American Conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, support for Judeo-Christian values, economic liberalism, anti-communism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from perceived threats posed by "creeping socialism", moral relativism, multiculturalism, liberal internationalism, and terrorism.
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Western world, Western society or European civilization is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe.
In political and social sciences, communism is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in organizing the economy on individual lines, meaning that the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals or households and not by collective institutions or organizations.
Liberals Outnumber Conservatives In America. CHART by The Young Turks
Liberty is a core value, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the free market, limiting the size and scope of government, and opposition to high taxes and government or labor union encroachment on the entrepreneur.
A free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority.
Liberty, in philosophy, involves free will as contrasted with determinism.
Will they keep their promises? Watch now. by Conservative Review
American conservatives consider individual liberty, within the bounds of conformity to American values, as the fundamental trait of democracy, which contrasts with modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice.
Democracy, or "rule of the commoners", was originally conceived in Classical Greece, whereby political representatives were chosen by lot from amongst the male citizens: rich and poor.
Conservatism as a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization.
Social justice is the fair and just relation between the individual and society.
American conservatism originated from classical liberalism of 18th and 19th centuries, which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom.
Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedoms found in economic liberalism which is also called free market capitalism.
Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process.
The rule of law is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials.
Historians argue that the conservative tradition has played a major role in American politics and culture since the 1790s.
However they have stressed that an organized conservative movement has played a key role in politics only since the 1950s.
The recent movement is based in the Republican Party, though some Democrats were also important figures early in the movement's history.
The history of American conservatism has been marked by tensions and competing ideologies.
Fiscal conservatives and libertarians favor small government, low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise.
Social conservatives see traditional social values as threatened by secularism; they tend to support voluntary school prayer and oppose abortion and same sex marriage.
Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries.
Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is marriage between people of the same sex, either as a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting.
School prayer, in the context of religious liberty, is state-sanctioned or mandatory prayer by students in public schools.
Some also want the teaching of intelligent design or creationism allowed, as the topics are currently judicially prohibited in public schools.
Creationism is the religious belief that the universe and life originated "from specific acts of divine creation," as opposed to the scientific conclusion that they came about through natural processes.
Intelligent design is a creationist religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" but found to be pseudoscience.
The 21st century has seen an increasingly fervent conservative support for Second Amendment rights of private citizens to own firearms.
Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world.
Paleoconservatives advocate restrictions on immigration, non-interventionist foreign policy, and stand in opposition to multiculturalism.
Criticism of multiculturalism questions the ideal of the maintenance of distinct ethnic cultures within a country.
Nationwide most factions, except some libertarians, support a unilateral foreign policy, and a strong military.
Unilateralism is any doctrine or agenda that supports one-sided action.
The conservative movement of the 1950s attempted to bring together these divergent strands, stressing the need for unity to prevent the spread of "godless communism."
William F. Buckley Jr., in the first issue of his magazine National Review in 1955, explained the standards of his magazine and helped make explicit the beliefs of American conservatives:
National Review is a semi-monthly magazine founded by author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955.
Among our convictions: It is the job of centralized government to protect its citizens' lives, liberty and property.
All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress.
The growth of government must be fought relentlessly.