From 1970 to 2008, what's changed in American Conservative circles? Lemos says not much:
It is perhaps premature to pronounce American conservatism dead though well it should be. The conservative movement is, however, rather moribund, bereft of any new ideas on anything of consequence from health care to energy to climate change to the economy. What does conservatism stand for in 2008 that they didn't stand for it in 1980? Maybe I am missing something for all I hear is a tired catechism of "lower taxes," "limited government," "free markets," "balance budgets," "family values," and a "strong military" which really means "empire" in their parlance.This isn't to say a political ideology must change for the sake of change or be destined to fail, but it seems impossible that in 38 years, no cultural change or social influence has attempted alter conservative ideology alone (while all other ideologies have evolved drastically). I would argue that such influences have appealed to conservatives, and been stubbornly rejected by the accepted spokespeople of the movement.
But this conservative agenda has run its course even if a large swath of the American public still recite its ethos for by any objective measure, American conservatism has failed.
If American Conservativism is in it's last throws, it is from self inflicted wounds, not an innate failure of the ideology's potential.