You will want to follow the series of posts by Scott Aniol seeking to define "conservatism."
The first post articulates two pillars of conservatism:
The first is affirmation of transcendent, absolute principles, a belief that such principles are knowable, and a commitment to align one’s self to those principles. Now the three big transcendentals are truth, goodness, and beauty.
The second pillar of conservatism is a commitment to conserve those institutions and forms that best reflect a recognition and respect for this transcendent order.
He makes this important observation, There is a huge difference between being truly conservative and being merely anti-contemporary. My fear is that there are a lot of people, especially within the fundamentalist heritage, who are certainly anti-contemporary in their practice, but they do not really have truly conservative underpinnings for their practice. And so they often end up defending traditions that are certainly not part of the current pop culture, but neither are they really conservative either. What they defend is not conservative, it’s just old.
Read it here.