Courting the Libertarian Vote

While at the Cato Institute, I picked up an interesting article entitled, “The Libertarian Vote in the Age of Obama”.  Not only does it explain and predict libertarian voter trends, it also shows the number of libertarian voters is much higher than one would expect (small “l”, not necessarily members of the Libertarian Party).  They estimate the percentage of libertarian voters is at least 14%.  Now by libertarian, they mean folks who are economically conservative and socially liberal.  The most interesting part of the piece for me was a segment on Ron Paul voters.  Not surprisingly, libertarians strongly supported Paul.  But, they discovered that only 38% of folks who voted for Representative Paul in the primary voted for John McCain in the general election, with 24% going with Obama and 33% to someone else.  In general, “the more a voter liked Paul, the less likely he was to vote Republican in the general election.”  This trend should not come as some great shock given that McCain and Paul had diametrically opposing viewpoints on many key issues.  With that information in mind, how can the GOP increase its share of the libertarian vote?

Let me start off by saying I have mixed feelings about libertarians.  I confess, in the early days of my political involvement, I held a rather dim view of libertarians.  Then again, like so many things we don’t understand and, as a result, hate, I didn’t know too much about them.  I thought that they were merely politically amoral.  Although we could agree on many fiscal issues, I didn’t like the fact that they many were socially liberal, that they would not promote our Judeo-Christian values in the government.  In addition, some of their theories sounded downright bizarre and when one of them refused to say the pledge of allegiance at a meeting, I was completely miffed.  Are libertarians anti-patriotic, anti-American?  (After reading more, I understand a bit better now).

On the one hand, I appreciate that libertarians continually hold firm to their anti-federal government stance even when some Republican leaders forget things like the Constitution and the 10th Amendment.  On the other, in general, libertarians either don’t seem to be able to instill their ideals into the heart and mind of John Q. Public, or don’t have the interest in doing so.  This deficiency likely springs from a lack of major party representation.

Given that the Democratic Party is largely liberal both economically and socially, while the Republican Party is largely conservative in the same areas, how will the economically conservative but socially liberal libertarians vote?  Obviously some will vote for the Libertarian Party, the fifth largest party by registered voters, but, given that Libertarian candidates are not always available, coupled with our first past-the-post system of elections, a large percentage will vote either Republican or Democrat.  So how can the GOP successfully court the libertarian vote? A better question is, why should libertarians vote for Republicans?  After all, in recent times Republicans haven’t even promoted their shared economic conservatism.  They exploded the national debt and eroded civil liberties through both the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security.  We (that is the GOP) must reclaim its principles, and it must do so now!  Don’t both libertarians and supposedly conservatives want a smaller, more efficient, more constitutionally limited government?  The national party should take a cue from the Republican Party of Virginia whose creed states: “That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations.”

Although I have been called a libertarian on many occasions, I assure you that I am about as socially conservative as they come.  I just believe that we must act within the confines of the Constitution.  Now, I know that as a social conservative, we sometimes toy with the appeal to promote our agenda in the nation’s capital regardless of the issue of constitutional restraint, but we mustn’t surrender to this temptation.  To do so would trample not only our own principles, but also the principles under which this country was founded.  It is the mark of the fascist, not the constitutional conservative.  After all, wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help”?  D.C. has become an open grave for countless conservative ideals and politicians.

The Republican Party should never abandon their social conservative stance in order to woo the libertarians into their camp, but conversely, if we faithfully observed Constitutional limitations, I would expect libertarians would find many aspects of Republican politics to be far more appealing than Democratic ones.  With a sizable percentage of that 14% libertarian vote in our corner, Republicans both at the state and national level will find greater electoral success.  For far too long, the Republicans and the Democrats in D.C. have fought tooth and nail to see which can expand more entitlements, inflate bureaucracies, and increase meddlesome overregulation.  I don’t want to belabor the point, but the answer is simple:  Like Paul, we must advocate and implement policies that actually shrink the size and scope of the government.  Then we, that is the GOP, will be able to successfully court the libertarian vote.

