The Meaning of <em>Conservative</em> by David Mills

The Meaning of Conservative

In his letter opposing Touchstone’s use of the word conservative to describe believing Christians (see below), Mr. Arthur Powers raises an important question:

What word can we use that will not be misunderstood? With him, we would not want anyone to think that we held all that is now covered by the word conservative. Many ideas called conservative disrupt the things we wish to conserve—the repellent libertarianism of Ayn Rand, for example, and certain forms of nationalism.

Conservative is not the perfect word, but it may still be the best one. I edited an Episcopal magazine for about 15 years, and I never found any satisfactory way to . . .