A couple of commenters at Scientia Salon recently made some gratuitous remarks about conservatives and conservatism. Their comments prompted this from me [part of a longer comment]:
"... You can define 'conservative' to mean irrational, committed to fundamentalist religion, selfishly seeking to hold on to one's power or privilege, etc. if you like; but it needn't be understood like this. It can be seen as a neutral descriptive term. You could just as easily list a set of positive conservative characteristics as negative ones if you wanted to. (E.g. being appropriately cautious, being aware of the dangers of unintended consequences in social and political matters, seeing culture and society in organic rather than mechanistic or abstract terms, etc.) ..."