Michael Lind asks why do conservatives hate freedom? while admitting that " The question may be startling:"
After all, don't conservatives claim they are protecting liberty in America against liberal statism, which they compare to communism or fascism? But the conservative idea of "freedom" is a very peculiar one, which excludes virtually every kind of liberty that ordinary Americans take for granted. [...] Since World War II, mainstream conservatives have opposed every expansion of personal liberty in the United States.
The "appallingly authoritarian" conservative movement opposed civil rights legislation, legalization of contraception and abortion, recognition of LGBT rights (including their current campaign against marriage equality), among other things such as protecting the rights of suspected and accused criminals. Lind asks, "What would America look like, if conservatives had won their battles against American liberty in the last half century?"
Formal racial segregation might still exist at the state and local level in the South. In some states, it would be illegal to obtain abortions or even for married couples to use contraception. In much of the United States, gays and lesbians would still be treated as criminals. Government would dictate to Americans with whom and how they can have sex. Unions would have been completely annihilated in the public as well as the private sector. Wages and hours laws would be abolished, so that employers could pay Third World wages to Americans working seven days a week, twelve hours a day, as many did before the New Deal. There would be far more executions and far fewer procedural safeguards to ensure that the lives of innocent Americans are not ended mistakenly by the state.
That is the America that the American right for the last few generations has fought for. Freedom has nothing to do with it.