Younger Right-Wing Me (YRWM): WHASSUP!!! So, I've heard people say "the right" is just a collection of random, hateful positions ("Why are you required to support the death penalty but oppose abortion?") but it's really all based on one simple idea:
A society is a collection of individuals that will survive or collapse based on the quality of those individuals. A team of superstars can win the NBA title even if coached by a golden retriever; a team of cranky, lazy drunks will lose no matter how smart the coach or how clever the system*.
*Does not apply to hockey.
That means the government's job should be to A) force citizens to become quality individuals (for their own good) and B) protect the borders against foreign invaders who would interfere with that process. This is why we want harsh punishments for criminals and severe consequences for laziness or shortsighted choices, as well as maximum benefits for those who do it right. All of these should serve as examples to the rest -- if the sight of one homeless man scares a hundred passing kids out of being homeless, so be it. "The lesson, kids, is that choices matter."
The role of government should otherwise be minimized -- good people, if left alone, will barely need laws. That goes all the way back to our founding fathers, who made it clear that government, if allowed to grow, will become tyranny. We call ourselves conservatives because we are upholding their vision and aren't about to change the rules just because they might seem harsh or intolerant. The rules aren't meant to be cruel, they're meant to help us survive.