Over a weekend a few summers ago I was obliged to play host to a mid-20-something MFA student. She was going to a school in Indiana — Purdue, I think it was — her medium of choice as an artist was collage and she would make her collages out of old photographs she found at yard and estate sales. (Yeah, you read that right. Someone was paying tens of thousands of dollars a year for this young woman to get an advanced degree in what amounts to scrapbooking.) Naturally, she was an unthinking, knee-jerk Progressive — ugly shoulder tatt and everything — but I was brought up to be overly-polite and overly-solicitous toward guests, regardless of whether I agree with them about anything or not, so I did my best to look past that. Among the uncomfortable conversations we had, I naturally asked her about her school and how she liked it and the town she was living in. She explained that she liked the school but not the town — it was "too conservative" (with an implied "EEEW!") — and she was always glad to come back to the Big City where the culture was "more diverse".
As politely and innocently as possible, I suggested to her that conservatism is a type of diversity. That stopped her for about a microsecond and, IIRC, she said something like, "I suppose". What was plain was that it had never occurred to her to evaluate conservatism in any way other than the one she'd been taught throughout a life of indoctrination within public schools and from popular culture. What I think stopped her for a microsecond and struck her as incongruous was that I didn't appear to conform to the stereotypes she had been taught — I didn't seem to be either an ignorant Christianist, RACIST, or a greedy business school corporatist — but I didn't flatter myself into thinking that that little conversation was anything more than a minor bump in the road of her ideological existence.
Conservatism, to the Progressive mind, can only ever be ignorant and icky and any logic suggesting otherwise isn't more than an inconvenience.
Similarly, this sort of thinking is finding adherents within the conservative camp itself. from traitors like David Welch, to lifelong squishes like Bill Kristol, and cynical ex-Leftist opportunists like Althouse and Roger L. Simon. Whenever they talk about "TEA Party extremists" or how gay marriage is a fait accompli, they're repudiating the ignorant and icky fi-con/social-con segments of conservatism. They are saying that only they can divine the future of the party, and you don't want to be left behind by sympathizing with those simple-minded anti-taxers or those bigoted social conservatives, do you?
Surely, you don't want to be seen socializing with Martha Dumptruck, do you?
They talk about Big Tents and how the Party needs to include more types of people, but they never tell you that when they advocate inviting whatever pet "minority" is their favorite into the tent they inevitably advocate kicking out whichever group they dislike the most.
Integrity, my ass.