Excellent post by Daniel Larison. Excerpt:
Stanley is right that lack of interest in conservation, rejection of limits, opposition to austerity, and disapproval of pessimism make many Americans more likely to be Republican voters. These are also the reasons why temperamental and philosophical conservatism fares so poorly in the political coalition that identifies itself with ideological conservatism. If there is one thing truly alien to a conservative temperament, it is the rejection of limits. The Republican nominees believe that there ought not be any limits to American power in the world, and if they do exist at the moment they ought to be overcome. They are convinced that growth can be without limit as well. As far as they are concerned, acknowledging and respecting limits are the equivalent of embracing national decline. Unfortunately, it is exactly their rejection of limits that exhausts national strength and natural resources more quickly and hastens the coming of decline in the future.