A political party, or one who identifies with said party, who generally supports:
A libertarian economic (fiscal) policy based on the principles of lower taxes and lower spending. Republicans often cite supply side economics (colloquially referred to as Reaganomics), which involves cutting taxes in the highest echelons, where most investing, corporate transacting, and wealth transfer occur, so as to allow freer markets and increase domestic economic prosperity. Fiscally, Republicans also tend to support limited federal government, based on the specific enumerated rights granted to Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. The powers of the federal government are, in fact, very limited by the Constitution, and Republicans often espouse that many federal government creations, such as social welfare, social security, and several federal agencies, are in fact unconstitutional. It should be noted in support of this argument that the author of the Constitution, James Madison, as well as key Founding Fathers such as Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and Washington all specifically spoke out against social welfare and a large government. On the whole, the Republican Party supports direct interpretation of the Constitution as it is written, which leads to the basis of their laissez-faire, free market fiscal policy.
A conservative social policy based on the idea that everyone in society should be held to certain moral and professional standards of decency, not necessarily by the law, but rather by society as a whole. For instance, conservative Republicans would speak out against sexual promiscuity and teenage recklessness. Conservative Republicans tend to base their social beliefs and adherence to tradition on great works such as the Bible, the Torah, and the Qu'ran. However, this does not in any way mean that conservative social policy is based on a belief in God, but rather in the belief that traditional practices have kept societies alive for thousands of years, while historically, immediate radical change can lead to a society's demise. In the belief of the protection of all life and the understanding that killing a fetus is still murder, because it is in fact a human being, conservative Republicans generally speak out against stem cell research and argue that abortion is murder, and never should be condoned. Conservatives differ over whether abortion is acceptable in cases of rape, incest, or possible harm to the mother's life.
Republicans hold highly the Bill of Rights as foundational to the American society. Republicans believe strongly in the essential rights of free speech, free religion, free assembly, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms, and an effective legal system in which every US citizen is guaranteed a free and fair trial.
The Republican Party is one of two major political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party.
Quotations from famous Republicans and conservatives:
“Let me remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice...and that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
—Barry Goldwater, Republican senator and 1964 Presidential Candidate
“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
—Calvin Coolidge, Republican president, 1923-1929
“You cultivate the essential virtues: high purpose, intelligence, decency, humility, fear of the Lord, and the passion for freedom.”
—William F. Buckley, Jr., major conservative political thinker in the late twentieth century
“There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”
—Theodore Roosevelt, Republican President, 1901-1909