22 Replies to “Courting the Libertarian Vote”

  1. Well put. The reason I stay a Republican and cannot be a Libertarian is because of some of the social issues that the party of Ron Paul has adopted.

    If we did shrink the size of the government in DC, placing that power back in the hands of the state and local government where belongs – then the peoples of local districts would decide what social policies would be allowed – and what would not. Those who disagree would either fight back politically – or vote with their feet – as the Founders intended.

    Will be visiting your beautiful state soon!

  2. The main flaw in your description of libertarians (big L or little l) is as “economically conservative and socially liberal.” This perpetuates the outdated bipolar conception of the so-called political spectrum. I think it would be more accurate to think of it as a field in which Liberalism and Conservatism are at two opposing corners, and Libertarianism and Authoritarianism are at the others. The fact that you are trying to compress libertarian views to the “kinda liberal, kinda conservative” line may be part of the trouble you have had in the past with understanding what the Big L is all about. This is also why the “Big Two,” while secretly admitting that they need our votes more and more, continue to view and discuss libertarianism with such naked disdain, viewing us as “protests” or “wasted votes.” This is one of the first really level-headed engagements of the subject I’ve read so far, to be honest.

    Libertarianism is about maximizing personal liberties, with the understanding that those liberties carry with them certain necessary consequences as a result. The oft-repeated example of drug legalization is one such misunderstood example. Libertarians don’t necessarily want to flood the streets with drugs, as some alarmists claim, but rather believe that an adult has the right to make his own choices and accept the consequences thereof – we don’t prevent people from becoming alcoholics or sex addicts, but those people have to bear the burdens of their own irresponsibility.

    On the other hand, the idea that traditionally “socially liberal” causes are naturally libertarian ones is misleading. There’s a great deal of diversity and debate concerning a lot of issues that for some pure liberals would seem to be no-brainers. Abortion, for example: some libertarians view it as an expression of reproductive freedom, others (myself included) as the exercise of violence against another individual, depriving them of their right to life, liberty and property.

    The trouble with courting the libertarian vote is that the bipolar political scene, both liberal and conservative, is strongly authoritarian in nature in the present day. Liberals want to construct a paternalistic social state that usurps the rights of the individual to self-determination, Conservatives want to enforce certain narrowly-defined standards of social (and religious) behavior that cuts across the grain of the individual’s freedom of expression. The biggest issue is that libertarianism, being so diverse, has never coalesced into a single line and thus has not been able to gain the kind of pragmatic party orientation that would give them (us?) the proper traction to make it into the two-party system. Moreover, we lack an enemy by which to define ourselves, unlike the Democrats and Republicans have in each other. Perhaps if someone were to found the Authoritarian Party, we’d have someplace to go.

    –M

    1. My my. Quite a lot of comments on this post. My first response is for Mr. Moyen. As mentioned, The Cato Institute (a self described libertarian think tank) defined libertarian as socially liberal fiscally conservative. I understand that there is a variety of libertarian opinion, but given the diversity surrounding libertarian ideas, how exactly does one fit them into an easily understandable category? If Libertarians were a major party would there be a lot of infighting regarding specific issues? Also, I would argue that nationally both the Democrats and the Republicans have been vying for the Authoritarian Party label in recent years which is why I have become increasingly jaded with D.C. and numerous politicians. Given a choice, I’d rather offer citizens a bit too much liberty than not enough. Oh no. Is that a libertarian thought? 🙂

      1. Point well taken. I think I have to dispute the Cato Institute’s own self-definition, actually, unless they did that mainly to make Libertarianism understandable within the bipolar spectrum, rather than have the more expanded discussion we’re having here.

        If we were a major party, I doubt that there would be infighting per se, but I think you’d see the same kind of splits and ideological divides that you do in the Big Two. I think that’s likely to happen whenever you have a group trying to encompass a large region of political thought.

