I was raised as a Progressive within the 'Talented Tenth' in one of the wealthiest black communities in America. When the black sprinters for the US team were booed at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, I was shocked that the best in the world were heckled for raising the American flag. It made me reconsider what black men are expected to do and be with regard to patriotism, especially when they are successful. As part of that investigative process, I registered Republican and strove to understand and become a part of the American Right, and so I began a blog which is a journal of that passage. By becoming this 'paradox' a black American Conservative, I witnessed many myths. Here are some of them.
The first myth is that conservatives are white, want to stay white and interpret all racial issues the same way liberals do and because of that, actively oppose Liberals based on racial or racist principles.
In fact Conservatives spend relatively little time thinking about race and in particular have not evolved ways of speaking different 'racial languages' to different racial constituencies. The myth is that Conservatives speak a 'dog whistle' language to whites. The fact is that Conservatives want to be non-racial and speak to other character traits instead of race. This appeals to people who are not concerned with racial identity as central to politics, which does in fact resonate with people who are nominally 'white'.
The second myth is that Conservatives are born and not made.
There is this idea that only if you are raised in a particular kind of Christianity, or live in the South or did not get some crucial education or some other demographic stereotype, that you are likely to be and stay Conservative. Liberals almost always ignore or discount those Americans who grew up liberal or progressive and then thought their way away from those ideologies. I don't know for certain, but I would guess that there are more Progressives who became Conservative than the other way around.
The third myth is that the American Right is just like the Right in other countries.
This is especially annoying when it comes to Germany. Liberals tend to blithely associate Conservatism with Fascism when it comes to the matter of Conservative support of military service and military engagement. Very few would stop to look at the founding principles of the Nazi Party and see why, in principle, it is a Socialist worker's party. Because of this, Liberals assume for example, that nobody who escaped Nazi Germany would become an American Conservative, but in fact there is an entire school of Conservative thought called the Straussian School.
The fourth myth is that Conservatism is monolithic.
Liberals mistake conservative political philosophies for a dictionary definition of 'conservative' like 'lack of nerve' or 'unwillingness to change'. Few people, including many if not most Republicans, bother to read books by conservative thinkers like Hayek, Oakshott, Strauss or Kirk. Just as few Liberals, including many if not most Democrats, bother to read books by Adorno, Marcuse or Rorty. I think in general this is because Liberals assume that Republicans are true exemplars of Conservative principles and that their policy positions are principled.