This is a question I’ve been thinking about for awhile, ever since I saw an episode of Dennis Miller Live some time ago. He said that at one point, liberal/conservative and Democrat/Republican were two separate axes (sp?) and they had since merged, equating Democrat with liberal and Republican with conservative.
It looks like, until the 80s, liberal Republicans weren’t hard to find. Meanwhile, in Congress today, there are stilll many conservative Democrats. So what I want to know is:
Until the two axes merged, what made a Democrat a Democrat? What made a Republican a Republican?
Why do there seem to be a lot more conservative Democrats than liberal Republicans today, at least in Congress?
What are some real-life examples of all the various combinations? Are there any programs or stances that are typical of those combinations?
I keep up on politics a lot these days, but I have a feeling the explanation for all of this goes back to before I was born.