The word Conservative as neon glowing unique typeset symbols, luminous letters conservative

Quotations about conservatives and conservatism, historically and at present. Some definitions of conservativism are around opposing social and cultural change and supporting tradition or socially traditional ideas. Others are about favoring unfettered free enterprise and private ownership. Reactionaries are extreme conservatives, opposing modernization and wanting to return to a social order from the past.

Following are some reflections about conservatism, pro and con, with a few even trying to be neutral and objection.

Evolution provides a scientific foundation for the core values shared by most Christians and conservatives, and by accepting — and embracing — the theory of evolution, Christians and conservatives strengthen their religion, their politics, and science itself. The conflict between science and religion is senseless. It is based on fears and misunderstandings rather than on facts and moral wisdom.

— Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design

What is conservativism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?

— Abraham Lincoln

How to Be a Good Republican:

1. You have to believe that the nation’s current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday’s gasoline prices are all Clinton’s fault.

2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.

3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don’t deserve theirs.

5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.

6. You have to believe…everything Rush Limbaugh says.

7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.

8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.

9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn’t diminish your opportunities, but you still won’t vote for Alan Keyes.

10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.

11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don’t pray to Allah or Buddha.

12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.

13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.

14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.

15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.

16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.

17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.

18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher.

— Ann Richards

Conservatives have no understanding of modern capitalism. They have a distorted understanding of the traditional values they claim to defend.

— Christopher Lasch

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition … There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

— Frank Wilhoit

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.

— G. K. Chesterton

Man made one grave mistake: in answer to vaguely reformist and humanitarian agitation he admitted women to politics and the professions. The conservatives who saw this as the undermining of our civilization and the end of the state and marriage were right after all; it is time for the demolition to begin.

— Germaine Greer

There are three classes of men; the retrograde, the stationary and the progressive.

— Johann Kaspar Lavater

At the core of conservative social policy about race are old ideas that link racial inequality to non-traditional family formation and its attendant culture of poverty.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.

— Mark Twain

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

— Paulo Freire

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

— Paulo Freire

Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability, and to prevent, or at least to slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destabilizer. Because its function is to put knowledge to work — on tools, processes, and products; on work; on knowledge itself — it must be organized for constant change.

— Peter F. Drucker

The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory. Reform has no gratitude, no prudence, no husbandry

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Conservative’

Conservatism is more candid to behold another’s worth; reform more disposed to maintain and increase its own.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Conservative’

Reform is affirmative, conservatism negative; conservatism goes for comfort, reform for truth.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter, we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Conservative’

Conservatism stands on man’s confessed limitations; reform on his indisputable infinitude; conservatism on circumstance; liberalism on power; one goes to make an adroit member of the social frame; the other to postpone all things to the man himself; conservatism is debonnair and social; reform is individual and imperious.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Conservative’

The term ‘free market’ is really a euphemism. What the far right actually means by this term is ‘lawless market.’ In a lawless market, entrepreneurs can get away with privatizing the benefits of the market (profits), while socializing its costs (like pollution).

— Steve Kangas
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