You consider yourself a conservative. Here is a check list for you to see if you are being honest with yourself.

The great traditions of American conservatism were eloquently expressed by exemplary conservative thinkers like Russell Kirk who authored the American conservative manifesto, “The Conservative Mind”. He is known as the father of American conservatism. How many so called conservatives have even heard of Russell Kirk? President Ronald Reagan awarded Kirk a Presidential Medal for his achievements.


  1. The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.
  2. The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.
  3. Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.
  4. Conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. 
  5. Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. 
  6. Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectibility. 
  7. Conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.
  8. Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism.
  9. Conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions
  10. The thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

More reading sources to explain these principles linked below.

Many self-described “conservatives” do not have a clear comprehension of the guiding principles of conservative thought which BTW are in full accord with Christian moral principles. 

Herein lies the reason for conflicts within the conservative movement. If the Republican Party faithfully embraced and practiced traditional conservative principles of governance, there would be no serious conflicts within the Party. Every Republican public official or aspiring candidate identified with the “R” behind his or her name must be challenged to put his or her political views to the acid test? Do their values, votes, and bills they sponsor adhere to classical conservative values or not? Voters should be able to discern and judge support for these officials or candidates based on how closely they adhere to or stray from these guiding principles.

Phil Sevilla

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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