Uh. That's because, in a prevailing political landscape where there are two major parties, and one of them is socialist with the specific ideology of benefiting groups of people they don't like, and the other party has the ideology of not benefiting any single group of people at all, they're going to pick the latter side to support. Not because that side aligns with their beliefs, but because it's merely better than the alternative. They don't gain anything, but they don't lose anything either (in their own view anyway).
Are you saying this is what the landscape is, or what your perception of it is, because without even brief contemplation I can name at least one group the other party's ideology benefits. It is difficult for me to believe that you cannot.
The conflict between Classical and Social Liberalism
has been more or less the defining political divide between "Right" and "Left" in the US for nearly a century. While the Dems and GOP have not always aligned perfectly along that divide, this has certainly been the case since the 80s, when the GOP largely adopted this ideology in response to the massive growth of the welfare state in the 60s and 70s (Johnson's "Great Society"). While the GOP doesn't share in in the whole "limited foreign affairs" platform (that's been more shuffled off to the Libertarians), the rest is pretty well defined based on those classical liberalist ideas.
Where this gets confusing when discussing European politics is that in Europe (I think I mentioned this earlier), there is little classical liberalism at all, and it's certainly not associated with being "Conservative", or "Right". That's because the idea was never really fully adopted in the first place, certainly not early enough to be considered "classical" (or "Conservative", in the sense of "the way things were/are" versus a "new way"). Classical Liberalism was resisted in Europe because of the strong presence of Feudalism and Nobility (which was soundly rejected in the US, which fully adopted Classical Liberalism as its starting point). It's arguable that their form of liberalism actually led to the idea of Social Liberalism, since that is itself an outgrowth of the older Feudal idea of the State (the Nobles/Lords) being responsible for the care of the peasants who worked their lands. During the industrial revolution, this took on a directly economic aspect, in which "the workers" should be protected from unbridled capitalism which would (in theory at least) strip them of all power and lead them into complete servitude.
This is why, when we examine different major political movements in Europe in the early to mid 20th century, we find that they're all variations of social liberalism. None of them are particularly "Conservative" as we in the US would think of them. And yes, this is why I say that Fascism is a form of Socialism. Because they are all branches from the same basic ideology. Certainly, from a US perspective, Fascism would and could only arise from the "Left", since is it our political left that allows for the idea of a strong central government which is empowered to "make things better". The political "Right" in the US simply does not include that.
So in the US, the "Left" is authoritarian, since that's a move away
from Classical Liberalism (which is small government focused) towards Social Liberalism (which is big government focused), while the "Right" is anti-authoritarian, since it's a desire to stay with Classical Liberalism rather than move to adopting Social Liberalism. In Europe, both "sides" are Social Liberalism, so the Right and Left are defined more by how authoritarianism is used, rather than whether it exists in the first place. If it's used to enforce order and build a strong military and otherwise rule with an iron fist or whatever, then it's labeled as "Right", while if it's used to help the poor, feed the hungry, and protect duckes and bunnies, then it's labeled "Left".
Um... But they are all Socialist. Because that is defined merely as the degree of control the government has over the industry, and both forms of government use that control to implement their policies. The policies may differ, but the means to obtain and use power is the same. And yes, all argue for the necessity of that power by appealing to the people, and getting them to agree that <insert important thing that must be done> can only be done by a strong central government and not via any other means. This was the same whether we're talking about the rise of Fascism in Italy and Germany, or Communism in Russia, or the various socialist governments today. All use the same form of promise to "the people" in return for the power to implement those promises.
Which is why, at least in the US context, it's absurd to equate "Conservative" with movements like Fascism. The US cannot move to a fascist form of government by means of a Conservative/Right movement. It can only do so if it moves sufficiently in the direction of the Left. As long as the Right is about small government, then this will be the case. But if we adopt Social Liberalism as the default, as happened a century ago or so in Europe, then the same "Right/Left" dynamic would exist, and you could properly label things like Fascism as "Right". But that's because there would no longer exist a Right in the US that stands for small government and Classical Liberalist ideas, but it would be replaced by one seeking to use the power of Socialism to do the same sorts of things we think of when we think of Fascism.
You are an odd duck.
Oh, I'll freely admit that. I also tend to think outside the box, and buck the "common wisdom", whenever I can. I also like to think that I at least have a modicum of understanding of the topics I'm doing this with to make reasonable arguments for my positions.
FYI, going back to your previous argument, I did not accept your premise ( and therefore your argument ), but had I done so for some silly reason, I would like to point out that if government size is truly the differentiator for you, you are in for a rude awakening given how much Rs and T are ready to blow up deficit to fund their particular toys.
At the risk of repeating myself (for the umpteenth time), deficit is not a measure of small government. Small government is reflected in two ways:
1. How much the government directly regulates the governed. Specifically in the context of "must do", rather than "may not do". So regulations aimed at forcing people or businesses to do things they would not otherwise choose to do is an example of big government. Simply passing laws saying "you can't do this, because it has bad effects, is harmful, unfair, etc" is not necessarily a violation of small government principles.
2. How "large" the tax footprint is. This is more of a relative thing, obviously. But it's specifically relevant to the oft-repeated arguments that fiscal conservatives should be ok with raising taxes to reduce the deficit. Um... No. We should decrease spending, especially on things that aren't strictly necessary first. And no, this does not mean "spend no money on anything at all". And it especially doesn't mean "spend no money on the things that are specifically enumerated in the Constitution as things that the US government is supposed to do, or else abandon the argument that we should spend less money on things that aren't mentioned in the Constitution at all".
And I also disagree with the label of "toys" there. What are these toys? If they're things that the government is supposed to do (like maintain a military), then that's not a toy. If it's things like border security (which, again, is the responsibility of the federal government), then it's not a toy. And it's definitely not things like "cut taxes". Even if that increases the deficit, that's well within the guidelines for fiscal conservatism. What are "toys" (at the federal level anyway) are things like welfare spending, education spending, housing, etc. I'm curious what you think are toys, and how you think they'll somehow blow up our deficit. Cause I see a heck of a lot more on the D side rather than the R side.
Do I think the GOP is perfect about this? Absolutely not. But it's far far far better than the Democrats. Edited, Mar 7th 2018 7:17pm by gbaji