I'm going to start reading Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative" on my Kindle but before I do I wanted to jot down what in my own mind I think about when I say I am a conservative, and I think I have it boiled down to a few things:
1. there is a natural order to how human beings should behave, which originally came from the Divine. (saying God is the source of morality is an over simplified way of saying this). this natural order is the mainstream of morality in human civilization.
2. freedom is to have your own domain where you are lord, even if it just an apartment, but better if it's actually land and a home where you can have roots.
3. cultural traditions are the glue that keeps civilization together and men from feeding their baser desires against each other, so we should be very careful about changing tradition and custom which might mess with that balance.
4. people are different, and that is ok, but there are expectations that people do abide by social common rules when in public. A lot of those differences (male vs female, old vs young) are deep differences that are part of the natural cycle of life and there is nothing wrong with tailoring society to reflect those differences. Same thing with economic and social class; we cannot enforce arbitrary equality but have to tailor our response to inequality by first admitting that it exists.
ok, point 4 probably could use a major edit, i know what I am getting at but it was hard to boil down.
this isn't off the top of my head, I've been thinking about this sort of thing for a while, but I am hoping that the RS community can help me make it more clean especially since I am not the best at being a writer.