One of the best definitions of a Liberal versus a Conservative I’ve found yet:
“A Liberal thinks he already knows the answer based on his station, his concern and empathy; he thinks of poverty as a technical engineering problem that only his answers will solve. A Conservative admits he doesn’t know the answers in advance; he believes that poverty is a complicated tangle of political, social, historical, institutional and technical factors…and hopes to find answers to the individual component problems by trial and error.
A Liberal believes that outsiders–legions of experts–know enough to impose solutions regardless the stated needs of the population. A Conservative believes only insiders have enough knowledge to find solutions, and that most solutions must be homegrown…
A Liberal believes in top down; that the same egalitarian answer will satisfy every situation. A Conservative believes in bottom up; that answers must be specific to each situation.
A Liberal will say “I can help you”. A Conservative will say “You can help yourself.”