Or, Why there ought not to be a law about anything or everything that bothers someone.
The conservative takes the "tragic view" of the human condition. We are all just people, all imperfect, all incapable of achieving perfection, not because we're failures, but because we're human. The "New Soviet Man" is not in the house. The best of intentions never go far. Russell Kirk referrred to this notion as "the principle of imperfectability."
David Mamet wrote a long essay about this. Could it be expressed more concisely? Why, yes, and here it is in one of those emails that gets forwarded around. Bookworm posted it, and some of her commenters have additions. A sample:
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.
More at the link.