1. Literally, indicative of a sparing application. Frugal.
2. In the U.S., commonly used by many members of the Republican Party to contrast themselves with liberal politicians, commonly of the Democratic Party.
3. Originally used by Republican Party (U.S.) members to mean conservative application of laws, or minimal government.
4. In modern times, used to indicate existing or past values as opposed to new values. In this sense, "conservative" refers to personal behavior rather than the use of laws. A synonym for this definition would be "unchanging."
When using the word, it is important to note whether it is used to refer to a political theory/system or personal values/behavior.
In the case of number 3 above, both the Republican and Democratic parties hold conservative _political_ values (in that they want minimal government regulation), but about different subjects. For example, the Democratic Party typically believes in conservative (minimal) use of laws regarding drugs, sexual practices, and film/TV. The Republican Party does not follow conservative political theory in those matters, but does for issues of taxation, guns, and employment practices.
However, even though both parties hold conservative political values in some cases, neither maintains a consistant philosophy based on conservative application of government regulation. Both the Republican and Democratic parties in the U.S. use the word to refer to enforcing conservative _personal_values_ (such as those influenced by religious background or otherwise, see number 4 above), but with differing opinions as to whether or not it is a good thing.
The original political use for the word conservative, as in number 3 above, is more similar to the political adjective/noun libertarian in use today, which describes a philosophy of minimal government,
They are underrated by many (liberals) because they(liberals) believe there is no need for the basics. They are right away thought of as 'stupid', because liberals have put themselves on the high-stool.
But in actually fact, conservatives come in many intelligent forms, and the liberals 'quickness to judge' will catch up to them.
In the United States in particular, a person who cherishes the religious freedom said nation is founded upon, is hated for thinking differently from people who profess "open-mindedness" to the point of being dismissed from employment and educational institutions, and who aren't afraid to work for their own living nor to actually defend their freedoms.
One who opposes the erosion of society from psychologically destructive substances and relationship-destroying sexual promiscuity.
One who opposes freeloaders and election-rigging.
Steven: Well, if they were conservative like him, they would be.
Former President Ronald Reagan said, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom."3
Conservative: Stop buying weed you freaking hippy and maybe you can pay your medical bill. And give my money back so I can actually do something good with it instead of giving it to freaking drug addicts.
Liberal: Don't elect him, he's a social facist!
Conservative: That may be true, but what does that have to do with me being a politician?