Fiscal responsibility: the utilization of tax dollars in such a fashion that every cent collected goes as far as it possibly can. Securing the nation: keeping our citizenry safe from threats coming from across the ocean or across our borders by ensuring funding is allocated not only into technological advancements but in necessary human power. Limited government: a government that employs itself to do as much good as it is able to afford without infringing on either the numerated rights of the states or the enumerated rights of the individual. Law and Order: That the state, by virtue of the social contract, must protect the welfare of the public at large by restricting or denying certain rights to certain offenders of that public unity varying in intensity based on the nature of the crime. I can get on board with so much of the Conservative approach to governance. As a gay, atheist, who is brown and grew up in the Midwest, I can get on board with a lot of it. At the core these aren't things that should be strictly conservative fundamentals (and a lot of democrats would tell me they aren't, that I've fallen for a perception that went unchallenged for too long- and maybe that's part of it) but fundamentals for anyone seeking public office. For as much... disgust as I feel for certain members of Congress due to their legislative intents, I agree with what they claim are the basis for for their conservatism... right up to the point we get to social legislation. That's where the train veers off the tracks. When politicians think they're "doing gods work" by standing against abortion, or gay marriage, or... the teaching of evolution, I can't help but cringe. If they wanted to do Gods work, why not become part of the clergy? Doing the peoples work doesn't entail dogmatic adherence to anything except the law. And trying to interpret the law in such a fashion that it, in any way, reflects the law suggested (demanded) by certain religions is not only dangerous but a betrayal of the very foundations upon which the United States stands. I can get on board with so much of what Conservatives of the past have espoused as simple, common sense solutions. Because that's what I think they were- plain, simple to understand, common sense answers as a start for tackling major issues of the day. They lost me (and seemingly their own way) when the party line became "What Would Old Testament God Do?" This is supposed to be a thread for discussion so let me pose a question; If you're left leaning or a democrat, did you ever at any point consider voting for a candidate that was right leaning or republican? Was there a point they could have turned your "affiliation" had it not been for some event that came later? If you're right leaning or a republican, does the party as it stands really represent what you feel is important or have fringe elements made your voice seem smaller and smaller?