Recently, I skimmed Jonathan Krohn's work "Defining Conservatism: The Principles That Will Bring Our Country Back"
I found very persuasive the four fundamental tenets of conservatism which Krohn outlined:
1. Respect for the Constitution
2. Respect for Human Life
3. Belief in Minimalist Government
4. Insistence upon Personal Responsibility
I think, however, that the fundamental philosophy of conservatives versus liberals comes down to a simpler statement of fact:
Conservatives, or individuals on the right, emphasize individual and national liberty, as opposed to those on the left, who support group and global equality (See Henry Nau "Tribal Warfare on the Right").
Conservatives want to limit government and emphasize the role of the individual, whereas liberals want to emphasize the role and growth of government, with the individual playing an ancillary role.
Within these two statements one may extract the different trends of conservatism.
More to follow.