Well I just have to chime in here as there are two major camps of the Amercian-branded Conservatives not mentioned in this thrwad that distinguished themselves during the rise of the so-called , self-stylized "Reagan revolution".
What makes them so very interesting is how they pretend to compliment one another in some sort of outward solidarity yet fundamentally conflcit with one another in practice and in rhetoric.
The 1st embraces the social conservatives enough to make the alloy . This would be the "Constitutional Conservatives".
These are the ones that strive for the smallest "g" government possible at "every" turn and always strive for "States rights" until it's time to go for their turn at raiding the Federal honey-pot .
All so-called "conservatives" in Congress ultimately go for the honey or for tax holidays for their key constituents/contributors just like the moderates and liberals or they'd be voted out of office as well which always undercuts their sense of "conservative" purity.
They content themselves by going for lucretive military contracts, prisons, or infrastructure so private enterprise doesn't have to pay for causeways to absolve them of costs ( access to mines, oil fields, logging,etc.are the usuual suspects here ). I will give some of them credit for not being averse to using the term "corporate welfare" as a criticism, but more on that later.
This general group includes the "social Conservatives" whom are inarguably predominanted by the fundamentalist to orthodox Christian denominations. Charity begins in the home/ community and should ultimately "replace" any and all Gov't intrusion....in theory anyway....
These conservatives also share a bridge to the "libertarians" whom promote the dream of gong back to a pure frontier ,"everyone for themselves" , anything goes so long as it's on your property and doesn't impinge on your neighbor type of distopia with zero central gov't outside of National defense and the Federal courts.
Cponservative A,mericans should be reminded that one of the key reasons for creating that first colonial government was for a last word court system to resolve disputes over propertry & uphold contracts . Ofcourse a lot of such disputes were still settled by the "law of the jungle" ( ie: whom could marshal the better thugs or guns for hire. "Libertarians" take note )
They haven't figured out taxes yet as they always have someone trying to promote complete tax avoidance where possible by citing the "illegitmiacy" of the Fed tax. I won't go into detail here, but rest assured it's well represented .
This "ideology" also feeds the various "militia movments" merging with fundamnetalist White supremicists whose fever pitch culminated in the Timothy MacVie atrocity of Oklahoma City where the true heartland small-"c" conservatives were the most outraged by the militas in their midst and they let them know in no uncertain terms hence activity has damped down ever since.
I could go on ,but I need to now introduce the "other" vast group emerged to prominance during the Reagan revolution ;these are what I've come to classify as the "Economic Conservatives";
The no-compromise Lassez Faire "global free-traders", supply-siders , anti-regulation on busness. Nobel Laureate Economist ,and self-described Ayn Rand "libertarian" Milton Freidman was the leader of this movement. Free market uber alles with Hong Kong's pre-Beijing reversion state held up as the purest "free market" shining city on a hill.
These are the ones whom never saw "corporate welfare" that they didn't like ,hell try to influence ,while always working against ALL gov't oversight ,let alone enforcement , of their will to be free of any gov't intrusion which is "the" reason for being for the "trans-national" corporations whom really have no allegience to any country till they need some muscle or some bailout.
They clash with the Constitutional Conservatives because they promoted the giving away of constitutionally-defined issues of "Sovereignty" to GATT ,then NAFTA, now the WTO ( World Trade Org ) which the Brits especially are aware of in their cautious approach to the joining the EU issue.
Ultimatelyit boils down to upholding consitutionally defined "principals" that are above being sold out in favor of pure market ideology.
Pat Buchannan would be the most obvious embodiment of the "Consitutional Conservative" side while Newt Gingrich was proud to make the point that Clinton could *not* have gotten NAFTA passed without the support of the Republican-controlled House & Senate.
This should add some sadly needed perspective in this thread.
Yes, individual conservatives can be the "salt of the earth", true humanitarians and truly intellectually honest in presenting their views while expressing true tolerance in entertaining opposing views that are as intellectually honest.
Some even laugh at the contradiction in the right-wing rhetoric about being anti-intellectual , as if there was no such thing as a "Conservative Elite" , while standing foresquare for ever-higher "education".
However what the "leaders" of these diametrically opposed "Conservative" camps do "in their name" is another stort entirely because it affects us all.
......and all that said ,guess which camp holds sway in the Bush#2 White House. Yeah , that's right ,the "supply-side" retreads form good old "New World Order" Bush #1 plugged in through former Bush#1 Sect. of Defense , former Haliburton Oil servicing corporation become Vice President Dick Cheney whose wife Lynn Cheney is he right wing's answer to Hillary.
Bottomline : Dubya is predominantly run by the "Economic Conservatives" while attempting to cate/pande to the Christian/Constitutional Conservatives , but that big old Highly Centralized Big Gov't monstrosity-to-be , *the Dept. of Homeland Security* , is kinda like the dead elephant in the middle of the living room of the Constitutionally conservatives which may one day become the dead horse's head in the bed for those that speak out too much or too effectively.
That should leave some spicey intellectual beef-jerky to chaw on for the time being.
G'night all ;-)