Barry Goldwater- "I want big government out of the bedrooms, boardrooms and classrooms". This is what conservatism is about, conserving freedom for the individual. Familiar with individual freedom, well that is what it is. That the state meaning government whatever the level should but out of the personal affairs of the individual and that the individual is then responsible for their own decisions in life.
People for good and bad are held accountable for their own decision and we do not have to bail out bad or stupid mistakes of others that others have nothing to do with. And so we hold people accountable for their own decisions in life. So when people make good decisions, they are rewarded for it and get to keep most of the rewards for those good decisions. But when people make bad decisions, they are then held accountable for their own decisions instead of forcing taxpayers to pickup up the tab for that bad decision-making.
That is still the definition of the Conservative and what conservatism is. The Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan school of Classical Conservatism which is the real Conservatism in America. Which is about conserving freedom for the individual when it comes to politics. And how much better off would the Republican Party be today if they stayed with that conservative philosophy. And had they not got in bed with the Christian-Right with their brand of big government. Trying to force their religious views through government on the rest of the country.
Sure the religious-right was helpful to the Republican Party in the 1980s and 1990s. And to a certain extent in the 1970s helping to reelect Richard Nixon as President of the United States. But the Democratic Party still dominated both chambers of Congress in the 1970s and dominated a lot if not most of the state governments as well. The GOP would be better off today because Americans tend to want big government out of their wallets. But we want big government out of our lives as well.
Now here’s the definition of a religious or Christian-Conservative. Coming from either Reverend Pat Robertson or Reverend Jerry Falwell. Someone who believes that government should be based on their fundamentalist Evangelical Christian view of the bible that is anything they view as wrong or immoral, shall be illegal ,or at least looked down upon in the strictest terms by government especially the Federal Government. And the Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg has the correct term for the religious-right and calls them nationalists when it comes to social issues.
Christian Nationalists in America do not believe in states right at least as it relates to social policy in this country. But instead their interpretation of the Bible dwarfs state government and perhaps even the Federal Government. That any activity viewed as wrong or immoral by the Christian-Conservative, shall be illegal. Even if the activity is between consenting adults and not hurting anyone. So there you have it the political Conservative or Conservative Libertarian, the Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan and their real Conservative followers.
Versus the religious-right or Neo-Right that really has only been around since perhaps the mid 1960s. And if it wasn’t for my differences between Conservatives or Conservative Libertarians on economic, foreign policy and national security, I would probably be a Conservative instead of a Liberal myself. And you can see how they are much different from the Christian-Right or Neo-Right in America.