What Do Conservatives Believe In?
Conservative |kənˈsərvətiv; -vəˌtiv| adjective: holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion. Purposely low estimates for the sake of caution. ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [aiming to preserve]): from late Latin conservativus, from conservat- ‘conserved,’ from the verb conservare (to conserve). Current [broken] senses date from the mid 19th century onward.
Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Conservatives believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.
Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve") is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. The term has since been used to describe a wide range of views.
"No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words "NO" and "NOT" employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights." — Edmund A. Opitz
"It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure Liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve." — Henry George
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
— Barry Goldwater (1964)
"I believe the very heart and soul of Conservatism is Libertarianism"
— Ronald Reagan
"Useless laws weaken the necessary laws." — Montesquieu
"It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones." — Calvin Coolidge
"I wish therefore, never to see all offices transferred to Washington
where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the People,
they may more secretly be bought and sold at the market."
— Thomas Jefferson to Judge William Johnson in 1823
"Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way." — Henry David Thoreau
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want
merely because you think it would be good for him." — Robert Heinlein
"It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system
to protect a citizen from himself." — Justice Casey Percell
"A little government and a little luck are necessary in life,
but only a fool trusts either of them." — P. J. O'Rourke
"War is just one more big government program." — Joseph Sobran
"America needs fewer laws, not more prisons." — James Bovard
"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the
evils in this world are to be cured by legislation." — Thomas B. Reed (1886)
"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." — Tacitus
"Giving money and power to government is like
giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." — P.J. O'Rourke
"Just think of what Woodrow Wilson stood for: he stood for world government. He wanted an early United Nations, League of Nations. But it was the conservatives, Republicans, that stood up against him." — Ron Paul
Former President Ronald Reagan said, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom." Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.
"I believe in states' rights.... I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment." — Ronald Reagan (August 1980)
Seymour Martin Lipset wrote that liberals and conservatives "typically do not take alternative positions on issues of equality and freedom. Instead, each side appeals to one or the other core values, as liberals stress egalitarianism‘s primacy and the social injustice that flows from unfettered individualism, while conservatives enshrine individual freedom and the social need for mobility and achievement as values endangered by the collectivism inherent in liberal nostrums."
Political science often credits the Irish politician Edmund Burke (who served in the British House of Commons and opposed the French Revolution) with many of the ideas now called conservative. According to Hailsham, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party, "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself."
Robert Eccleshall states, "It is the persistent image of society as a command structure in which the responsibilities of leadership can be exercised within the framework of a strong state manifested in divine-right royalism ... that distinguishes English conservatism from rival ideologies."
True Conservatives REALLY believe in LIMITED GOVERNMENT. Conservatives want less laws, less government employees, and a smaller federal budget. A true Conservative is interested in CONSERVING... interested in CONSERVING money, interested in CONSERVING traditional values, and interested in CONSERVING the way of life with which they have become accustomed.
Many Conservatives (like Ron Paul) believe that limited government is necessary in a FREE country; government to preserve our most basic natural rights and freedom, and LIMITED to preserve our natural rights and freedom from the scrutiny of corrupt governments itself or from corrupt politicians or officials that might ABUSE their power in any attempts to gain more power for themselves.
If a stereotype Conservative was making a hotdog, he would probably use very little ketchup - because he would cautiously desire to "CONSERVE" the ketchup so he can continue to use the same bottle later, on more hotdogs in the future. A TRUE Conservative sure as hell would never blow the entire nation's economy on multiple wars and nation-building as George Bush did from 2000-2008.