...let us not forget an important factor: Conservativism was the no-bullshit party. If you were a liberal, there’s a whole list of pieties you were required to loudly proclaim your belief in, even if you didn’t believe them at all.
Red meat bad, green power good, everyone on welfare is a deserving soul who is out of work through no fault whatsoever of his own, and, in fact, it’s really the productive members of society who are to blame for their ills, when you think of it.
You know the litany.
Conservatives, on the other hand, had — for a while — a fairly open and dynamic and vigorous exchange of ideas, in which some ideas might be wrong, some ideas might be crazy, but few ideas were actually forbidden.
Go read the whole thing.