Joe Carter has an interesting piece worth reading that analyzes his own conservative base’s beliefs on limited and small government termings:
A prime example is our invocation and praise of limited government. Despite being a shibboleth of political conservatism, it is unclear exactly what the phrase means. What political questions are we addressing when we appeal to the virtues of limited government?
Our failure to address questions like this one leads us to our toleration of politicians who merely mouth accepted platitudes but who are unable to implement corresponding policies. How can we expect them to know what we mean by the term when we aren’t so sure ourselves?
Not only is limited or small government meant to be, in many cases, limited and small in terms of nanny-state programs or anything else that generally doesn’t benefit white, heterosexual, working males/families. Defining these terms is crucial for having constructive conversations. What Rick Perry, George W. Bush, and Jon Huntsman each define as limited or small government may differ greatly but they all may stand on the same phrases as if they were equal across the board.