On November 12, 2009, the Republican National Committee was involved in a controversy over its opposition to funding for abortion in government-sponsored health plans. After strong support for the Stupak Amendment – which prohibited any coverage of abortion services under government-subsidized or government-operated health insurance plans operating under the terms of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, regardless of whether that coverage was itself funded by the government – it became known that the employer-based health care provided to employees of the RNC provides coverage for elective abortions. Republican leaders stated they did not realize this coverage was within the health care terms, and promised to promptly remove such coverage. It has been noted that this coverage is not precisely in contradiction with the intention of the Stupak amendment because the health coverage for RNC members is private insurance, not publicly funded.

Hall of Fame

Conservative scholar Clinton Rossiter names Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Marshall, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Elihu Root, and Theodore Roosevelt to the "Conservative's Hall of Fame," with John Adams as the greatest of American conservatives.


Periodically a conservative has been elected president of the United States. The most prominent conservative presidents include:

The most prominent conservative Congresses have been:


Movement conservatives are those who accept the logic of conservatism across-the-board, and stand up for its powerful principles despite liberal ridicule. Movement conservative activists include:

Key leaders

A conservative adheres to principles of personal responsibility, moral values, and limited government, agreeing with George Washington's Farewell Address that "religion and morality are indispensable supports" to political prosperity.

Former President Ronald Reagan said, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom."

The sine qua non of a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all. Alternatively, a conservative is willing to learn and advocate the insights of economics and the morality of the Bible for the benefit of all, recognizing that the Bible is the most logical book ever written. Specifically, conservatives seek or support: