Counterculture conservatism?

Via David Brin's lively contrarian rant about this sort of thing, a thoughtful article on reclaiming American conservatism from Andrew Bacevich. Let's skip to the meaty bits: what does he think a proper conservative movement should champion?
  • Protecting the environment from the ravages of human excess. Here most emphatically, the central theme of conservatism should be to conserve. If that implies subordinating economic growth and material consumption in order to preserve the well-being of planet Earth, so be it. In advancing this position, conservatives should make common cause with tree-hugging, granola-crunching liberals. Yet in the cultural realm, such a change in American priorities will induce a tilt likely to find particular favor in conservative circles.
Well, it's a strong start. We will undoubtedly see progressive measures to actively combat climate change and other environmental problems in the near future, and so we deserve equally thoughtful voices urging restraint and reappraisal. (Not intransigence, but pragmatism and cost-benefit analysis.)
  • Exposing the excesses of American militarism and the futility of the neo-imperialist impulses to which Washington has succumbed since the end of the Cold War. When it comes to foreign policy, the conservative position should promote modesty, realism, and self-sufficiency. To the maximum extent possible, Americans should “live within,” abandoning the conceit that the United States is called upon to exercise “global leadership,” which has become a euphemism for making mischief and for demanding prerogatives allowed to no other nation. Here the potential exists for conservatives to make common cause with members of the impassioned antiwar left.
Sure. The neoconservative project seems mostly dead in the water anyway. I wonder how naive a lend-lease (but mostly lease) program on our overseas bases would be, if we ceded control to our allies? Certainly even then our supercarrier groups could still trounce any threat coming? (That said, the U.S. should set an example in global leadership in other, less shoot-em-up areas. Like science!)
  • Insisting upon the imperative of putting America’s fiscal house in order. For starters, this means requiring government to live within its means. Doing so will entail collective belt-tightening, just the thing to curb the nation’s lazily profligate tendencies. Conservatives should never cease proclaiming that trillion-dollar federal deficits are an abomination and a crime committed at the expense of future generations.
That's fair, though the rhetoric is usually bunk (as in most things economic). Too often the concerns are misplaced—we shouldn't have worried about inflation back in the 0% days of 2010 or so. But we really need fiscal conservatives urging government to top up the piggy bank during boom times. That's the key point of neo-Keynesian policy that makes it work.
  • Laying claim to the flagging cause of raising children to become responsible and morally centered adults. Apart from the pervasive deficiencies of the nation’s school system, the big problem here is not gay marriage but the collapse of heterosexual marriage as an enduring partnership sustained for the well-being of offspring. We know the result: an epidemic of children raised without fathers. Turning this around promises to be daunting, but promoting economic policies that make it possible to support a family on a single income offers at least the beginnings of a solution. Yes, just like in the 1950s.
Too heteronormative, but his heart is in the right place. The (research-supported) essence of a good family is sufficient parental care: parental sex doesn't enter into it. Now, there's a good case to be made for positive gender role models, but that's a different (if vital!) project.
  • Preserving the independence of institutions that can check the untoward and ill-advised impulses of the state. Among other things, this requires that conservatives mount an adamant and unyielding defense of religious freedom. Churches—my own very much included—may be flawed. But conservatives should view their health as essential.
Here I think he's a bit myopic. At least several branches of American Protestantism have decided, far from checking the state, to actively try to dabble in political affairs. And in my view those were "untoward and ill-advised." If they want to meddle, by all means let them engage in the debate... but give up the tax exemptions.

Anyway, read the whole thing.

There's also a sense that we lack "checks and balances" for the commanding heights (or seven mountains)... too often business, politics, and religion commingle (for the benefit of elites, mostly) rather than engage in friendly competition. If an imaginative conservatism stood to change the culture there, I'd totally be for it.