What Is Conservatism?


No democracy can last for long absent a morally sound and seriously intellectual conservative movement, posits New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens. By definition, he argues, conservatism in any country has stood for the politics of order and caution, and for cherishing social norms. Historically, conservatives in the United States have “believed in unalienable rights, in the pursuit of prosperity and free markets, in the pursuit of happiness, and in representative government.” Today, however, this view of conservatism is being replaced by an “America First” philosophy that, at its core, supports protectionism, imposing limits on immigration, and a form of nationalism that isolates the nation from even its most loyal and traditional allies. What is next for conservatives? What does “conservatism” really mean now?

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What Is Conservatism?

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