As I wrote on Tuesday: "Mrs Merkel is not a liberal. She is a Christian democrat." economist.com/blogs/kaffeekl…
One other thing insufficiently understood in the Anglo-Saxon world is that Germany *itself* is a conservative country.
Germany is "progressive" in the sense that pacifist, post-heroic, environmentalist and anti-nationalist sorts of politics do well here.
To this list one could add civil libertarian and multilateralist politics (popular here for deep-rooted historical reasons).
On such matters the average German is probably closer to the typical San Francisco/Islington resident than to the average Brit/American.
But even here there are complexities. Eg on environmentalism: Germany great on recycling & green energy, less so on car emissions & coal.
Or on civil liberties: Germans are suspicious of CCTV, intelligence agencies, even supermarket loyalty cards. But don't mind ID cards.
Then there are the ways in which Germany is straightforwardly conservative: abortion rights, gay rights, the burqa, gender equality etc.
For example the business world is incredibly male. At the CDU business day in Berlin on Tuesday, 4 of 49 speakers were women.
From fiscal policy to gay marriage, from consumer tech (eg electronic media) to the labour market... Germany is conservative.
One logic unites the country's foreign, social, economic, environmental policies: status quo > adaptation > disruption.