Conservatives are unified, more or less, because of Obama. But in fact there are deep divisions among conservatives that require only time to play themselves out:
- The Military. The libertarian wing views the military as little more than another branch of the government: bloated, inefficient, and largely unnecessary. Given the opportunity, they'd substantially reduce its size and its funding. The traditional wing of the movement believes the military is the bulwark of our freedom. Without it, our other freedoms would be impossible to sustain. The military is not part of the government; or at least, not the part of the government that conservatives complain about when they complain about the government. Military spending can't be cut without endangering the freedom of the country.
- Abortion/Gay Rights/Pornography. Libertarians believe what people do in private is their own business, not the government's. Traditionalists believe the government has a role in preventing liberals from destroying the fabric of American society, as well as protecting the rights of the unborn.
- Social Security. Libertarians view it as a Ponzi scheme which is unsustainable and should be dismantled. Older conservatives see it as a retirement account they've paid into, and are therefore entitled to receive. (I realize "older conservatives" is not the same as "traditionalists" but there's quite a bit of overlap, so I'll leave it in.)
- Religion. Libertarians view religion as a private choice, which should not be imposed on anyone. Traditionalists believe that the US is a Christian country, founded on Christian principles, and that departure from those principles will lead - ultimately - to the destruction of the country.
- States Rights/Secession. Libertarians believe that the states have the right to secede. Traditionalists (at least those not from the South) believe that talk of secession is little better than treason (or at least crazy-talk), and that the states have no right to secede.