As a Canadian the politics south of our border has always been a source of wonder and awe. For the cultural similarities we share, it is lucky that our politics have retained their individuality. I suspect a lot of this has to do with the diffrences between the structure of our voting systems but our separate histories strongly play into this as well. But it’s probably the Republican party which gives an outlet for the expression of America’s right wing. By all indications Republican party is to the extreme right. From the outsiders perspective the United States is exceptional because of the two party system and the right leaning tendencies of both parties. The United States is the most right leaning country in the western world; the only one that does not offer health-care, has one of the lowest tax rates and is one of the most one traditional of all western countries according to the world values survey.
But given the analysis of America’s current system, the Republican party is not that much further right then the democrats. The governmental institutions of United States are guided mostly by these right wing policies and this has shown up in the welfare system, the education system, the foreign policy and so on. Since history shows both of these parties more or less carry on the status-quo and campaign promises are usually neglected or unable to be carried through. It can be assumed that both parties share very similar positions and that their divisions are political and not ideological.
To get elected politician’s to convince the electorate that they are both mainstream enough and different enough to get elected. Mainstream enough as not to be a serious risk and different enough to justify a vote. In the American system there are only two parties the Democrats and the Republicans. Both get elected by promising to change the system by either making it slightly more left or right leaning. The republicans will not run on a platform to make the system more left leaning because they will lose their distinction from the Democrats, the Democrats cannot become more right leaning for the same reason. The determination of the parties platforms is not so much the actual views of the parties but the current state of the countries laws and it’s institution. Status-quo is god, even in politics and since the America has been built largely on conservative principles, the Republicans cannot do anything other than lean just slightly more right.