Conservatism is a political philosophy concerned with collective aspirations and actions. But conservatism teaches that benevolent government is not always a benefactor. Conservatism's task is to distinguish between what government can and cannot do, and between what it can do but should not.
Abu Muqawama once heard George Will complain on television there was nothing conservative about the neo-conservatives: "They're the most radical people in this town!" he nearly shouted in exasperation. This debate between him and Michael Gerson makes watching which direction the Republican Party will head, post-Iraq, one of the more interesting shows around.