Modern conservatism consists primarily of the following principles:
- pro-sovereignty (opposition to globalism and support for the Strategic Defense Initiative)
- pro-parental rights (support of parental control over school curriculum, and opposition to mandatory vaccination)
- pro-alternatives to rule by the Establishment
- pro-Second Amendment
- pro-Christianity in the public square
- pro-traditional marriage (opposition to same-sex marriage)
- pro-Constitution - (and anti-Con Con)
- pro-working class
- anti-judicial supremacy
- anti-illegal immigration
- anti-federalizing crime
Despite attempts by some to portray Ronald Reagan as a quintessential conservative, he was weak on several of the issues above, including his relative lack of pro-life nominations to the Supreme Court, support for a form of gun control (in 1994 and 1986), acceptance of illegal immigration (1986 law), and criticism of term limits for president (22nd Amendment). Also, his "free trade" policies were not helpful to the working class, and subsequent analysis of free trade shows that it caused huge losses in American jobs.
Barry Goldwater was the last outsider to win the Republican nominee for president. He gained the nomination as a first-time candidate, in 1964, based on large part to the runaway bestselling book A Choice Not an Echo. Though far more conservative than his liberal primary opponent, Nelson Rockefeller, some of Goldwater's views did not exemplify the above list of conservative positions.