The primary difference between conservatives and progressives is that conservatives believe in "me" while progressives believe in "we."
Evidence can be found in the presidential campaign where Mitt Romney insists the individual alone can achieve anything if left alone while President Obama says individuals are only as successful as the people around them, a point the president made the other day in a speech (which of course was distorted by the far right media into "criticism" of small business owners).
Having built and owned a successful business for over a quarter century, I agree with Obama. Nobody in business or any other worthy pursuit ever accomplished anything important without help, guidance and encouragement, including Romney.
Many of the people who worked for Romney at Bain Capital were educated in public schools and universities paid for by the rest of us. Romney's business was defended by the military we paid for. To the extent Romney's companies produced any products, they were moved to markets over roads, bridges and interstate highways the rest of us paid for with our taxes. Without the rest of us, there would have never been a Bain Capital.
The notion that Romney and Romney alone achieved his success is an Ayn Rand fantasy (the mother of "Objectivism," by the way, never started and built a business).
A friend challenged me on this, insisting the Founding Fathers would agree with Romney. I reminded him the Constitution begins with the words, "We the People..."
After signing the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin famously told his co-signers, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Indeed, our nation's motto is E Pluribus Unim. Out of many, one.