I just put up what is most likely my final, and longest, post of my current stint at Upturned Earth here. The crux of my argument is that the great flaw in the conservatism of the last decade or so is that its public face has become dominated by a dogmatism that essentially dehumanizes anyone that would dare disagree with that dogma. Importantly, this dogmatism is not particular to any one sect of conservatism (or libertarianism for that matter), but instead infects the elements of each sect that proudly consider themselves part of the Republican "base."
The summary paragraph is below:
And that, to me, is the central problem with conservatism both today and in the recent past. By allowing so many of its spokespeople to consistently portray any number of groups as essentially traitors to their country, those spokespeople guaranteed that no one would be willing to listen when conservatives actually tried to reach out to those groups on other issues. Simply put, they did everything they could to ignore Madison’s plea for a society with ever-shifting factions, and instead helped create a culture with only two permanent factions: "us" and "them."
But, please, read the whole thing.