Are American conservatives conservative?

In many entries to this blog I have mentioned in passing the distinction between conservatism as a political ideology and reaction. Reactionaries do not act out of principle but in reaction to change they do not like. That is why many conservatives now preface the word with “principled” when labeling themselves or others they consider “truly” conservative. The reactionaries who call themselves conservatives in this country do not even meet the basic Republican criteria for conservatism: low taxes, small government, strong defense, free market, etc. What they want is anything to make them feel better. Not even do better, just feel better.
Trump provided that. His rallies replicate Nuremberg for a reason. Just one example: for years I was puzzled by “conservatives” labeling others as Communists. There seemed to be nothing communistic about the target of their ire. Then, talking to my neighbor, a Trumper, I realized that by “communist” he meant anyone or anything he did not understand. Punto

Nov. 24, 2019 There are two tiers of American conservatives, neither of which follows entirely the usual definitions of conservative: one is the populist reactionary and the other is the sophisticated educated person of means who has an agenda often masked.

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