Some people think—mistakenly—that conservatism is a collection of “positions” on various issues, such as abortion, trade, immigration, physician-assisted suicide, decriminalization of drugs, capital punishment, and war. This is to mistake conclusions for premises. Conservatism, like progressivism, is a political morality: a set of moral principles that govern the relation of the individual to the state. Different conservatives have different lists of principles (within limits, of course), assign different weights to them, and specify them differently. This generates disagreements among conservatives. These disagreements, and the arguments that flow from them, are healthy, provided that they are civil, respectful, and rational—as they almost always are, for conservatives value civility, respectfulness, and rationality. This column by George Will sets out some of conservatism’s principles. Long before I was a conservative, I admired Will’s ability to say so much, so well, in 750 words. Now that I’m a conservative, I admire his ability even more. It’s a shame that conservatism is not taught (or even taken seriously) in political philosophy or political theory courses at the university level. Many college textbooks (I have examined a good number) have no section, and some have no reading, on conservatism. No wonder people have misconceptions about it! When they hear the word “conservative,” they think of Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, and Tom DeLay. They should think of Edmund Burke, Michael Oakeshott, and Roger Scruton, any one of whom can run intellectual circles around progressives. Teaching political philosophy without discussing conservatism is like teaching epistemology without discussing foundationalism or teaching ethics without discussing deontology.