Big government convervatives are an oxymoron.

Actually "small government" is not contained in the word "conservative", at least in the political sense. It basically means in favor of the status quo (as opposed to liberal's progressive tendencies), resistance to change. Some conservatives are small-government types, some are not (fiscal conservatives, versus neo-cons, family value types, etc...). Just because someone differs on bulk ideology with you, does not remove them from the field.

For example, I am a liberal, and I can't stand a large portion of people who share the same base ideology (Obama, for example), but that does not make them not a liberal anymore than it makes me not one since we share ideological ground, albeit in broad strokes and wildly varying degrees. My political philosophy is closer, say, to Obama than it is to Sarah Palin. This is where sub-classes come in handy. I'm a progressive (which is a subclass of liberal), and from the sounds of it you are rather libertarian (being a subclass of conservative). You have more in common with other subclasses of your ideology than I do with the same, and visa versa.

Also, all of these terms are made up sweeping generalizations, and somewhat false. There is probably one a few people who could be classified as truly conservative or liberal. One of my best friends is a die-hard republican hawk, who thinks Reagan was a god, and campaigned for McCain. She supports public health care and corporate regulations. I am a pretty die hard liberal (a freely admitted socialist), who supports our mis-handled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, strong border enforcement and deportation, I am mostly against abortion, and hold various social libertarian ideals. The label only means you are more in column A than column B, not that you are completely contained in the label.

People who claim to be truly liberal or truly conservative (meeting every single criteria of the label) scare me. They are zealots who operate in a purely "us or them" world. People who let mere fiction (all of our ideologies are in the end) rule over the real world. These are the people, the "true beleivers" who are responsible for every bad thing that mars our collective history. Anyone who claims to have access to a priori truth is nothing but a despot looking for a holocaust.

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