Ignatius Piazza had an interesting blog post about a young authors definition of conservative values. It could be summed up into four of them:
Respect for the Constitution
Respect for Life
Glenn Beck has the same thing going with his 'We surround them' campaign:
They all center on one common theme. It is a theme that I personally believe in. You are responsible for your own life, you have the ability to make it whatever you want, and that you can do it with a minimum of government interference. It seems that these thing are slowly being whittled away. I did not ask for a bail out when my wife became gravely ill, some say that I was entitled to one. If offered one, I would have refused. I would rather try and fail honorably than to have something handed to me for nothing.
I have been working on personal responsibility with my children, and sometimes I feel as if I don't have the support of the school system. I don't believe that they have the desire to hold other children, and parents, personally responsible.
I have also been working on charity. I have always been against it. If you won't take care of yourself, why should I? I have learned that can't and won't are not the same word. If you can't take care of yourself, I will help. If you won't take care of yourself, your fate is of your own making.
Humility? Hopefully that comes with age, I'm not there yet.
These are a few values that I believe makes The United States what it is. I do not know what it will be. If we teach our children, and ourselves, to be better people, to be productive members of society. We will remain the best Naiton on Earth. A group of people that work towards a common goal, the goal that by working together, anything is possible.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
If it has been awhile, read the whole thing, remember why we, as a country, became great.
Appropriate definition of wherefore can be found at the Munchkin Wrangler