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Common Traits of a Conservative

Updated on February 5, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


There are so many misconceptions of conservatives. This article is to highlight some common traits of conservatives. Perhaps, this will give people a better understanding of where conservative thinking comes from.

- Feb. 2019

Conservative Traits...

What are some common traits of Conservatives?

1. Conservatives are color blind. We don’t see skin color as a distinction. We use the person’s actions and behavior and character to judge that person.

2. Conservatives are generous. We believe in helping others to help themselves. We believe it is the job of individuals to help their family, their friends and their colleagues.The government should be the last resort to help those who are defenseless, those who are disabled, those who have mental illness...and those who cannot work to help themselves. We are a compassionate society.

3. Conservatives are pragmatic. We want to see solutions. We don’t mind trying different tacks. We also don’t mind where the ideas originate. If it is a good idea, no matter who proposes it, if it has merit, we would support it.

4. Conservatives are efficient. We like doing things that are simple. We don’t like complex grey zones. We don’t want a bureaucracy. We want individual initiatives instead of a federal program.

5. Conservatives are consistent. We will treat each group with the same scrutiny.

6. Conservative are principled. We will abide by a set of beliefs. That includes the Constitution, our faith and religion, our belief in self reliance and freedom of the individual.

7. Conservatives belief in justice. We are law abiding. Equal justice under the law. If a law is unjust, we work to change that law. We don’t pick and choose which law to follow.

8. Conservatives support a strong military for self defense. The idea of peace through strength.

9. Conservatives are hard working. We belief in the value of work. Not just to make a living but God designed humans to fulfill a need. Even if you are independently wealth, you need a job. Work keep a person grounded and connected to society. Work can take on many forms. Volunteering is work.

10. Conservatives are fair minded. We believe in treating everyone fairly. However, we are also forgiving. It is the Christian way. Everyone makes mistakes. We are human. If someone makes a mistake or did wrong. It is better to forgive and move on. Not that there won’t be consequences. But, not to hold a grudge.


Does this summary surprise you?

What is your impression of conservatives?

What have you been told about conservatives?

How many of the traits I defined are consistent with your own belief?

© 2019 Jack Lee


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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      John, you have covered a lot of territory.

      Let me just address a few. I think many people confuse socialism with what they think is a socialistic philosophy. The library is a good example. The library was invented by Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers. It is not in any form socialism. It is a system for efficient use of a limited resource. The book back then was very expensive. It was unrealistic for everyone to afford their own copy. It was more economical and more utility to have a copy shared by the community. The real equivalent would be if the government takes over a publishing house and decide to give everyone a free copy. That would be socialism.

      As for social security, you are correct it has elements of socialism built in. The main part of social security is an insurance. The people pay FICA while they are working, so that when they retire, they can collect benefits. However, over time, it has been transformed into a ponzi scheme,

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 

      2 years ago from New Jersey

      Jack, I consider any form of forced taxation by the government to pay for a service to be a form of socialism. You have no choice. You pay for something the government wants to do through taxes or face the consequence. There is no free market there.

      Not that I'm necessarily opposed to that in many situations. In some cases, it's the most practical way to run a complex society. For example, I'd rather pay for roads when I fill up my car with gas through a gas tax that is part of my transaction that is taking my time anyway than to pay a toll to a private road owner every time I turn down a new street or enter another highway.

      A public library is a form of socialism. If it was a private enterprise, you'd be paying for all its services to cover the cost to run the library and any profit they could squeeze out of you. Instead, libraries are funded mainly through taxation. My library is totally free to use for anyone who wanders in (the whole town pays for it through property taxes). People who never set foot in libraries still have to pay for them when they pay their property taxes or some other municipal tax.

      There are plenty of societies that have a mix of free enterprise and socialism. It just comes down to what degree of each a society has. While I vehemently oppose totalitarian forms of socialism like Venezuela and China, I cannot ignore the fact that the countries with the highest standards of living are democratic socialism countries with a great amount of personal freedom and a great amount of government involvement in providing public services to their citizens (Canada, Scandinavian countries, etc.)

      If Social Security and Medicare are not socialism, then why did the Republican party fight against passing the laws that implemented them on the grounds that they were a slide towards socialism and against free market principals? In retrospect, both have been wildly successful in their original missions, keeping millions of elderly out of the depths of poverty. Medicare only has a 3% overhead cost, which is far less than what private insurers charge to run their for-profit enterprises.

      I'm 50 years old. My whole life, the Republicans have squawked about doing away with Social Security and Medicare, but when they have the majorities and the Presidency, somehow they don't stand by their principals and just keep voting for what they are supposedly against.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      John, the answer is simple really. Social security is not socialism. It is a form of insurance though not implemented well in my opinion.

      It comes down to many people may not know the definition of socialism.

      I had one women in her sixties telling me the public library is a form of socailism? What?

      No, socialism is the control of all forms of production by the state like what happen in recent years in Venezuela. They nationalized the oil industry and now they are failing big time...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Lorelei, I am glad I made your day...

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 

      2 years ago from New Jersey

      The liberal ideology that reigned in the U.S. from the 1930s on has been the New Deal government safety net. I don't believe hippie ideas ever went mainstream enough to have much effect on the political mainstream. They had no effect on the 1968 or 1972 Presidential elections, and the Viet Nam war continued until 1974. No mainstream politicians adopted hippie ideas. Only now is marijuana becoming legal, after big money interests got involved.

      One thing I question Republicans about, if they are so opposed to socialism, why do they year after year support socialist programs that were enacted by Democrats and signed into law by Democratic Presidents FDR and LBJ, such as Social Security and Medicare? Seems like they are all bark and no bite when it comes down to it on issues like that.

    • Ladymermaid profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Giggling to hard to write here what I would really like to. Have a good day.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I had a great conversation with my very liberal sister today. Dang if we both have these traits. Not one mean and/or nasty word was said. I think someone wants us to think we are different, but we are really not.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 

      2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Good points.

      Some of the most conservative positions I hold, I arrived at by thinking about various leftist things I was taught and thinking, "Wait a minute ... that doesn't make sense!" or "Wait a minute ... that's not fair!"

      People tend to think that most conservatives are "knee-jerk" believers who are only conservative because they've been indoctrinated and have never thought things out. But for some of us, it's just the opposite. We are now about three generations down from the 60s. Most of us grew up being taught hippie ideas by our parents and teachers. If we have conservative beliefs, it is because we questioned what we were taught and thought things through for ourselves, or we got some new information.


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