Political parties and ideals are often considered interchangeable in the USA, this is rather idiotic as a Republican is not conservative and conservatives typically support Democrats. There are several tests online go figure out your political leaning, most are pretty accurate and telling.
The reason for their lack in popularity is because politics has become a circus, and nothing more. It's all for show as a means of distracting the voters from the reality of the world around them, like religion, it's to keep you from asking questions.
So here is yet another plea from a Democrat supporting, atheist, conservative to learn and use the labs correctly. Republicans are not conservative, and Democrats are not liberal, those are parties with platforms, and they're suppose to be opposing platforms, within reason.
The parties have abused the names of the ideologies so much as to convince the public that they are the same thing as the party that claims to abide by them. The irony is that the parties do not abide by the ideals they even claim to.
Democrats are very conservative lately, trying to pull government out of many aspects of our lives, especially in areas governed by emotion. Where as Republicans have become very liberal, attempting to regulate things which the government never had any right to do anyway, especially in areas that even public opinion should have no effect.
Gay marriage is one great example, and the abuse of labels here is so thorough it's lunacy. The liberal ideal would be to regulate who can or cannot be married with an iron fist, no exceptions, regardless of the reasons.
The conservative ideal on this topic would simply be … the government has no business on who you marry only on upholding the contract involved to the letter of the law as a method of maintaining fairness. Contracts are a legal agreement between two parties, in marriage it's a merging of assets and responsibilities between two individuals, in business speak it's simply called a merger.
The "institution" is really just a myth, there was never such a thing and religions that claim to be the reason for it are all lying. It has always been a legal contract and it will always be one no matter what claim is made, we could call it a merging and it would be the same thing.
Another is abortion, again the liberal ideal would be to regulate it, even a little, in the laws. The conservative ideal is to allow the medical professionals the responsibility of regulating it, as this is part of their job, and only involve the law when a dispute occurs.
Actually, that's the simplistic method of determining if it's truly liberal or conservative, liberal means more, conservative means less, "government" is implied when used for politics. So it's more or less government influence, and it's that simple.
Republican and Democrat are parties, and they shift between liberal and conservative, religious and secular, etc based on which politicians are in charge. The names are based on nothing more than selling points, Democrat was originally an anarchist label and Republican was a label representing organization.
There you have it, the reason USA voters are mostly inbred idiots incapable of thinking in three dimensions on anything. I am an atheist conservative who currently supports Democrats and their current platform, and this is in no way a contradiction.