But people who follow politics closely — whether voters, activists or pundits — are often partisans first and ideologues second. Instead of assessing every policy on the merits, we tend to reverse-engineer the arguments required to justify whatever our own side happens to be doing. Our ideological convictions may be real enough, but our deepest conviction is often that the other guys can’t be trusted.
That's NY Times columnist Ross Douthat. While he's sometimes dimssied because he writes for the NYT, I would remind the reader that just because he's an anointed conservative doesn't mean he isn't correct in what he writes.
In this case, I'd say he hits the nail on the head and I don't think anyone should be afraid of a little self-reflection to test Douthat's hypothesis.
Be sure to check out the link to read the whole thing. You might be surprised to read his conclusion about whether this state of affairs is a good thing or a bad thing.