Just last night, we here in South Korea had our presidential election, and a conservative was voted into power for the next five years (single five-year term, no re-elections allowed). That got me thinking...what does it mean to be a conservative? There were numerous posts during the US election season on MacRumors throughout the year talking about US conservatives and what they stood (or claimed to stand) for. The funny thing is, if I were a US citizen, I would consider myself a Democrat or maybe a Libertarian. I find myself agreeing more with either platform than the Republican one. However, over here in South Korea, that isn't the case - I would consider myself a staunch conservative. There are some contentious issues here in South Korea, just like in any other country. Some of these include how to deal with North Korea, how to maintain the US-South Korea alliance, what to do with the US-South Korea free trade agreement as well as whether to continue building a naval base down south. Conservatives here don't want anything to do to mess with US ties, maintain building the naval base and have a conditional approach to North Korea - you get rid of nukes and we'll talk. Liberals on the other hand want to get rid of what is perceived to be US dominance, re-do the free trade agreement to make it benefit Korea more and have unconditional talks with North Korea. A lot of older-generation people tend to be conservatives as some remember the Korean War and the aid the US provided during that time, as well as the subsequent decades. Meanwhile, the liberals believe that this is all a ploy. I don't know how familiar with these issues MR members would be, and given that I've revealed that I would label myself a conservative, there would be an obvious slant here. If you look at the track record of conservatives and liberals here in South Korea... During the current (conservative) administration: - Aid was cut to North Korea over nukes - North Korea was involved in shelling a peaceful island as well as the sinking of a naval ship - There were numerous victims During the previous (liberal) administrations - there were two consecutive ones prior to the current one coming in: - The "Sunshine Policy" was enacted to engage North Korea - There were inter-Korea summits - However, it turns out a crapton of money was wired over to North Korea in the process As such, it makes me wonder whether a conservative is shaped by his or her surroundings, or whether there are common grounds among all conservatives around the world. Your take?