Some claim that the U.S. is more conservative. The problem is the term conservative has become meaningless. Most of the people who call themselves "Conservative" are not conservative at all.Daniel Larison:
Tim Stanley puts together a list of “some of the things that make Americans more conservative than the British.” Several of the things he mentions may help explain why some Americans are more inclined to vote Republican, but they don’t prove that Americans are more conservative than the British. If anything, they prove just the opposite. For instance, Stanley writes:The "rejection of limits" that's the key. Peak cheep oil, rejected, global climate change-rejected.. Attacking Iran -suicidal foolish. This is what "conservative" means today. Not very conservative at all.
Having so much space means they don’t share the British obsession with conservation of the natural habitat. Nor do they accept the notion of limits. Austerity is an alien idea in a land where natural wealth seems limitless and every man has a birthright to exploit it. Jimmy Carter style pessimism is a no-no.
Stanley has just listed the stereotypical American rejection of at least three things that are at the heart of any meaningful definition of conservative, and then said that these are reasons why Americans are more conservative than the British. Stanley is right that lack of interest in conservation, rejection of limits, opposition to austerity, and disapproval of pessimism make many Americans more likely to be Republican voters. These are also the reasons why temperamental and philosophical conservatism fares so poorly in the political coalition that identifies itself with ideological conservatism. If there is one thing truly alien to a conservative temperament, it is the rejection of limits. The Republican nominees believe that there ought not be any limits to American power in the world, and if they do exist at the moment they ought to be overcome. They are convinced that growth can be without limit as well. As far as they are concerned, acknowledging and respecting limits are the equivalent of embracing national decline. Unfortunately, it is exactly their rejection of limits that exhausts national strength and natural resources more quickly and hastens the coming of decline in the future.