What, but wait, everyone knows the Republicans are conservatives. Well, I hate to tell you, but so are the Democrats.
America, has two parties: The Democrats, a moderate party, slightly conservative and slight Authoritative, and the Republicans, a far right, radical conservative, extremely Authoritative party. (Authoritative means the opposite of Libertarian). The democrats are only 'liberal' (and by the way, libertarian) in relationship to the far right Republicans. You see, words have real, actual meanings, not just relative meanings.
This is a radical claim, and needs some support:
- Political Compass is a great web site. You can see their analysis of 2008 presidential elections here: http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008. You can also see their analysis of the Canadian elections (moderates), the Irish elections (WOW, now there are some leftists), New Zealand election, British (again, a bunch of leftist), German, etc. The Democrats are clearly a little bit conservative, at least compared to our European and English speaking friends.
- The Democrats fight among themselves. That is what moderates do. Only extremists can unite and demand "GOP Purity/Litmus Test", or "RINO" (Republican In Name Only). Being the big tent party, they pull in from everywhere. Yes, they get a few extreme liberals, but the Democrats also pull in all the middle of the road people, which in the United States, means people just to the right of the conservative/liberal divide.
- I remember Ronald Reagan. A great, conservative President that would have failed the above mentioned Purity Test. (Reagen enlarged government +1 cabinet department and +61,000 federal jobs, vs Clinton no new cabinet and -373,000 federal jobs - while increasing private jobs. Reagan cut taxes in 81, but raised them in 82,83,84,and 86 - to pay for social security and medicare. Regan granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegals. Two of Regan's three supreme court judges voted to uphold Roe v Wade. ). When your best recent president would be kicked out for being too liberal , then your party has been taken over by extremists.
Yes, the Democrats favor liberal ideals and Libertarian smaller government (get government out of our bedroom abortion, marriage, etc.). But only in comparison to the GOP. Look at the health care bills, both as they were originally presented, and as they were passed. Originally they had a leftist "public option" and a higher tax on premium insurance plans. Those were taken out to get enough Democrat votes. In comparison to the rest of the world, the Democrats are still a conservative, authoritarian party. It is only when you compare it to the GOP that the Democrats look liberal.
Yes Americans are moderates with a slight conservative bent. Which is why they voted in a Moderate president with a slight conservative bent. When we as a people say we are conservative, we don't mean radicals. Unfortunately, the GOP has become the party of Radicals. It's not entirely their fault. The Democrats took the middle ground, so the GOP had to either become the party of the liberals, a total reversal, or take the extreme radical right. It was far easier to become Radical, and that is what happened.
P.S. The Political Compass lets you take the test yourself and find out if you are really Conservative, Liberal, Authoritative, or Libertarian. From my experience, there are a lot of people that are surprised to find out they are not Libertarian. Mainly because so many Republicans have been lying about what being Libertarian means.