People who think of themselves as Liberal or Progressive tend to think about the future and the changes needed to create a better future. People who think themselves Conservative tend to be concerned more with the present and the past. They want to hang on to things and resist change. They cannot envision long-term consequences.
Along with this set of mindsets comes another set of characteristics: Liberals tend to be more abstract, more idea-centered and more interested in education, while Conservatives tend to be more pragmatic.
A third set of qualities might be worded this way: Liberals seek to be people of logic while Conservatives — especially hardcore Conservatives — tend to favor testosterone.
And a fourth way of distinguishing the Liberal from the Conservative is to think of one group as being on the offense and taking initiative while the other is essentially defensive and reactionary.
Measured in these ways, it is clear that trump (whatever he may actually believe, which I doubt that he himself knows) appeals to essentially Conservative minds. He describes himself as a counter punching (reactionary). He loves to sound tough by saying such things as, “Get ’em outta here” (testosterone). He brags about his education and intelligence but keeps their effects well hidden, while thinking building buildings makes him a good potential president (pragmatic.) And he resists being changed by new ideas, new people, new ways of seeing things (Build a wall, no matter the consequences for our relationship with an adjoining neighbor!).
History, of course, is not like a lake but like ol’ man River: It just keeps rollin’ along. Time does bring change. Conservatives who want to return to a pre-Civil War past do not realize how many and profound are the changes that separate us from the old days when every good cowboy packed a six-shooter and every person of color was either a slave or grossly underpaid. Now everyone seems to pack a Smartphone and people of color, despite the strong efforts of many racists, are disproving every day that the old theories about the inferiority of all races but white are pure bunk.
Since most people dislike both of our major party candidates, our votes more than ever have to be cast for a worldview, a way of looking at things. And that means Liberal and Conservative alike have to be very thoughtful about what the world is becoming, with or without our cooperation.
P. S. To see testosterone trump in his most presidential persona, check out this video: