The meaning of “conservative”, at least in the political sense, means “to conserve.” The conservative presence is any culture wants to protect the status quo, including religion, politics, social mores, and economics. This is a valid historical phenomenon and needs respect. In its extreme, this “conservative” presence wants not only to maintain the status quo, but wants to do so with a vehemence. It fact, it often would like to return to an earlier, halcyon day when, in our case, “truth, justice, and the American way” prevailed.
The liberal presence wants change in the aforementioned categories. It sees the status quo as problematic and wants to bring about changes, often sweeping changes. If this force is not checked, it too can lead to problems.
When these two forces work in tandem, a society will have a dynamic quality that is necessary. When they are at loggerheads, problems are in the offing. If there can be no compromise, if there can be no respect for each other, then historically catastrophe has often been in that offing.
As Rodney King said, “Why can’t we just all get along.”