The American Conservative has an interesting piece up on the redoubtable John Randolph, Who Was John Randolph?. This part spoke to me:
The danger of Buckley’s effort to construct a tradition is that it slowly became a template. Anyone who doesn’t match the specifications of “born again,” “tax-cutting,” and “foreign-policy hawk” can now officially be labeled “unconservative.” The result is that men like libertarian Ron Paul, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan, or cosmopolitan Rudy Giuliani—all of whom represented legitimate dimensions of conservatism—could no longer get an invite to the party. Republican presidential primaries have evolved from talent contests to the priest-selection ritual of some bizarre and parochial religion. “I swear by almighty God never to raise taxes…”
It’s cliche, but what history teaches is that conservatism is not a thing, but a way. One of the major reasons I participate on this weblog, despite my primary passions being scientific, is to reiterate that not all conservatives are created in the same image.