Conservatives, and Conservatives
One common world view called conservative is an inclination to defer to any authority in the world, whether in fact legitimate or not. The only guiding principle is to honor whatever the world considers honorable, and to defer to whomever wears the mantle of respectability. Thus they're all for war and every advantage to big business. It's hard to pin them down on exactly why, since both are highly disruptive to society in all sorts of unpredictable ways. And that's why the American founders, who were very conservative men, greatly distrusted both. These same folks think it's wonderful to make kids pledge allegiance to the flag just because that's what people do, even if every word is a brazen lie - not at all worried about teaching the frame of mind that accepts any nonsense without examining it, just because the crowd around is adopting it. But is there anything conservative about such an unquestioning lemming mentality, disposed to rush into any majority fashion anywhere, questioning nothing?
Another sort of conservative is represented by G.K. Chesterton's remark that before a conservative knocks down a wall, he wants to know why someone put it up. The software business teaches you to think that way, and so do most other engineering disciplines. "Change is bad," the NASA engineers say, and that's the voice of hard-won experience.
These sorts of conservatives are suspicious of antibiotics and vaccines, willing to be persuaded, but cautious. We are against subjecting people to thousands of chemicals like bisphenol-A that have never been assessed for safety before being loosed upon us. We don't think that innovations like homosexual "marriage" - nothing imagined anywhere before the last 30 years or so - are likely to end well. And the exciting results of better living through chemistry - which once seemed such a bright promise - and which are now causing endocrine disruption, learning disabilities, obesity, and all sorts of other little understood plagues, illustrate our point.
Thoughtless adherence to tradition is stupid: I'm reminded of the lady that lopped off the two ends of the ham before putting it in the pan to bake it, who when asked, said that's what her mother did, who in turn said that's what her mother taught her. And grandma explained that she had to do it because her pan was too short.
Tradition needs to be questioned, all the time. But conservatives know that tradition deserves to be given the chance to answer, and that even if there is a better way, sometimes the cost of making it better isn't worth the damage to get the change done.
Finally, when really radical change is called for, only conservatives can be trusted to do it. Who would you trust to decide whether you really need a dangerous but needed surgery - a guy who never saw a nose job he didn't want to do, or a guy who abhors useless cutting?