What Is Conservatism? - John Dean
What Is Conservatism?
By JOHN W. DEAN
Friday, Dec. 17, 2004
Given the growing importance of "conservatism" in American politics and government, it seems worth posing a basic question: What does the term mean, exactly?
The public position of political conservatism is certainly clear. But consider the wide variety of organizations and persons who call themselves "conservative": economic conservatives, religious conservatives, social conservatives, libertarians, neo-conservatives, and the traditional conservatives (such as my former colleague Pat Buchanan) who are now sometimes called paleo-conservatives.
Among them, there are many philosophical and practical conflicts. But what is it that they have in common? Why are they all under the same tent, and (for now, anyway) in the Republican Party?...