As this excellent essay by Paul Craig Roberts points out, the neocons have little to do with conservatism. The defining characteristic of the leftist is their insistence on trying to remake the world in their ideological image. This isn’t mere idealism, it is fanaticism. As Churchill once said, “A fanatic is someone who wont change the subject, and who wont shut up.”
That description fits the leftist fanatics of all stripes, since no matter what they call themselves, they make the same argument (changing humans to fit ideological statist, communitarian goals) and they never shut the hell up.
I would go further and offer up one more defining characteristic: Denial of reality. Or perhaps a war on reality. From the time of Jean Baptiste Lamarck and his theory of Hereditarianism, to the present day insistence that we can march an army into a nation, kill its leaders, and the people will line up to throw flowers at us, the leftist mindset is one that rails against reality.