Really, if anything, conservatives have more cognitive dissonance. Your statement:
"Conservatives resist growth of the state, but that's not the same thing as resisting change."
Simply doesn't square with the facts. Under Reagan, government *ballooned" as he introduced the first multi-hundred billion dollar budget deficit in US history. Highest under Carter? 69 billion. Government actually *shrank* under Clinton, and under Bush? Well, it ballooned again, as he doubled the national debt, getting us into two massive wars, and he introduced the country's first $1 trillion dollar budget deficit.
These are facts. And they are not in dispute. But your cognitive dissonance apparently keeps you from acknowledging them.