I actually do consider myself a conservative. Most of the self-described conservatives I know have beliefs similar to mine whereas most self-decribed liberals do not. There are plenty exceptions, though - so I just want people to understand that "conservative" has little meaning without placing it in the proper context of your philosophy. For example, what am I trying to conserve?
- The constitution
- Our Bill of Rights (yes, including the second ammenment)
- Our property rights
- Our sovereignty, perhaps
Then again, there are also things that I don't want to conserve. Any existing inequality before the law should not be preserved. That covers the possible charge that I want a "ruling class," or that I want to preserve the "ruling class." Some conservatives do believe in laws to protect tradition. I don't, but if I see government attacking our traditional values through inequality before the law, then I'm all over it.
There are many ways in which most conservatives, I think, would like change. Most conservatives support scientific innovation, for example. There are counterexamples on both sides. I think that your assessment of "open-mindedness" is fair, but I've met too many left wingers who would say to my face "I would never be friends with a conservative" while assuming that I was one of them. That's just my experience.
I don't think its a problem for people to hold onto a traditional lifestyle so long as they respect the liberty of others to do otherwise. Some people might say that I'm too closed-minded because I stay away from drugs, believe in God, etc., but I don't care. There are also many people who are upset about content in movies and video games, and unfortunately some of these people want to ban it from the rest of us.
I don't believe liberal ideals necessarily mean a big hand by the government (thus conservative am I). I think the difference isn't the Liberalism but the means by which we get there.
To build on this, I think that while liberals and converatives in America share some of the same basic principals, there are two different schools of thought on how to improve society. The liberals lean more towards central planning while conservatives believe that change can occur through the small, decentralize decisions. I'm refering to what's true nowadays, and I'm also generalizing a bit.
Well I think here that its more important not to tax people in the name of a religion where the beliefs of one religion will benefit at the expense of another religion. Like if taxes went to refurbishing confessionals for Catholic churches lol. I think i'd prefer using universal to secular because secular implies that it is contrary to a particular religion in the first place.
Right. If we're going to have a public, tax-payer funded school, we have to do the best we can to open up to everyone. However, there are also some people who are going to be left out. I think they deserve a refund if they decide not to use the public school, even if we consider them "nuts," which they may well be.
Otherwise, we are telling people to accept our lifestyle, or pay a little fine.
To me the choice is between:
1) Having one source decide what is right and wrong
2) Having everyone decide for themselves.
In option 2, some people will make mistakes, even bad ones. However, option 1 will curtail our freedom and if the leaders make mistakes, then we're totally screwed.