The faces of the conservatives I know aren’t what the public sees as the GOP. Therein lies the problem. If we’ve learned our lesson from this election (we’re doomed if we haven’t), then we’ve noticed the American landscape has changed, and that like it or not, so has our party.

For all the talk of being the “big tent” party, we’re fatally fragmented and divided. Social cons don’t want to accept the new crop of young cons, like myself, who tend to be socially liberal, but fiercely fiscally conservative. They see us as a threat to traditional American values and unbefitting of the fight to install conservatism. Hardcore libertarians don’t want to play with anyone except Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, meanwhile blaming everyone else for what ails America. Moderate Republicans may as well be turncoats because they are viewed with scorn and disdain as the embodiment of why we’ve failed. As long as these striations remain, our hopes of political dominance will be nothing more than that – hopes.

We all too willingly impose ridiculous purity tests on people we agree with 90% of the time. Not everyone we elect will be the next Reagan, and guess what? That’s OK. Different communities and demographics have different needs, all of which can be successfully adressed by conservatism, and it’s not always going to look the same.