Yet by and large, the proper place for genuine conservatives today is in opposition, advancing a principled critique of the status quo with the hope--however quixotic--of persuading Americans to mend their ways.
When it comes to the culture, conservatives should promote an awareness of the costs of unchecked individual autonomy, while challenging conceptions of freedom that deny the need for self-restraint and self-denial. When it comes to economics, they should emphasize the virtue and necessity of Americans, collectively as well as individually, learning to live within their means. When it comes to foreign policy, they should advocate a restoration of realism, which will necessarily entail abandoning expectations of remaking the world in America's own image.
I'm not sure I agree entirely -- I should have some thoughts in the next few days -- but there needs to be more thought exerted along these lines. Feel free to do some of your own in the comments!