Among the unitary objectives of the US ruling class, the American citizen is free to choose between "more regulation" or "less government" while furthering these ends. In either case, the outcome remains the same -- whether in foreign policy or financial reform -- with "more government" going toward elite purposes, and "less government" under popular control.
Accordingly, participation in electoral politics assumes a cultural dimension as one identifies through the state as either "left" or "right," and in doing so announces one's underlying principles: that the private sector is too powerful, or the government too centralized, respectively.
The predominant culture within the United States is a corporate culture, a reflection of the country's dominant institutions. Corporate culture is liberal to the degree that it embodies capital's progressive, expansionary character: it is a technocratic culture, disciplined by the ready expectation for change.
Liberals and "the left" form the intellectual material of this culture; by and large, they don't see it because it is "normal." Geographically, they are concentrated within the urban centers where capital is amassed; "fly-over country" is how they understand life where capital is scarce, and where expository narratives are absent: there is "nothing" there.
The culture wars are so-called because, having no purchase over anything that matters, Americans pose as partisans over the representations attached to partisanship! We vote for more regulation; we vote for less government; and we condemn in the harshest terms anyone who does the opposite! The outcome remains the same, yet we insist on our identities as partisans rather than our interests, combined, as a class.