A comment was left by a foreigner which I wanted to address for the sake of others who may not be familiar with what Americans mean and want by “a strong government.”
In many states, “a strong government” usually refers to some component of the state’s military or armed capability. A strong government is usually one that is not only able to maintain its monopoly on the use of force but also uses this monopoly – by using the force at its disposal – to bring about stability in the state and loyalty to the regime.
As The United States are not martial nor do they seek to impose any loyalty by the use of force, “a strong government” means something quite different in an American context. When Americans speak of “a strong government,” they mean a government that has a plan or that has objectives and that implements them.
The reason this is seen as a strong government is because for the most part the government plays political games to satisfy everyone, because of which a variety of plans and objectives have to be drastically modified if not thrown out. A strong government is one that would implement measures to ensure the fulfillment of its plans and objectives, regardless of who may disagree or be discontent. In other words, rather than pleasing everyone, the government does what it sees to be best and right.
One may see this issue of a weak government or a strong government through the issue of will, colloquially expressed as having a spine or not.
Thus, when it is said that Republicans, for example, want a strong government, what one means is that Republicans want politicians who will secure what they say they will secure, no matter what obstacles or discontent may lay in their way. It means that they, the politicians, will make decisions and implement them even if they are unpopular or uncomfortable.