First let’s look at it’s origin according to Webster’s (2016):
First Known Use of conservative, 1831
So is Webster’s in 2016 correct, was the first known use of conservative in 1831. Let us look at Dictionary of the English language by Samuel Johnson (1768, 3rd edition) & 1792 edition) which appears Webster’s was mistaken by at least 75 years but the words origin goes back to Latin still yet.
Full 1768 definition for conservative:
Having the power of opposing diminution or injury
Full Definition of diminution (Webster’s 2016)
: the act, process, or an instance of diminishing : decrease
Which is very close to Dictionary of the English language by Samuel Johnson (1768, 3rd edition) & 1792 edition definition.
Now is where it gets very interesting with the word “INJURY” and we all think of this as being physically harmed in any way, correct, well think again?
Webster’s in 2016 definition:
Full Definition of conservative
2a : of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism
b capitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism: as (1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2) : progressive conservative
3a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional
b : marked by moderation or caution
c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners
4: of, relating to, or practicing Conservative Judaism
Are you happy with the government today, if not then why are you wanting to preserve what we have today. However if you use the tern Constitutional Conservative you would be saying you want to preserve our Constitution as written, correct?
In the United States we do not really have a Conservative Party therefor definition 2 does not really fit?
Under (3a) one would have to say they want to maintain current views, conditions and institutions but not many people who call themselves conservatives want things like ObamaCare, Common Core, etc, etc, etc.
(3b) makes some sense if one is wanting change but wants to test the waters so to speak before jumping is.
(3c) When people lean towards this definition I always ask, what era of tradition norms are you looking at, 1700’s, 1800’s, mid 1800’s, early 1900’s or are you wanting pieces of those which you like but others may not?
(4) If you are not Jewish then this one is hard to take claim to and what does it have to do with politics for the US?