If you're American and conservative, read this… – Telegraph Blogs
In America, it is a big place, there are several groups on the Right that get along under the name Republicans just as well as big families get along in real life when they meet up once every two years in the country.
1. There are the fiscal and social moderates who stress a sympathetic ear for business when it comes to regulation and want a stable predictable tax structure. Some are more attuned to big business but historically Republicans have been the party of small and midsized business. They may be closest to some UK Lib-Dems and Tories. In America until it took a hard turn to the left over the last 30 years many of these people had a home with the Democrats. While more of these capitalist moderates are drifting, or drifting back, to the Republicans where they are often viewed as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) the resonance with European tax and regulatory models remains strongest between the Democrats and all major UK parties, including the Conservatives.
The core of the Republicans, or "the base" in jargon, is made up of people largely devoted to a concept of Federalism and a less intrusive central government. Until this last election that Republican advocacy for local government was highly altruistic because in most places local government was under the control of Democrats. The more serious problem is that the base is divided into two groups who may tear the party apart.
2. A significant group of Republicans believe in a small footprint for the Central government domestically, but usually with the strong enforcement of those laws based on traditional enumerated Constitutional grounds. These "Law and Order" Republicans often also call for a robust as strong projection of United States power outside the borders. Often these are called "Neocons" and many of them were originally Democrats in the mold of Scoop Jackson and Jeanne Kirkpatrick. These are the people who moved Right under Reagan and their heirs. Most of these people, many are Evangelical Christians and Social Conservatives, strongly support the State of Israel. An increasing number, but still a minority, of Jews are drifting to the Republican Party.
3. Finally there are those who call for a government that is less intrusive both at home and abroad. This is not in itself a homogeneous group. It consists of Libertarians who are socially liberal and so called "Paleocons" who can be personally traditionalists. Some are motivated by an antipathy to Israel, or are suspected of that by members of the second group described above.
Every large party is really an alliance of interest groups. The Democrats are trying to hold together a rickety collection of special interest groups. Increasingly this relies on a series of manufactured crises designed to panic members of targeted groups and hold their loyalty. Unfortunately for the Democrats not only do persons not identified with the championed cause of the day dislike being accused of racism, sexism,or homophobia as the case might be but members of the sub-groups being told they must stay on the plantation lest they fall victim to the monsters of Nascar Nation are starting to notice that while the vast nation out there may not love them for their individuality it also has no particular interest in hurting them. After 50 years of causes designed to make people feel like threatened minorities in their own country most people, even members of those groups who were once were threatened by governments controlled in the past by the Democrats, now recognize that people who really don't care to much about their private lives and government that will protect them and otherwise will leave them alone is not such a bad deal.