Conservative values may not necessarily be the same as Republican values. The Republican party has changed in many ways since the days of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Gradually, during the 20th century, conservatives have taken positions on many social issues, and over time, these have become conservative values. A list of every conservative value would be quite long one; however, there are several values that can summarise conservative ideals.
Small government has always been an important value of conservatives. The conservative view of small government dates back to the conflict of the Federalist versus the Anti-Federalist. The Federalists, represented by Hamilton, favoured a strong central government supported by a nationalised bank that imposed large tariffs on manufacturers. The Republican party, represented by Thomas Jefferson, apposed Hamilton's view of a strong central government and advocated a strict view of the constitution. Jefferson argued that imposing tariffs infringed on an individual's civil liberties. Today, conservatives still believe that government should never get large enough to infringe on an individual's rights.
Several values specifically listed by the Republican National Committee reflect the conservative value of free market. Conservatives believe in "individual community support and voluntary giving over taxation and forced redistribution." More specifically the conservative philosophy is to "keep free markets free" and logical business regulations encourage individuals to become successful entrepreneurs.
Enduring Moral Code
Russel Kirk, author of the "conservative mind" lists a strict moral code as the first of the top ten conservative principles. By believing in an enduring moral order, a society can best govern itself. Likewise, the conservative believes that indulging in instant gratifications (such as extramarital sex or illegal drug use) will bring crime and therefore be detrimental to society.
The value of adhering to established customs, conventions and institutions describes the very word "conservative." Conservatives believe that societies with established customs enable us to lead peaceful lives. However, disruptions of these customs can lead to chaos and anarchy. Conservatives can use this view to argue that we should not alter the institution of marriage to include same-sex couples, for example.
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