Moderate Liberal

Fiscal Conservative

Social Conservative




Thanks for your interest in The Developmentalist. Our goal is to honor and integrate the bedrock values of all three major American cultures: traditional, modern, and progressive. Notwithstanding the culture war, we believe these distinct sets of values can be reconciled and harmonized for the greater good of our country.

Here’s a list of some of the socially conservative values and political goals we seek to forward:

• Promoting patriotic love for America and its national interests

• Honoring family values and America’s Judeo-Christian heritage

• Encouraging civic engagement and just rewards for hard work

• Self-sacrifice for community good

This is a partial list of what we call Heritage Values, which continue to serve as the foundation of our nation’s moral strength. We see Heritage Values as essential to what we call the “traditional worldview.” If you would like to suggest additional Heritage Values, or make a comment about the best aspects of traditionalism, please click on the button below or comment at the bottom of this page. We will highlight selected comments at the bottom of this page.

We want to help progressives and modernists better appreciate the foundational role that Heritage Values play in our national culture. And we likewise want to help traditionalists better appreciate the upsides of modernist Liberty Values and Fairness Values, as well as progressive Caring Values. If this sounds interesting, we invite you to explore these relevant thought pieces on our website:

Regardless of your take on the “developmental perspective,” considering the bedrock values of those you disagree with can make you a more effective advocate for the values you hold dear. Reflecting on the values of our political opponents can also help de-escalate the culture war so that our disagreements can become productive again.

Showing 7 comments
  • Michael Thau

    Traditionalism is drawn towards internal control using frameworks such as the good, the true and the beautiful. May I suggest that the post progressive project make it a core part of their foundation to study and bring into the present grand narratives from history when making decisions about the future? Without such, the elimination of 1) virtues and 2) lessons from the past, will attract near-zero conservative participation and support. A team discussing what healthy manifestations of traditionalism to put forth how would be advisable.

  • Kenneth

    How about “honoring family values and America’s religious heritage”. Could we not encourage traditionalists to feel secure in their own personal judeo-Christian heritage without feeling threatened by their neighbor’s indigenous or eastern faith tradition? This could maybe be a bridge to the libertarian modernist value of individual liberty. Yes, be proud of your heritage, and extend the same right to all your neighbors, who may have a different heritage.

    And how about encouraging ethnic co-habitation and harmony instead of assimilation? Because encouraging assimilation in this country would be to continue to support the dominant cultural expectations of patriarchal white supremacy.

  • Cathy Russell

    Traditional values are based on evidence of what has worked in the past.

    Judeo-Christian values are not great simply because they are our heritage, they are great because they work. These values include;

    GRATITUDE for the gift of life. Every pop-psychologist knows the value of gratitude for mental health. Gratitude for being alive is known as grace. Grace is appreciation for the improbable fact that we exist, if even for a few moments. In our stressed-out, fear-mongered world, gratitude and grace are more important than ever.

    WORSHIP – Every week, Jews and Christians (and people of other religions) come together to celebrate the gift of life through songs and worship (worthship).
    Community gratitude, also known as worship, is a ritual that reminds us of the beauty of life and of possibilities for the future.

    LOVE YOUR CREATOR – Jews gave the world an appreciation of ONE OBJECTIVE REALITY that Moses called “I am becoming what I am becoming” and Christians call God and scientists call the “law of nature.” The Jews also gave the commandment to love the Creator with all heart, mind, soul, and strength. Moderns, like Byron Katie have “rediscovered” this traditional value, which has liberated millions of people from despair.

    HOPE – This traditional value is built on gratitude for the power that creates the cosmos. When people focus on the vast power that created the universe, they open themselves to what is possible for the future. Without hope, the people perish. With hope, people have the vision and energy to create astonishing solutions.

    FORGIVENESS – Jesus on the cross embodied this traditional value. With dignity and grace he said: “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Moderns are rediscovering his essential value. Together with gratitude, there is no greater mental health practice than forgiveness.
    Sadly, today students are taught the opposite of forgivenesss and are coached to interpret everything as a “microaggression.” While the intention of teaching people to see microaggression is to end racism, the unintended consequences are paranoia, guilt, and even greater racism. This is the opposite of forgiveness. Today, people recognize the power of empathy. Empathy gives us forgiveness.

    FAMILY: Family is the unit of care. Many non-traditional people rejected “family values” because they seemed as superstitious as believing that God created the world in 6 literal days. Now, the evidence is in. Traditional family values increase the health, wealth and happiness of children. Children who come from 2 parent homes are statistically better off than those from one-parent homes. White or Black, a healthy family makes a healthy child.

    INDIVIDUAL WORTHINESS – Privilege comes not from the color of one’s skin, but from the ideas and values in one’s mind. In the Traditional view, every child is a beloved child of the Creator of the Universe. This is in stark contrast to some moderns’ view that people are a cancer on the planet.

    “There is no new without the old.”

  • Cathy Russell

    The traditional value of Patriotism can be understood by progressives as “putting on your oxygen mask.” Just as parents are wisely instructed to put on the oxygen mask before putting one on their child, so too is it wise for American’s to make America strong so that we may continue to help others in the world. The United States is the most generous country on the planet. Generosity comes from strength. Sick people need all their strength to heal themselves. Healthy people have the strength to spare. It is the same with countries. Healthy countries can help others countries. Sick countries cannot.

  • Cathy Russell

    CLEAR BORDERS – While many progressives believe that conservatives are xenophobic or not compassionate for wanting to close the border, nothing could be further from the truth for many conservatives. It is compassion that drives their desire to create a clear border. Without clear borders, many risk their lives to come into this country illegally. How unfair that some make this gamble, only to be raped and/or lose their life savings to be turned back? This kind of false hope is not compassionate: it is cruel.

  • Cathy Russell

    Self Sacrifice is another word for working for the common good. Self-sacrifice is good not only for the community, but it is also good for the soul of one making the sacrifice. Humans are communal animals. Our sense of purpose and life satisfaction comes from helping others.

  • Daniel Kirkpatrick

    My addition to this list would be RESPECT for ELDERS. Having worked with teenagers for thirty-plus years, I have found that this value is rarely celebrated but still widely held. Young people need only a small nudge to recognize the value of eldership, but too often, formal education and busy families do not give them that nudge. My sense is that this value can be tied in with the importance of elder care, the forgiveness of those who grew up immersed in a different set of cultural norms, and the key influence of family. And since oftentimes greater wisdom and compassion come with aging, valuing elders more could potentially bring those values into greater prominence into a culture desperate for them.

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