How would you define conservative? I have always considered myself conservative, never really thought about what the term meant – until recently. In today’s culture, the term has become so demonized it made me stop and think –really what does it mean? So I decided to ‘Google’ it. My first surprise was the term was used to refer to a person identified as being adverse to change. Next, it was applied to an ideology ( Right Wing,) that centers around the rights of individuals vs. the power of the government.” Further enlightenment from idontgetpolotics.com concluded that conservatives, (right wingers), focus on the past while liberals, (left wingers) focus on the future. I was beginning to see why people including myself had trouble defining the term.
I wanted to know what the word ‘conservative’ actually meant – you know what is in the dictionary. I proceeded to locate my old Webster’s New World Dictionary and looked up the term. This is what I found; Conservative – conserving or tending to conserve – to keep from being damaged, lost or wasted. I concluded the term referred to ‘protection from waste.’
As a child, I was taught the benefits of conservatism quite simply through the law of supply and demand. “Waste not want not,” and “If you eat it all today, there will be none for tomorrow.” In my early years, there was no such thing as welfare. By today’s standards we lived in poverty all our lives, yet we never lacked for anything essential to survival. We learned early to respect what we had and to be conservative.
A real conservative is not against change, is not stuck in the past without the ability to conform, not against government, not opposed to new ideas and methods, but is acutely aware of the need to protect and preserve what we have.
Are you a conservative?