Now that Mitt Romney has enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president the party is uniting around him in an effort to unseat President Obama. But what will come of the party's diverse viewpoints that were on display when the nomination field was larger?
Public Insight Network reporter Jeff Severns Guntzel wondered if this year's primary battles weren't something of a 'conservative moment' in America - and he wanted to hear from conservatives about the stories in their lives that made them conservative.
The Power Line blog posted an invitation for readers to share their experience, and more than 400 conservatives responded. Severns Guntzel created an interactive timeline of political and cultural moments in American conservatism. It's built from interviews and correspondence with hundreds of people across a wide spectrum of political thought.
"There are a thousand kinds of 'conservative' and I wanted to talk to as diverse a group as possible," Severns Guntzel said. "But the conversations weren't exactly about politics; they were about how people became conservatives and what it is like to be conservative right now in America."
"I had a pregnancy test that was a false negative, so I didn't realize I was pregnant until I was into about the fourth month. I thought I was really overdue for getting a prenatal exam -- I thought you needed to get it before you were three months along and I was already four months along. I called the clinic to set up an appointment. The nurse who answered the phone, she said, 'Are you going to get an abortion?' And I was just absolutely shocked. I think my jaw just hit the floor."
--Roz Kohls, a retired newspaper reporter living in Glencoe, Minn.
"I was born in Manhattan and I remember when I was about 5 or 6, this would have been 1960 or 61, somewhere in there, and there were people literally on soapboxes who were excoriating virtually every feature of life in the United States. It's difficult to recall specifics, but I do remember very clearly the feeling that I had. There was something very primal about it that really got to me and really offended me."
--Sherwood Brooks, who works in the LED lighting business and lives in Lewes, Del.
"I mentioned Ayn Rand. When I read The Fountainhead, which I think I did in college even though -- I looked this up -- it came out in 1943, it wasn't so much that I was swept away by objectivism -- I don't think she had even named it yet -- but that it inoculated me against any collectivist or socialist stuff with the belief that it won't work. And that part I've never lost. It's not so much that I'm in favor of the things she was in favor of, but that I'm opposed to the same things she was opposed to. But she was a terrible novelist."
--Linda Seebach, a retired writer from Northfield, Minn.