(StraightNews.org) – Many Americans identify as conservatives, but what does that actually entail? If people knew the real definition of a conservative, would they remain in the party? Would they join? First, we need to define a conservative. It may surprise you.
The Definition of Conservative
While there are a few definitions of the word among separate contexts, we’re looking at it from a political perspective. In this context, conservative means “favoring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas,” as defined in the Oxford dictionary. The word conservative, on its own, means averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.
What Does it Mean to Be Conservative?
The description itself asks a question, “What do conservatives want to conserve?” Well, for most, it’s the founding of America and the principles and rights in the US Constitution. Conservatives want a free and open market, or simply capitalism, to be the economic standard. Big government is a big no for conservatives who wish to be left alone by the endless regulations we see today.
Conservatives are often Republicans, which some people may view as warmongers. However, many conservatives believe the US should not intervene in foreign affairs. Lower taxes and smaller government are often associated with conservatism, and conservatives do believe in fewer taxes and less government overreaching.
Often people simply say they are conservative because they’re against liberal or Democratic policies. While church and state are meant to be kept separate, conservatives often believe it’s important to preserve traditional morality, as described by the Bible, often using the power of the state and cultural norms to do so.
Conservatives often simply want to conserve their way of life; they don’t necessarily oppose change, but they do believe it should occur slowly. A desire to conserve the freedoms granted to them by the Bill of Rights, especially their ability to keep and bear arms, is important to them.
Conservatives as a whole have been the same throughout history, wanting to conserve the Constitution and the rights that come with it, while limiting the government to the power granted to it by the same document. We can define them from numerous angles, but at their heart, it’s their values that determine who they are.
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