He ends his latest column on a note of good sense:

The conservative ascendancy that was achieved in 1980 reflected a broad consensus favoring government more robust abroad and less ambitious at home — roughly the reverse of Tuesday’s consensus. But conservatives should note what their current condition demonstrates: Opinion is shiftable sand. It can be shifted, as Goldwater understood, by ideas, and by the other party overreaching, which the heavily Democratic Congress elected in 1964 promptly did.

In practice, the conservative ascendancy didn’t do much to make a less ambitious government at home, and may not have made American foreign policy any more “robust” than it had been under the likes of Truman, Kennedy, and LBJ. Still, the rise of conservatism represented at least a rhetorical and symbolic change, and while Obama’s victory doesn’t by itself usher in a new age of liberalism, Will is right to say that the national psychology is changing. There’s an opportunity here for Old Right-types, if we’re ready to take it.