What is a Conservative?

A reader asked me an interesting question the other day. Why, she asked, does almost every political issue have a well-recognized “conservative” and “liberal” side? Why¬†should the great majority of conservatives agree with each other on subjects as diverse as abortion, tax rates, capital punishment, gun control, illegal immigration,¬† foreign aid, and campaign finance; and why can we count on the great majority of liberals taking the opposite side?
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