- Belief in the god of the bible
- Regular church attendance
- Sex permitted only within the confines of heterosexual marriage, for the sole purpose of reproduction
- No artificial means of contraception
- Hard work and sacrifice
- Capitalism and free-market competition
- Frequent and open displays of patriotism
- Generosity toward the disadvantaged
- Compromise as a means of solving conflict
- Importance of family
However, I doubt if any conservatives would want to list the following as TAVs:
- Racism and bigotry - tribalism
- Aggressive wars of unilateral (or nearly so) intervention on foreign soil
- Wide disparity between the rich and the poor
- Discrimination in the workplace, schools, and in the community
- Xenophobia and isolationism
- American arrogance
- Special privileges for the rich
- Tyranny of the majority
- Cover-ups and propaganda
- Intrusion of government into the sexual lives of consenting adults
- Welfare for the wealthy and privileged
This despite the fact that all of the second list above have been elements of American life for most of its entire existence, and hence could easily be considered "traditional" values, of a sort. Values could be said to include not just our ideals, but what we actually do, after all.
The fact is that America has encompassed a broad range of values during its relatively short history. The important issue in defining TAVs is to decide who gets to make out the "official" list! If we consider the diversity of the American people, all of whom either came here from somewhere else or their ancestors did, I'm going to guess that if we were to conduct a comprehensive survey, the TAV lists would be all over the place. What's traditional about American values is that we don't agree on what those values are!!
What I would propose as the ideals that should be considered TAVs are those embodied in our national Constitution, including its Amendments. There's nothing in the Constitution about sexual orientation, or political viewpoint, or economics, or religion precisely because the framers felt that those were private issues - not to be subject to the whims of a national government. The ideals in the Constitution have been under siege for the duration of the USA, and often are honored more in the breach than by observance. Some people just can't seem to shake off the notion that they have the right to tell other people what they should think, say, and do. We've not done a good job of living up to the very ideals that form the only true basis for our nation. Our nation is not a nation based on the values of any religion - to say so is to ignore history or to try to revise it to fit some other goal, like imposition of a theocracy.
Many of the conservatives I know are in favor of various violations of our Constitutionally-guranteed rights and freedoms. They support the intrusion of their views on religion and most definitely sexual behavior (rules about sex they themselves typically don't follow!) into federal, state, and local government, and at the same time claim to be persecuted for their beliefs! They want to disenfranchise anyone with whom they disagree, silence dissent, and force us all into lockstep with what they think is right! That's not a TAV - it's fascism/theocracy! What many conservatives call TAVs are often radical new notions that are quite poisonous and contrary to the ideals of the Constitution. They pine wistfully for a return to what they think are TAVs, even though most of their nostalgic look backward in time is bogus, revisionist history.
I'm all for a return to the values embodied in the Constitution, but not the radical notions of many so-called conservatives. Spare our nation from their vile notions about American values!