The Meaning of Conservatism


Few things seem to spark debate about the meaning of conservatism more than election results. When Republicans do poorly in elections, the various factions within the conservative movement attempt to explain why their political ideology has fallen out of favor with voters and what can be done to put Republicans back in power. When Republicans do well in elections, expectations are raised that the nation will move away from liberal policies because conservatives are at the helm. The presumption is that election results and public policy accomplishments are the standard for measuring the success and health of the conservative movement. This assumption is misleading.

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