        –M

  3. mmoyen, very good post. I consider myself a constitutionalist and not a libertarian, but I find myself more in line with libertarians then I am with the neo-con-fascist for the very reason you state. The Republican’s are far too authoritarian for my tastes and support industry far too much at the expense of the American people.

    The problem I have with the libertarian perspective is some promote extreme liberty which plays into the hand of industry. The founding fathers believed in balancing power. To do that you need strictly enforced rules to balance and in some cases prevent the externalizing of costs on to others. Fascists believe that industry should be allowed to do what it wants with little or no interference form government. On this point most libertarians are in line with the fascists. The problem is there is no balancing of power. Economic power can enslave as easily as physical force.

    Fascists also believe in trickle down economics which I perceive to be nothing but corporate welfare. The government should not be in the business of stimulating the economy period. This is where the libertarians and fascists part ways.

    The corporate media does a very good job of framing things as liberal vs. conservative and the true meaning of both gets lost. Liberal is derived from liberty, as in the preserving of, and conservative means to conserve the principle of constitution. They should be in line with each other, but sadly that is not the case. Neo-lib-fascism (Democrat) and neo-con-fascism (Republican) have replaced the definitions respectively. Both want to stimulate the economy for industry in their own way.

    Once fascism has infiltrated both definitions it is easy to point fingers. Each side can now point to the fascism of the other. Each side can now point out the hypocrisy of the other. They are two sides of the same coin; fascism.

    Ron Paul is the only politician I know with the integrity to use the proper terminology. He states that we live in what he refers to as “soft fascism” and he is right. I’m a registered Republican to vote in the primaries. I will not support a fascist candidate, regardless of party affiliation, in the primary election and so far that is the only choice a true conservative gets; the lesser evil.

    If ether party wants to court the independent voters (libertarian, constitutionalist, etc), than they need to throw the fascist out of their party. That means that all of the old guard must go. I don’t see that happening any time soon, but some in the Tea Party seem to be on track. Throw them all out.

  4. “Don’t both libertarians and supposedly conservatives want a smaller, more efficient, more constitutionally limited government?”

    The mistake you make here is in assuming that Republicans and the Republican Party want “smaller, more efficient, more constitutionally limited government.” Republicans often criticize Democrats and liberals for supporting the “nanny state” but all Republicans want is the “daddy state”. Thus, the result of Democratic-Republican two-party statism is always the expansion of the scope and power of the state at the expense of rights, liberties and the rule of law. In other words, the reproduction of the global warfare and corporate welfare state. Maybe the funniest thing about both conservative and liberal critiques of libertarianism is that it reveals exactly the ways in which both conservatives and liberals are actively opposed to LIBERTY!!

    1. d.eris, you are absolutely correct. Not only are they both actively opposed to liberty, but their actions play off each other intensifying the loss of liberty. One takes us to one extreme which eventually causes the need for the other than they both point fingers at each other to escape culpability for their actions. Over time their actions just keep stacking up and industry is served at our expense.

      This reality really sunk in when the Republicans signed in the Patriot Act knowing full well that the Democrats would be wielding it too. They didn’t and still don’t have a problem with their so called opposition having such a powerful tool. Oh sure they complain, but they want the tool available for them the next time they are in control. Their actions don’t line up with their rhetoric.

      I lost all doubt when Bush stealth fully signed away our gun rights. Gun rights are now gun privileges and it amazes me how many don’t even realize how they did it.

    2. In response to d.eris, note that I said conservatives, not Republicans. I really do wish that the GOP was a party committed to constitutional government conservatism, but we have been compromised by neo-cons, liberals, and even a few closet fascists. Then again, maybe the hope of a unified and principled party is nothing more than foolish idealism…

  5. True Conservative and d.eris, I think you both hit it on the nose. It isn’t so much that libertarianism is both liberal and conservative, it’s that it is NEITHER liberal NOR conservative. It defies definition within the bipolar system. Like any ideology, there are specific issues which the three share in common, but philosophically, it is a unique system that has to be taken on its own terms, just like modern liberalism and conservatism. Confining it to the boundaries of an existing political spectrum denies that it is itself a consistent and understandable ideological entity, with its own internally substantive debates and developments.

