In truth, there has been little to differentiate Conservatism from Reform for a while now. Other than a slightly greater commitment to ritual, a token effort to appear like they use some kind of halachic process to make decisions and a refusal to use patrilineal descent to swell their numbers, they have philosophically and practically become Reform in all but name.
But what's in name? Lots, apparently which is why some in the movement seek to now change the label they've gone by for over a century:
As the would-be rebranders are the first to admit, it’s not just a matter of wanting a new name — it’s also the embarrassment of the old one, which was bestowed by the movement’s founder, Solomon Schechter, in the early 20th century. “Conservative” has become a dirty word for politically liberal American Jews, who are, to say, 90% of non-Orthodox American Jews. It stands for everything to which they’re opposed. As comedian Judy Gold, a member of a Conservative congregation, told the Forward, whenever she says she’s a Conservative Jew, “you can see people’s heads exploding.” Who wants to be a metaphorical suicide bomber?Of course, the word “conservative,” with or without a capital “C,” wasn’t always such a red flag for liberals. Abraham Lincoln, who draped himself in it to defend himself against charges of radicalism, defined it as being for “the old and tried against the new and untried,” and while liberalism and conservatism have always been perceived by Americans as two different worldviews, they were not necessarily thought of as irreconcilable.
The problem, of course, is that it's easy to discard something, quite a bit harder to choose a replacement that everyone within this increasingly amorphous community will agree on. After making a few suggestions, the article seems to think that "traditional" will be the name label when the dust clears.
My prediction is that the name will not change for a few reasons. The first is because of inertia. The name "Conservative" is attached to how many buildings and pieces of stationary? This is not exactly a community flush with money. Can you imagine the cost to take out the word "conservative" and replace it with "traditional"?
The second is one of realism. The Conservatives are not traditional and have not been for a very long time. Despite their slogans about being the authentic voice of traditional Judaism even they know they are stretching the truth when they claim they are being loyal to halacha and Torah as understood and interpreted by the sages down through the millenia. One can blather all one wants about a "tradition of change" but doublespeak is a lousy way to label a movement.
In the end I continue to predict an eventual merger between Conservatism and Reform which I think will be called Reformative. It will reduce the confusion because then, at least, there will be clear lines drawn between those who are Torah-observant and those who aren't without anyone in the middle trying to pretend they are both.