What is Conservatism? That’s an interesting question. Many people have different ideas on what it means to be a conservative. But, as a self-proclaimed conservative, this is the one that I’ve always felt suits the phrase the best, from Lincoln’s Cooper Union Address:
“What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?”
And there it is. We “conserve” by sticking wherever possible to known “old and tried” policies, and see “new and untried” policies with skepticism. That doesn’t mean throwing out new ideas, but it does mean being VERY cautious about them, and starting to test them out on a smaller scale before pushing them to a bigger one. That is what conservative means.