This was a topic that was asked from one of San Bernardino County’s leading political voices in the Democratic Party Sam Clauder.
Political affiliations usually begin when with your family. In my family we were bipartisan. Mother leaned Democratic and father leaned Republican. Due to being a latchkey kid I got addicted to Rush Limbaugh and started to watch his television show and read his books back in the eighth grade back in 1992 when Clinton became our 42nd President.
Basically Conservatism or being a Republican to me is based on rugged individualism, where its the individual not government that makes our country great. The business owner or the inventor helps create the jobs that help provide opportunity to the people of our nation to fund the government. Although the government might employ the post office employee or the solider, private industry makes it all possible.
Conservatism has a wide definition, its original practitioners such as Edmund Burke wanted to preserve traditions and institutions which would be like Kenneth Starr arguing for the traditional definition of marriage today.
However conservatism has many different flavors, where we have the Liberal Conservatives of Arlen Specter and Susan Collins, Libertarian Conservatism of Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater, Fiscal Conservatism of Steve Forbes and Religious Conservatives of people such as Ralph Reed, James Dobson and Lou Sheldon.
Conservatism is not just one big tent, it has many different sub sections that helps lead the majority in the Republican Party collation. Problem is the different factions of the conservative family often fight within each other which lead to a lack of an united voice.
There is no one standard for being a conservative. However for an individual to have influence in their political party, they should have a majority of their political values in the leading school of political thought.