The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
TENTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
I believe that most people are conservative. They just don't know it. They never bothered to reflect on it. They may care more about politics than political philosophy. They may vote for people on the basis of a soundbite or whether they have a full head of hair. This shallow thinking is what produces the mess we find ourselves in today. The way out is to be conservative, and I usually convince people to identify as conservatives by asking very elemental questions. In this essay, the question is this. Do you believe in limited or unlimited government?
A progressive is someone who believes in unlimited government. There is no sphere of life that they do not believe government cannot intrude upon. They may pay lip service to staying out of a mother's womb in defense of baby killing or staying out of a bedroom in defense of sodomy, but these are cynical arguments to be discarded later such as when they want to allow perverts into the women's restroom.
Sane people believe that there should be limits on government. They may disagree on what those limits should be, but they still believe in principle that there should be spheres of life where government does not belong. This is the cornerstone of conservatism. Once this cornerstone is laid, everything flows from there. If you believe in limited government, you are a conservative.
The enemies of conservatism are those people who champion unlimited government. Why do they champion unlimited government? This is because they think they have the solution to all problems. The only problem is getting compliance with those solutions. This is where government becomes their blunt instrument. When 100% compliance is reached, you have Utopia! We recognize non-compliance as "freedom." Progressives are the enemies of freedom.
Freedom is a bad thing to progressives because people make bad choices. This is why people can't be trusted with freedom. They are too stupid to know what is good for them. But this argument becomes self-defeating when you point out the follies and failures of government. You may do a bad job of running your life, but government usually does it worse.
If you believe in limited government, you are already heading down the road to conservatism. Before you know it, you will be reading the US Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and Russell Kirk. I know. There are many more arguments to be made between here and there. But if you side with limited government, you are pointed in the right direction.