In today's political arena, two parties that operate as one continue to dominate Washington D.C. Neither party is representing the American people, and yet, the majority of our elected officials continue to get voted in. This "failure of leadership" is not the fault of the two parties, however. This situation is the fault of the American people. Unlike the Democratic Party, though, the Republican Party has had quite the transformation in the past three decades. Modern conservatism that formed under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush (and later strengthened under his son: G.W.B.), sparked an intensely socially conservative and neoconservative Republican Party; one built off of strict social standards and war mongering. Ever since this "modern" form of conservatism infiltrated the Republican Party, it has led to its downfall (1990's to 2010's).
A good timeline for American Conservatism can be found at the following wikipedia link, and a conservative thinker's take can be found at the second link:
[Modern Conservatism in a nutshell]
One of the online Merriam-Webster's dictionary definitions of "Conservatism" as a political philosophy is that it is: "a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically: such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage)."
This fundamental definition holds the groundwork for modern conservatism; however, what isn't mentioned, is that it takes "big government" to implement many of these positions. Modern conservatism will stress limited government in the areas of personal defense and in the regulation of business; however, it exhibits big government in the areas of marriage and national defense. In other words, much of today's conservatism is contradictory; in that it will claim that it wants to shrink the size of government while also building it to support and control other areas; such as costly wars (crusades/interventionism) and marriage (restricting marriage to defined social norms).
Most modern conservatives will tend to claim to be fiscally and socially conservatism; however, they are actually more fiscally liberal and socially conservative (two negatives in one). You have to be fiscally liberal to finance unjust wars like the War in Iraq (which wasn't actually a war), which is done via the Federal Reserve system that pumps money into an unlimited credit card. This type of chaotic spending mixed with strong religious-based social positions makes the Republican Party the "least favored" party for my generation; putting it on a path towards destruction and death.
[Modern Conservatism: Social Conservatism and Neoconservatism]
"Social conservatism was ushered in to American politics with the so-called Reagan Revolution in 1981, and renewed its strength in 1994, with the Republican takeover of US Congress. The movement slowly grew in prominence and political power until hitting a plateau and stagnating in the first decade of the twenty-first century under President George W. Bush."-Justin Quinn
"Of the different types of conservatism, social conservatism is by far the most politically relevant. Social conservatives have dominated Republican politics and even other political parties such as the Constitution Party. Many of the key planks in the social conservative agenda are high on the Republican Party’s “to-do” list."-Justin Quinn
Social conservatism is essentially the position that we should remain true to social institutions such as religious institutions. This encompasses positions that gay marriage should remain banned and that abortions should be illegal in all cases other than the possible death of the mother. These conservatives tend to be pro-military and pro-intervention (hence, supporting the War in Iraq and conflict with Iran). They also oppose welfare and unions on a large scale and are heavily resistant to the idea of single-payer or national health care provided by the government. In the end, many of their positions are religiously based, and cannot be honored in respect to the secular government and society in which they are put forward.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Neoconservatism is a: "variant of the political ideology of conservatism that combines features of traditional conservatism with political individualism and a qualified endorsement of free markets. Neoconservatism arose in the United States in the 1970s among intellectuals who shared a dislike of communism and a disdain for the counterculture of the 1960s, especially its political radicalism and its animus against authority, custom, and tradition."
According to the popular conservative news and opinion source, The American Conservative, a neoconservative believes: "that American greatness is measured by our willingness to be a great power—through vast and virtually unlimited global military involvement. Other nations’ problems invariably become our own because history and fate have designated America the world’s top authority."
Neoconservatism is a branch of conservatism that is apart of the modern conservatism ideology that was established by Ronald Reagan (although the viewpoints in a broader sense had existed before) in the 1980's. As stated by the sources above, it prides itself on "authority" and "global military involvement." Basically, the neoconservatives want to be able to control the world through military power and authoritarian (sometimes in the form of what would seem like a dictatorship) laws. "If you don't abide by our rules, you will be punished or vanquished"-example. Its abusive strategies can be fully comprehended through the United States use of drone strikes in other countries without their permission (a clear violation of international law).
This ideology "somewhat" reminds me of a quote by Agent Smith in The Matrix Reloaded (2003):
"If you can't beat us.....join us."
(Example): "If you have a problem with us using drones in your own country without your permission, do something about it; however, if you are not strong enough to stand up to us, join us and our cause."
Modern conservatism encompasses two ideologies: social conservatism and neoconservatism, that are very unpopular. They become the key roots of this 'newer' form of conservatism. Since the Republican Party holds these ideologies as their roots, and because they are vastly unpopular with the current and coming generations, the party is likely to "self-destruct" and die. To avoid this unnecessary blunder, the Republican Party needs to "clean house" across the board. By adopting a more libertarian and classically liberal position, such as focusing on civil liberties for all (not banning gay marriage and going to war with the middle east), as well as being fiscally conservative (the only logical fiscal structure for a human society), the Republican Party would out-perform the Democratic Party and regain its history of exceptional performance.
Furthermore, my generation is socially liberal by majority and fiscally ignorant almost by entirety (the more important issue, since it takes conquering this to be able to deal with the others). Therefore, by dropping the strong social conservatism positions (although not all bad; such as defense of gun rights and defense/respect of/for life), which would get my generation quickly on board, and by educating my generation on fiscal conservatism and how it keeps for a stable economy; bringing the risk of intervention and war down and shrinking the size of government (authority, which youth are resistant to, to begin with), the Republican Party can be built up with my generation and the next; ending the tyrannical and aggressive-socialist policies of the Democratic Party.