    –M

  6. On the subject of economics, however, TrueCon, I would dispute your definition of the relationship between “industry” and the state under a fascist system. Fascism as an economic system is defined as a system of private property under the command of a single-party state. That is, private firms and individuals are permitted to operate so long as they do so under the direct instructions of the state. In that sense, libertarianism is opposed to such a system as it places private property under coercive state control.

    Talking about “industry” as monolithic entities is misleading, and feeds into certain forms of circular reasoning that cloud current debates about statism versus laissez-faire capitalism. Economic power is extraordinarily potent, but in a capitalist system , it’s something that everyone possesses, so long as the system is a really open one, and there isn’t any meddling going on. The post-Marxist “you just don’t realize it” argument about how some people are systematically exploited and others aren’t doesn’t hold a lot of water, I have to say, because it doesn’t stand up to rational scrutiny. The Market, though it’s popular to consider it a thing unto itself, is really an abstraction, a way to describe the result of people interacting with each other to get what they want in exchange for what they have. Fascism, Socialism, Communism, and other such planned systems seek to manipulate this interaction with the application of force, in order to produce a certain set of outcomes. I argue, however, and the past several centuries of economic history back me up in this, that the laws that govern the market are like the laws of physics. You can meddle with them, but there are consequences; you can also step out of a top-storey window, but you’re going to fall. Libertarians tend to recognize this as a fact, and view the freedom of interaction offered by market economies to be an expression of political and personal liberty.

    Of course, there are also so-called Libertarian Socialists, though for all the arguments I’ve read and heard on the subject, I’ve never understood how those two concepts are supposed to be reconciled – seems like a contradiction to me.

    –M

  7. The Libertarian vote usually swings to one part depending on the major issues of the election. In an election filled with Deficit Spending, National Debt, Fiscal Irresponsibility, etc., the Libertarian vote will almost certainly go to Republicans or genuinely Fiscally Responsible Democrats.

    Conversely, in election years like 2006 marked by Ethics Violations, The War in Iraq, and Gay Marriage, the Libertarian vote swung to Democrats and Socially left-of-center Republicans.

  8. I believe that a solution for social cons and libertarians to “all just get along” and work together against the current Democrat majority at the federal level is to understand that social issues are not meant to be decided at the federal level.

    I can’t speak for all so cons, but I don’t want to tell anybody else at the federal level who can and can’t get married, or who can and can’t get an abortion. I believe it is an issue of states’ rights to decide both issues. So, while we might part company at the state level, at least socially liberal Republicans and libertarians need not fear people like me at the federal level. I merely want the battle sent back to the states so that each state can decide for themselves without having federal courts tell us what we can and cannot do.

    I may fight you like a dog at the state level, but I’ll gladly join forces with you at the federal level–so long as you agree that the place where the decisions should be made are at the state level.

  9. I’ve looked at a lot of definitions of fascism many times and single party state is not a prerequisite. However, when you view the two party cabal as a single entity as many do, it fits your definition of fascism. I would also make the argument that government dictating or industry dictating is a frivolous argument. The end results are the same; a strong bond between industry and government dictates.

    If you don’t like the term fascism, than I can use the words corporatist or mercantilist instead. The fact is that rent seeking behavior by the corporate or mercantilist elite has created the best government that money can buy. It no longer serves the needs of the people.

    I believe it was Tomas Jefferson that said, “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” I think that pretty much describes our current trade policy and explains why our manufacturing base is leaving. National sovereignty doesn’t even register anymore when it comes to making trade polity decisions or even in discussions on trade policy. The relationship between government and industry has become much to cozy.

    The New World Order trumps everything now. If we are going to jump into Bush seniors’ New World Order then let’s see the New World Order’s constitution. It doesn’t exist. That makes maintaining national sovereignty an imperative to maintaining our liberty. Else it will be sacrificed on the altar of greed. Free trade needs to be fair trade engineered specifically for the benefit of the American People.

