What do Republicans stand on these days? What is their main agenda? Obviously my concern is toward social politics - I'm neither educated nor am I terribly interested in economics, so I don't put too much focus on those policies. Of course there is substantial overlap, but since I don't often understand the issues, I prefer not to get too involved. And as a result, I just assumed that Republicans, being the party of social and fiscal conservatism, had some good points regarding the economy. I mean, it makes sense to me in a weird, narrative way if I think of the two political perspectives as two sides of a brain. You have the liberals acting as the right side of the brain and the conservatives acting as the left side of the brain; both sides help keep the government balanced and focused on the task at hand. It's a limited analogy, but I think you see what I mean.
But the more I learn about Republican politics and policy, the more I learn that there isn't a good idea among them. Obviously I disagree with every single element of their social policy, but it turns out that I might just disagree with every single element of their fiscal policy as well. From tax cuts to health care to war spending, I really can't support - or even have respect for - a single facet of Republican ideology.
That doesn't mean that I am happy with Democrats either. The more I learn about (modern) European politics, the more I am convinced that most of our liberal politicians would likely be conservatives over in Europe. I'm a pretty liberal guy. American politics are frustratingly conservative to me. There are things in our country that seem obvious, things that I would think Democrats (and even some Republicans) would see as obvious as well, but they just don't. Health care and economic reform, for example. The bills that barely scraped by with only Democratic support were so weak that they were practically unrecognizable. Of course, it's better to have a weak law that can be built upon, but still I just can't wrap my head around the fact that these are the only ideas that a slim majority of senators and congressmen could agree on.
Although I am liberal and was never likely to vote for any Republican, no matter how moderate, I used to respect the ideas of fiscal conservatives. I still do, in fact, but I don't think there are any fiscal conservatives in the Republican party.