Okay, I've had just about enough of this. The country isn't what we thought it was. Maybe we've hit the tipping point. Maybe the republic can't be saved. Decline is here, and it's unstoppable. Blah, blah, blah.
Here's what happened: we got smoked. The eternal verities haven't changed. Right is still right, wrong is wrong, and our government is still on an unsustainable path that will eventually lead us to ruin if it isn't checked. The Democrats ran a better campaign. They injected abortion into an argument about economic idiocy. They successfully turned an election about the direction of this country into a discussion about "lady parts". They ran a left-wing, ideologue, crony capitalist politician and managed to convince the electorate that our guy was the out-of-touch plutocrat. While we sat around one-upping each other about how no one could possibly want to give this obvious fool another four years at the wheel, they, bit by bit, sliced off pieces of the voting public, and maintained enough control of the "narrative" that they managed to win the election. They kicked our ass.
This is a disaster, but it's not a refutation of the idea that liberty is still better than slavery, or that a growing blob of a government is a bad thing. Those things are still true. The fool in the White House is still going to attempt to do foolish things, and our job is to attempt to stop him. It just got harder, that's all.
What kind of conservatives would we be if we didn't already know that people are fickle, things go wrong, and life is and always has been a constant struggle? Do I have to quote Kipling at you?