without Conscience.
In a nutshell*** modern "conservatism" has never had a valid intellectual foundation. It is nothing more than blind partisanship****, based on bitterness, hatred, and negativity. It has no rational ideology*****, no ethical basis, and no correlation to the real world.
* In other words, conservatism takes no brain power at all. Just close your eyes and say, NO!"
** A bad thing, and not to be confused with patriotism - a good thing.
*** The correct packaging
**** Me: good. You: bad.
***** According to Kirk, it can't and won't