Conservatism in the U.S. has played an important role in American politics since the 1950s. Historian Gregory Schneider identifies several constants in American conservatism: respect for tradition, support of republicanism, the rule of law and the Christian religion, and a defense of Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture.
When the global study of culture is used to teach students, at any age level, about the multicultural quality of American society, it reinforces a belief that all ethnic difference comes from somewhere other than the United States and that those who are ethnically different are somehow not-quite-American. This conservative approach to the study of multicultural America has allowed for the acts of violent retribution that have occurred in response to the events of 9/11.
If there is a conceptual level at which all four conservative doctrines exhibit the same principle- at which their tensions, the two domestic and the two foreign, melt way- it is the underlying temperament of humility they all exhibit. It may be a humility about government's capacities to manage even small deviations from restraint in foreign policy (realism) or freedom in domestic policy (libertarianism). Or it may be a humility about human capacities to pursue freedom internationally unassisted by other democracies (neoconservatism) or to display restraint in personal life unassisted by our own government (social conservatism).
Conservatives has traditionally taken a more pessimistic view of human nature, believing that people are inherently selfish and imperfectible. They therefore hold what Sowell called a "constrained vision" in which people need the constraints of authority, institutions, and traditions to live civilly with each other.
Carney's team describes conservatism "as an ideological belief system that is significantly (but not completely) related to motivational concerns having to do with the psychological management of uncertainty and fear. Similarly, concerns with fear and threat may be linked to the second core dimension of conservatism, endorsement of inequality."
Conservatives have a stronger preference for things that are familiar, stable, and predictable (Jost, Nosek, & Gosling, 2008; McCrae, 1996). Conservatives also show a stronger emotional sensitivity to threats to the social order, which motivates them to limit liberties in defense of that order (Altemeyer, 1996; McCann, 2008; Stenner, 2005). Jost, Glaser, Sulloway, and Kruglanski (2003) concluded from a meta-analysis of this literature that the two core aspects of conservative ideology are resistance to change and acceptance of inequality.
Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.
Conservatives, argues researcher Philip Tetlock of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, are less tolerant of compromise; see the world in "us" versus "them" terms; are more willing to use force to gain an advantage; are "more prone to rely on simple (good vs. bad) evaluative rules in interpreting policy issues;" are "motivated to punish violators of social norms (e.g., deviations from traditional norms of sexuality or responsible behavior) and to deter free riders."
The conservative view on the social safety net: People are responsible for themselves—and, given the chance, they’re capable of supporting themselves and their families. If the government makes a practice of providing for people (with welfare, for example), they become weak and dependent, and lose their will to work. Nothing could be more destructive to the health of our society.
Conservative multiculturalism uses teaching strategies and course content to teach the identification of cultural differences through the presentation of information about cultures that are not American. Conservative multiculturalism shuts down the discussion of cultural differences within national boundaries by focusing on cultural differences that reside outside those boundaries. In this way, a conservative approach to multiculturalism conveys the idea that all cultural differences exists outside of American identity.
Neoconservatism stems from the awareness that it lies beyond the nation's capacity to act boundlessly and alone, and that it must therefore attract international support by promoting the value of freedom. Social conservatism stems from an awareness that it lies beyond the capacity of individuals to act properly when they are left alone without boundaries, and that they must rely on government to bolster within them the virtues of restraint.