- maximum freedom of individuals, who possess inherent rights to ” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
- minimum power of government, which exist “to secure these rights”
Ronald Reagan spoke of the three legs of conservatism: national defense, free markets, and traditional social values. National defense is clearly a function of government in fulfilling its role to protect our rights, as is the “justice system.” Free markets are necessary to allow individuals to exercise our rights. However, except for abortion, which violates the right to life, social issues like the definition of marriage, pornography, etc., have nothing to do with conservatism because they do not, or should not, fall within the very limited purview of any level of government.