"Wouldn't it be great if..." (progressives are generally theorists)
Ok, right there with you so far...
Conservative ideas usually begin with:
"Wasn't it great when..." (conservatives are generally empiricists)
Yup, that works for me too...
The complication is the next step, taken by both progressives and conservatives:
"Since that would be great, it is our moral obligation, to use the force of government to MAKE it that way"
... and that's where we part ways.
The problem, is that I believe I have no moral right to force MY personal beliefs, preferences, or ideas on anyone else (no matter how "great" or "right" they may be).
I also believe that we have a moral obligation to use the force of government as little as possible (even if doing so may be "for the greater good").
Of course, that's where the kicker hits, from both left and right...
"Since you oppose something which is great, and which is a moral obligation, you must either be stupid, or evil"