Conservatives have been pushing for smaller government for decades, and the Republican party has won roughly half of the presidential elections in recent years.
Yet for all the Republican rhetoric about small government, the government hasn’t really shrunk under any Republican administrations. They’ve done tax cuts, but usually without corresponding spending cuts, so that for instance the deficit was low under Clinton and high under W. Bush. We’re seeing it again under Trump, with a 10% increase in military spending even though this is roughly how military spending looked before:
I propose that the pervasive “soft” corruption in the system prevents conservatives from getting what they seek.