Andrew Sullivan celebrates himself-
He went nuts over the gay marriage issue. He certainly had his skepticisms before that, but when the system sent out the signal they were establishing gay marriage, and the amorphous resistance indicated they would resist, he went over completely.
How does a conservative- he really did used to be a conservative, I read and enjoyed him for a long time, and before he was famous I sent him an email of support, to which he responded nicely- become a progressive? One significant thing at work is the skepticism itself.
Skepticism, and the desire to leave well enough alone, are a big part of the original conservatism of Burke. Recognizing reality and living with it are virtues. By this measure the “conservatism” that arose in the US in the 50’s was no such thing. It wanted to dismantle a large part of the government built and supported by the elite establishment. As such it was quite radical. Most aspects of liberalism are deeply engrained on our government, law, and culture, and eliminating them amounts to drastic change. Sullivan can then reprimand anyone opposed to the establishment as being crazy and foolish, and he’s not far wrong. As the system collapses on itself we will see who’s really crazy.
John Derbyshire comes from this viewpoint quite a bit. As a paleoconservative he’s more insiduous- Sullivan calls himself a conservative but nobody believes it. “Do nothing” is good advice much of the time. But if conservatism is just rolling over for the establishment, I’m no conservative.