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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.

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A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyer wigs or military officer spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping—and new traditions continue to appear today.

The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, the political concept of traditionalism is based around it, as are strands of many world religions[disambiguation needed] including traditional Catholicism. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.

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I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad.

— Benjamin Disraeli, speech at High Wycombe, England (27 November 1832)


In the news

  • June 26, 2014: According to a Pew Research Center poll, 53 % of Americans don’t believe in man-made global warming; 'business conservatives' and 'steadfast conservatives' have substantial incredulous majorities. Daily Caller
  • June 23, 2014: Brian Crowley angers Fianna Fáil by joining conservative European Parliament group. RTÉ
  • June 21, 2014: Former chair of the conservative caucus in the U.S. House, Steve Scalise, won a first-ballot victory for the position of GOP whip. Real Clear Politics
  • June 19, 2014: New York State Conservative Party leader Michael R. Long blasts medical marijuana deal. NY Daily 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

Selected anniversaries in March


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On August 11, 1984, United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, was preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio. As a sound check prior to the address, Reagan made the following joke to the radio technicians:

Though this was not the first time Reagan had joked prior to giving a speech or address, the Soviet official news agency, TASS, condemned the joke, declaring that "USSR condemns this unprecedentedly hostile attack of US President" and that "this kind of behaviour is incompatible with high responsibility the heads of nuclear states are bearing for the destinies of their own people and the mankind".

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