I have always self identified as a conservative back when that phrase was also viewed as synonymous with patriot. As I proceeded through life and read the writings of Friedman, Hayek and Buckley, I found my reading of Bob Heinlein as a kid was my real foundation, and took my new influences with a salt shaker or two.
Lately, watching the next generation of ‘conservatives’ after Reagan, those who viewed him as a distant father figure and now make their living in the conservative media I worry that some of the basic belief systems that used to moderate conservative theory like ‘the national interest” have been left by the wayside, and our new intelligentsia , like their progressive counterparts are following their theorists blindly.
We live in a dangerous world with global class predators. “Small government” is not always the appropriate response. I am convinced if an asteroid was headed towards the planet, our conservative media would be calling for a small government response at the exclusion of all others.
The problem we have is not big government but big government in the wrong areas and not big enough in others. To steer the government to policing college athletics versus protecting manufacturing asset values against predation by other countries is the issue and small government is not always the answer.
I view the current split between the electorate and the elites is one of nationalism versus globalism and conservatives elites have chosen the unpopular side.
I guess I will have to stop viewing myself as a conservative. I can live with it.