Difference between revisions of "Conservative"

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A '''conservative''' is one who adheres to principles of limited government, personal responsibility and moral virtue.  He or she may agree with the statement in George Washington's [[Farewell Address]] that "religion and morality are indispensable supports" to political prosperity.<ref>[http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/49.htm United States Department of State] George Washington, farewell address, 1796</ref> Conservatism arose in the 19th century as a response to [[liberalism]], particularly as manifested in the [[French Revolution]].
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== Conservatives in the United States ==
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In the United States, conservatives are generally characterized by adherence to limited government, public morality and free enterprise.  Specifically, conservatives tend to adhere to the following principles:
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* A strong national defense
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* Return of prayer in school
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* The Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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* Economic allocative efficiency (as opposed to popular equity)
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* Stronger law enforcement and anti-crime laws, including the death penalty
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* Parents, rather than school teachers, educating children about sex
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* Choice in education
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* Private medical care and retirement plans
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* Weakening or cancellation of failed social support programs
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* Prohibition of abortion
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* Opposition to same-sex marriage licenses
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About every 20-60 years a conservative has been elected president of the United States.  Examples include:
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<br>[[George Washington]]
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<br>[[James Monroe]]
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<br>[[James K. Polk]]
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<br>[[Abraham Lincoln]]
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<br>[[Grover Cleveland]]
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<br>[[William Howard Taft]]
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<br>[[Warren G. Harding]]
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<br>[[Ronald Reagan]]
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<br>[[George W. Bush]]
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In America, most conservatives tend to align with the [[Republican Party]], but not exclusively so.
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== Neoconservatives ==
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American commentators who ally themselves with the conservative movement but reject its religious or moral underpinnings are generally known as [[neoconservatives]], and they offer their own amoral definition:<ref>[http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZWMxNWNiNDJkY2JmNTExY2E1MzdkYWU3MWU1MTBiOGU= "What Is a 'Conservative'?"]Jonah Goldberg, [[National Review|National Review Online]], 11 May 2005</ref>
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"In the United States, conservatives are generally characterized by the following beliefs:
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# A deep suspicion of the power of the state.
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# A preference for liberty over equality.
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# Patriotism.
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# A belief in established institutions and hierarchies.
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# Skepticism about the idea of progress.
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==Conservatives in the United Kingdom==
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In the United Kingdom the present parliamentary opposition party is called the [[Conservative Party]] and, as its name suggests, it holds traditional conservative views. Its current leader is [[David Cameron]].  In political policy the UK Conservatives are more closely aligned to the US Democrats, despite them being the most right of the main 3 parties.<ref>[http://www.conservatives.com Conservative party UK]</ref>
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Up until the mid-19th century, the forerunners of the Conservatives were known as [[Tory|Tories]], and the name has persisted as a common nickname both for the political party and those believed to be in agreement with it.
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There is generally a strong bias towards the nuclear family over other forms of cohabitation. Since the late 1970s, UK conservatives have been defined by an advocacy of [[Laissez-faire]] economics, privatization and lower taxation.<!-- Citations needed -->
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Religion as a whole and biblical literalism in particular play only a very minor role in UK politics (arguably with the exception of Northern Ireland).
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In common with conservatives in many other countries, UK Conservatives tend towards a [[Nationalist]] outlook, and are traditionally sceptical of the [[European Union]], although it was the Tory Prime Minister [[Edward Heath]] who took Britain into the [[EU|EEC]].
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== References ==
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<references/>
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[[Category:Politics]]
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Revision as of 17:52, 28 March 2007

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