We believe, as did the framers, that the structural limitations on government, like the separation of powers and federalism, are what make possible individual liberties. The pitting against each other of competing levels and branches of government run by imperfect men was designed to deter government from its natural tendency toward absolutism.
That's why conservatives get so exercised about appellate judges who refuse to honor the Constitution as written and insist on rewriting its provisions from the bench. When they do so, "legislating" certain abhorrent policies from the bench isn't their only sin. They are also tampering with the delicate balance of governmental power that guarantees our freedom.
For example, conservatives couldn't be more passionate about the appointment of judges who would reverse Roe vs. Wade because that would hopefully reduce abortions. But they are also passionate about judges honoring the Constitution's original intent -- not because they are mired-in-the-mud fuddy-duddies but because only by honoring that intent will we be able to restrain the government and maximize our liberties.
Conservatives also see quite clearly the interrelationship between economic and political liberty. Whether or not they've studied Friedrich Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom," they understand that expansive government and socialism -- no matter how well meaning, in some cases -- are ultimately incompatible with individual liberties.
Big government Republicans, however, evidently don't have the same distrust of governmental power, believing it is an unstoppable force that can't be beaten and so must be joined and harnessed to "conservative" ends.
No matter how smart these intellectuals are, they just don't get it. If they did, they wouldn't be happily surrendering to anti-constitutionalist liberals and willingly playing the game on their turf.
Conservatives realize that politics (and the preservation of our liberties) ain't beanbag. They don't invest their future in the platitudes of "hope," "bipartisanship," or "kumbaya." In the end, these are just recklessly naive expressions of confidence in the power of government to deliver us from all hardship.
Instead, conservatives believe that government is a necessary evil to establish order and promote the common defense and the like but otherwise must be restrained in order to unleash the power and freedom of the individual.
Conservatives should not be underestimated as mere players in a cynical chessboard game of party politics. They believe in the power of ideas and will continue to promote their ideas irrespective of the eventual identity of the respective presidential nominees and regardless of how much they are pressured to be silent about first principles.