“Promoted” from the AG thread below, for attention and discussion.
Modern political Conservatism is based on a deep awareness of human history and human nature, both alone and in groups. It rests on strong belief in individual liberty and dignity and is skeptical that governments get better as they get larger or more powerful. In the American context, I can just give you some earmarks as examples. It is possible to adhere to conservative principles and be either (or neither) a Democrat or Republican. Both parties legitimately see themselves as having a lot of other fish to fry beyond purity to Locke-ian ideals. But within each Party, the figures that conservatives tend to gravitate toward are free market, free trade, internationalist outlook, pro-civil rights and individual liberties, fiscal restraint hawks (itâ€™s not just a question of low taxes, but thatâ€™s part of it), defenders of the U.S. Constitution (hard to find a single Republican in Virginia who even knows whatâ€™s in the document – the Dems are no better, but it gets really confusing when so many R pols disguise themselves as â€œconservativesâ€), particularly its protections of individual liberties. On the latter point, while conservatives are often individually religious, they are strong supporters of keeping government away from religion as a matter of protecting religion against being degraded by getting dragged through the Public Square. Conservatives are well-informed and realistic, they are inherently non-ideological (ideologies tend to obscure reality, conservatives feel a need and responsibility to understand reality).