    The American people are forced to pay for the protection of multi-national corporations that have no elegance to this country. There relationship with our government is a perversion caused buy a strong bond between government and industry. Mercantilism or Fascism does it really mater what we call it?

    1. Well, I think it does matter what we call it, because unless we have a shared set of terms to discuss, we’ll be talking at cross purposes.

      Take “fascism” for example. In common parlance, it’s taken to mean “a semi-dictatorial system of government that I don’t agree with,” and is applied to just about anything the user doesn’t like. The use of the term is intended to summon up certain visceral impressions, like uniforms, banners, military parades, goose-stepping, etc., but it’s misleading to use the term this way because doing so claims a fuller understanding of fascism as a system without properly applying it. To take Webster’s definition, it is “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.” In spite of the various tendencies towards the centralization of power, expansion of federal authority, and the misuse of executive privilege, I don’t think it’s proper to claim that either the Democrats or the Republicans are actually fascist. Both may have authoritarian leanings, but we are not descending into dictatorship.

      Mercantilism, on the other hand, is also a very narrowly-defined economic and political policy whereby a nation uses a system of colonies and trade concessions to ensure a favorable flow of “specie,” or precious metals used as a store of wealth, into the mother country in order to maintain a favorable balance of trade wealth. Here, you may be making a closer comparison, as our nation’s import-export balances are still taken to be extremely politically important, even though gold, silver and platinum have long since been shown to be simple commodities with no intrinsic wealth-storing value. However, the system is very different from fascism. Where fascism aims at the total top-down reorganization of society wherein all citizens become slaves to the good of the state, mercantilism is essentially a form of foreign policy, and is applicable regardless of the governmental system it supports.

      Again, I think that the confusion of terms here makes it hard to get a real grip on the point you’re trying to make. You seem to me to have a very strong feeling that the government and private firms are linked too closely, and on that point I think I could probably agree. I would also, as you seem to say, agree that this is largely due to the centralization of federal power, which has placed an inordinate amount of regluatory control in a very few hands, which of its nature encourages corruption, since the rule-makers, when few, become the “go-to guys” when you or your firm want to do business in the country.

      I fail to see what you propose as the alternative, however. “Industry,” as I’ve already said, is not a thing unto itself, it’s the result of a lot of individual citizens doing a lot of different things that align with each other. I could speak of agriculture as an “industry” that has too much power, and this often comes up in political discourse, but the abstraction breaks down under scrutiny. Which part of the agriculture industry has too much power? The farmers? The planters? The ranchers? The fertilizer producers? The food processors and slaughterhouses and fisheries? The grocery wholesalers? It goes on and on. One could, I suppose, claim that they are all in on it together, and that there’s some kind of a massive cartel behind it, but that doesn’t hold up to a lot of rational scrutiny either.

      Anyway, what all this boils down to is that when one is having a conversation about terms, such as this one about Libertarianism, the importance of the meaning of those words is massively amplified. I think it’s very important to ensure that those words be used accurately, so that the debate occurs in a properly defined sphere.

      –M

      1. I hear what you are saying about the importance of definitions. I rail about it often. Unfortunately, language in general is subject to interpretation by both parties. Cultural perspectives, geographic perspectives, education, individual communication styles, and as you point out ideology are all factors making precise communication difficult. Spelling checkers, fast fingers, and cut & paste error can also be a challenge. The fact is the communication is an art not a science. It is often necessary to go back and forth to alleviate such misunderstandings.

        From my point of view fascism is the correct term for what I’m describing; an unhealthy bond between industry and government. Fascism reinvents itself though out history never the exact same way twice always with negative consequences. The one consistency is that bond between industry and government. I would even argue that fascism was the root cause of the civil war, but that will take us off the subject at hand.

