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About conservatism

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Best conservatism quotes

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Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

John Stuart Mill, philosopher

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who has never learned to walk.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, president

I do not know which makes a man more conservative -- to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.

John Maynard Keynes, economist

Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.

William E. Gladstone, leader

What is conservatism? It is not adherence to the old and tried, but against the new and untried?

Abraham Lincoln, president

A conservative is a fellow who thinks a rich man should have a square deal.

Frank Dane,

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.

Gilbert K. Chesterton, writer

When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.

Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman

All reactionaries are paper tigers.

Mao Zedong, leader

Some fellows get credit for being conservative when they are only stupid.

Kin Hubbard, cartoonist

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.

Mark Twain, author

That man's the true Conservative who lops the moldered branch away.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet

All great peoples are conservative.

Thomas Carlyle, philosopher

I want the American people to understand that conservatism is an ideology of protecting the people and the people's rights.

Jonathan Krohn, author

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

Mark Twain, author

Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world -- and never will.

Mark Twain, author

The future of Conservatism lies in our beliefs and values, not by throwing them away. We need to shed associations that bind us to past failures, but hold faith with those things that make us Conservatives.

Iain Duncan Smith, politician

I met the president when he was president-elect at a meeting in Austin. He spoke of his faith. He spoke of his desire for a compassionate conservatism, for a faith-based initiative that would do something for poor people.

Jim Wallis, writer

Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.

Walter Lippmann, journalist

In the book I define conservatism, as I believe it is fit upon four categories of principle: respect for The Constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility.

Jonathan Krohn, author

Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.

Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister

The word conservative is used by the BBC as a portmanteau word of abuse for anyone whose views differ from the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious, naive, guilt-ridden, wet, pink orthodoxy of that sunset home of the third-rate minds of that third-rate decade, the nineteen-sixties.

Norman Tebbit, statesman

There are no black conservatives. Oh, there are neoconservatives with black skin, but they lack any claim to blackness other than the biological. They have forgotten their roots.

Stephen Carter, lawyer

All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick or aged. In the morning, or when their intellect or their conscience has been aroused, when they hear music, or when they read poetry, they are radicals.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

It is, indeed, part of the liberal attitude to assume that, especially in the economic field, the self-regulating forces of the market will somehow bring about the required adjustments to new conditions, although no one can foretell how they will do this in a particular instance. There is perhaps no single factor contributing so much to people

Friedrich A. Hayek,

Conservatism is a hard choice for a society that has become accustomed to big government and big entitlements promoted by liberals.

Senator Jesse Helms,

The true conservative is not at home in social struggle. He will attempt to avoid unbridgeable schism, because he knows that a stable social structure thrives not on triumphs but on reconciliations.

Henry Kissinger,

The appeal of the New Right is simply that it seems to promise that nothing will change in the domestic realm. People are terrified of change there, because it's the last humanizing force left in society, and they think, correctly, that it must be retained.

Gerda Lerner,

Almost always tradition is nothing but a record and a machine-made imitation of the habits that our ancestors created. The average conservative is a slave to the most incidental and trivial part of his forefathers glory -- to the archaic formula which happened to express their genius or the eighteenth-century contrivance by which for a time it was served.

Walter Lippmann, journalist

The values to which the conservative appeals are inevitably caricatured by the individuals designated to put them into practice.

Harold Rosenberg, writer

A conservative sees a man drowning 50 feet from shore, throws him a 25 foot long rope, and tells him to swim to it. A liberal throws him a rope 50 feet long, then drops his end and goes off to perform another good deed.


To be conservative requires no brains whatsoever. Cabbages, cows and conifers are conservatives, and are so stupid they don't even know it. All that is basically required is acceptance of what exists.

Colin Welch,

Social conservatism and neoconservatism have revived authoritarian conservatism, and not for the better of conservatism or American democracy. True conservatism is cautious and prudent. Authoritarianism is rash and radical. American democracy has benefited from true conservatism, but authoritarianism offers potentially serious trouble for any democracy.

John W. Dean,

Among the best traitors Ireland has ever had, Mother Church ranks at the very top, a massive obstacle in the path to equality and freedom. She has been a force for conservatism... to ward off threats to her own security and influence.

Bernadette Devlin, politician

But you say you are conservative - eminently conservative - while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?

George Haven Putnam, soldier

It is not about Republicanism, it's about conservatism.

Mark Davis, writer

Conservatism is not about the party, because the party is merely the shell. It is the inside - it's the filling that really means something.

Jonathan Krohn, author

I believe that this is the key, the principle itself is the key to conservatism. Because in many ways if you do not have a principled base you do not have policy and if you do not have policy in many ways you do not have an ideology.

Jonathan Krohn, author

Conservatism has had from its inception vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda and thinking. That agenda should have in my three pillars: strengthen the economy, strengthen our security, and strengthen our families.

Mitt Romney, politician

There is nothing wrong with describing Conservatism as protecting the Constitution, protecting all things that limit government. Government is the enemy of liberty. Government should be very restrained.

Ron Paul, politician

Now make no mistake, I think we need a strong dose of fiscal conservatism in Washington, D.C.

Kristi Noem, politician

I don't really like labels in politics, but I will gladly accept the label of conservatism.

Marco Rubio, politician

Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them the tools at their disposable that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. And our programs to help them should reflect that.

Marco Rubio, politician

Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don't know what they are conserving.

Robertson Davies, novelist

Alas, in 1929 came the Stock Market crash and everything changed and became worrisome. People started practicing conservatism because of financial losses, myself included.

Pola Negri,

I think experience will teach you a combination of liberalism and conservatism. We have to be progressive and at the same time we have to retain values. We have to hold onto the past as we explore the future.

Oliver Stone, director

I would like above any other place to go to Hartford. I want to face the conservatism there centered and compel it into decency.

Victoria Woodhull, activist

Condemnatory conservatism isn't anything I'm interested in.

David Brudnoy, entertainer

We hear the haunting presentiment of a dutiful middle age in the current reluctance of young people to select any option except the one they feel will impinge upon them the least.

Gail Sheehy, writer

Liberalism is financed by the dividends from Conservatism.

Craig Bruce,

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Best conservatism quotes
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