The question has been posed (well, really derided…) “What is a Conservative.” I ask, what are American Conservatives trying to conserve?
To which I answer: We aim to conserve the Republic founded under the Constitution. A government that acknowledges the People (those governed) as the Sovereign Power and makes a limited grant of power to the Federal Government to achieve certain ends. Primarily, those ends are the defense of the Rights of the Citizens of the Republic. Chief among them:
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
A word on Rights. Rights are God given to the individuals who are the People / Citizens / Sovereign Power of these United States of America. Our Founding Fathers very specifically framed them so:
…All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.
And what God has granted, no man should abjure. And that grant is expansive:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That the righteous power of Government so constituted rests upon:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
And by consent of the governed we do not mean 49.9% of the citizens. Let alone any fraction of those not actively voting, and no fraction of those residents not Citizens.
Rights may only be revoked / deprived to a Citizen upon verdict of a jury of one’s peers for a criminal offense.
Further note that our Federal Government (all three branches; Legislative [Congress], Executive [President and his subordinates], and Judicial) have specifically defined roles and powers. That any power not explicitly extended to a branch of the Federal Government in the Constitution of these United States is invalid.
That is what I swear to conserve, against all enemies, foreign or domestic.