I read this entire piece (via Marginal Revolution) on the “conservative” movement, as told by the story of Culture11. The essence of it was that conservatives have to understand popular culture, in order to convince the people in it to subscribe to their beliefs:
can conservatism properly push back against a popular culture that it doesn’t really understand?
The problem is, if you want to use the law to prevent aspects of that culture, it doesn’t matter if you “understand” it, the people you’re stopping from doing them will be mad and tend to disagree with you. If you merely disapprove yet accept that people should be allowed to do their crazy cultural stuff, then why bother being conservatives? There’s already a political grouping for people who share economic views with conservatives (the extent of which I’m glossing this over is certainly up for debate!) while generally allowing people to do their own things in the social or cultural spheres. I think you can work out who I’m talking about.
If you want to convince the young kids to crowd under the mantle of “conservatism” while also retaining electability, well, then us libertarians can’t help you. But then, it seems to be kind of a moot point, eh Republicans?