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Portal:Conservatism

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The Conservatism Portal

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional values, accepting that technology and society can shift, but the principles should not. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. Political science often credits the Irish politician Edmund Burke with many of the ideas now called conservative.

Selected article

John McCain.jpg
John Sidney McCain III (born 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election.

During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. He secured the Republican nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.

Did you know...

  • ... that Norwegian botanist and politician Olaf Alfred Hoffstad taught at Sandefjord Upper Secondary School for almost 43 years?

Selected quote

The struggle between the opponents and defenders of capitalism is a struggle between innovators who do not know what innovation to make and conservatives who do not know what to conserve.

— Simone Weil, "The Power of Words" in Selected Essays 1934-1943 (1957)

In the news

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  • June 13, 2014: Damian Green says Conservatives performing appallingly among ethnic minorities, the Tory minister (pictured) says black and Asian voters are 'completely disengaged' from party. Guardian

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Selected media

CharltonHestonCivilRightsMarch1963Retouched.jpg

Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008) was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as El Cid, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes and Ben-Hur, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also is well known for appearing in the films Touch of Evil directed by Orson Welles and The Greatest Show on Earth, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Heston was also known for his political activism. In the 1950s and 1960s he was one of a handful of Hollywood actors to speak openly against racism and was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. Initially a moderate Democrat, he later supported conservative Republican policies and was president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.

Photo: National Archives

Conservatism resources

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