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Portal:Conservatism

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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 that 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. Conservatives have variously sought to preserve institutions including religion, monarchy, parliamentary government, property rights and the social hierarchy, emphasizing stability and continuity, while the more extreme elements called reactionaries oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

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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.

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Reversing Britain’s economic decline was such a huge and painful undertaking that, at least until the later years, the economy had to come first.

In fact, though flawed in some respects, the speech with its emphasis on remoralising society and on strengthening the family, deserves re-reading.

It does not though, reveal much about his essential philosophy, which with Keith — as with most professional politicians — remained below the surface.

The kind of Conservatism which he and I — though coming from very different backgrounds — favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists.

That is to say, we placed far greater confidence in individuals, families, businesses and neighbourhoods than in the State.

— Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture ("Liberty and Limited Government"), 11 January 1996

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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

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