Your line about “Americans are philosophically conservative but operationally liberal” really struck. I’ve heard (and observed) this phenomena in the US for a good long while now, just never saw it succinctly said. Following on from that, is there an argument to make that the Democrats, for the most part, have it ass-backwards in that they’re philosophically liberal but tend to operate in a conservative fashion?

I would say the more accurate statement is that Democrats over-estimate how conservative the electorate actually is and operate accordingly, although they’re not as bad as Republicans. 

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