Let's examine the origin of those terms in American politics. Initially, those who claimed the term "conservative" were those who advocated a government that lived within the ability of the people to provide through taxation which was not oppressive and within the bounds of the Constitution as set down by the very wise men who founded this nation. "Liberals", on the other hand, were assumed to be those who expected the governement to collect horrendous and confiscative taxes from the people and would, in turn, spread the wealth equally over the entire populace, regardless of their contribution to the common good.
This conglomeration of interest groups and money-people calling themselves "conservative" is about like a jackass claiming to be a race horse. A "real" conservative turns green at the word, "reform". Reform means change and change is the one thing that a Conservative dreads more than death itself. The whole point of desiring to conserve is to maintain a situation which one wants to continue, a way of life in which people work hard to care for themselves and their families but are willing to share their resources with others who are less fortunate and to contribute to the costs of the common well-being. However, the cabal which currently runs this nation is changing everything so rapidly under the cover of "reform" that there is no accounting for the true amount of damage that has been done to "the land of the free and the home of the brave".
On the other hand, those of us who oppose these changes are termed "liberals". We who are desperately engaging in the effort to preserve our economic system, our social programs, and even our environment, are beset with sobriquets and insults for our pains. We who struggle against an increasingly unfair taxing system are referred to as "tax and spend liberals" and accused of waging "class warfare". In fact, those who are being denigrated as "radical lib-lefty wackos" are a coalition of independent thinkers from all wings of both parties, Democrats, populists, Libertarians, and, yes, even Real Conservatives who object to the extravagant spending patterns of the Neo-Conservatives who have seized control of our nation and are causing the astronomical national debt.
By the 2008 elections, both parties can kiss their "bases" good-bye as the religious "fundies" realize that they have merely allowed themselves to be used by the Neo-Cons as a power base for those who have no intention of making good on their promises to ensconce those religious beliefs in law. Former Democrats are disillusioned with their party leaders for failure to speak up in opposition to the power-grab of the Executive Branch to the loss of the power of Congress. Real Conservatives are apoplectic at the burgeoning national debt while the working class are becoming more and more disillusioned as the tax breaks for the wealthy are increased and they find themselves bearing the bulk of the burden of paying the bills of an extravagant government.
We are Eisenhower Republicans, we are Goldwater Democrats, old-line Libertarians and New Age Progressives, but we all want to conserve the American spirit in which which we care for our own, help our neighbors, pay our bills, and live in peace. To paraphrase Gary Coleman's favorite line, "Who you callin' Liberal, fool?