American conservatives are flirting with the authoritarian-adjacent European conservatism of old

Francis Fukuyama in Persuasion:

One of the staples of my teaching of comparative politics over the years was to point out the differences between European and American conservatives. The former were generally comfortable with the exercise of state power, and indeed sought to use power to enforce religious or cultural values (the old unity of “throne and altar.”) American conservatives, on the other hand, were different in their emphasis on individual liberty, a small state, property rights, and a vigorous private sector. In Seymour Martin Lipset’s account of American exceptionalism, American politics were thoroughly imbued with a Lockean liberalism that saw the government limiting its own power through a strict rule of law. These principles defined the Republican Party under Ronald Reagan, which wanted lower taxes, deregulation, federalism, and multiple limits on state power.

This understanding of conservatism has now been upended with the rise of Trumpist populism.

More here.