Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Ever wonder what it means to be a conservative? If you believe the caricature of their opponents, they are miserly and greedy—kind of like a miserable Ebenezer Scrooge who thinks only of himself and measures success by the size of his bank account. But that's not accurate. In fact, the idea of conservatism is more than just financial dealings.

Conservatism is based on the idea that there is something worth conserving.Traditionally, its been conserving human rights—life, liberty and the ability to live in public according to one's conscience and religious convictions. Conservatism begins with the idea that our rights come from God and in order for there to be maximum liberty, the government must be restrained from overstepping its bounds. Conservatives strongly support the U.S. Constitution and they defend religious freedom  as a cornerstone.

Many agree with these points, but we'll find out in the upcoming election just how far Americans will put these beliefs into practice.