        I don’t care what industry. That is a red herring. All industries that pander for special treatment will do. And the argument that industries are nothing but individuals doesn’t hold much water with me either. When it comes to corrupting influence the damage they do through government is greater then the sum of what the individuals can do by them selves. I also believe that giving first amendment protection to the giving of money was a mistake on many levels. It violates the all men were created equal principle by giving a bull horns to industry and wealthy individuals. That bull horn has proven itself to be capable of drowning out individual voices and even the collective voices threatening democratic principles. Correct me if I’m wrong, but our politicians say what they want us to hear to appease the collective voices around elections and then do what they want for the bull horns.

        Let me try another presentation of the same logic with a little different terminology.

        When it comes to government intervention in the economy there are three choices; trickle up (neo-lib-fascism), trickle down (neo-con-fascism), and don’t trickle (libertarianism). Most of the libertarians that I know believe in some version of the so called Classical theory of economics; which includes don’t trickle. The other two both believe in the Keynesian theory of economics; which includes government intervention.

        The problem with Keynesian theory is that it is unsustainable. Once you take on market forces it requires sustained inputs to maintain results or the market will return to its equilibrium. In addition, increases in inputs over time are necessary to continue stimulation. By the laws of physics expediential increases in finite environment are unsustainable.

        The problem with Classical theory is that it believes that markets are perfect which is a lie. The biggest failure of capitalism is externalities. If left to market forces producers would externalize costs and undercut their competitors. This is also unsustainable by the same law of physics.

        Most of the conservatives that I grew up with favored a more balanced approach; a classical version of a free market with laws controlling the externalities. The corporate propaganda has convinced many to remove the safe guards and the unsustainably quickly becomes painfully obvious.

        Now the congress of the people for the people has become a market in and of itself. Externalities have been commoditized and both sides of the isle are dealing in them. Who are those costs of business being externalized to? The common citizen of course.

        If we switch the Republicans for the Democrats in November we fix nothing. All we will accomplish is to shorten the cycle time. The externality market will continue business as usual. To truly take back the house we need to take the money out of politics. They will never regulate themselves on their own. So, the only way I can see is to make money irrelevant. No one gets elected to a second term, period. No more need to raise money. No more quid pro cuo. For the tea party to be successful it must not discriminate.

  10. virginiaconservative,

    I appreciate the thoughtful commentary concerning libertarianism and social issues.

    I would say front off that addressing certain social issues from a federal level is not authoritarian. Slavery was a big social issue in the days of our Founders and they addressed it in the Constitution. So social issues are not completely bound at the state level.

    I also understand the complexity involved around passing a Constitutional Amendment. Which is why, although I would support amendments, I tend to favor things such as the Defense of Marriage Act or the Life Begins at Conception Act. These acts set a framework for the states to operate under in regards to these issues.

    Some would try to suggest that I am a “big government conservative” for supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment or a Human Life Amendment, however, that it not the case at all. I happen to believe that neither the Federal nor State governments have the right to redefine the institution of marriage to mean anything other than a union between one man and one woman. As far as abortion; I believe that government is instituted among men to preserve “life, liberty, and property.” The purpose of government is protection not provision, therefore, government should protect the inalienable rights of the unborn, because that is what the Constitution requires it to do.

    So I support the idea of federal action concerning social issues, although much enforcement and specifics will likely be worked out on the state level. That is not a statist position, actually, I would submit that if government is not active in checking its own power through things like DOMA and pro-life bills, then expanded government will sneak in the back door.

    1. Thank you Mr. Osborne for your comment.

      I wouldn’t call advocating social conservatism at a federal level necessarily authoritarian; I just question the wisdom of doing so. For example, since the federal government’s involvement in abortion, have abortions increased or decreased? The answer is obvious. The same holds true for prayer in schools, enforcing capital punishment, and defending traditional values. Obviously, some states would not choose to be conservative at all, but in a place like Virginia, I think we would be far more socially conservative if not for the federal government’s unconstitutional meddling.

      Would I support ending abortion at a federal level like you? Did I support the Marshall/Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution defining marriage in this state as between one man and one woman? Absolutely to both! I’ve just come to the conclusion that when the federal government gets involved, things get worse, not better. Cynical, I know, but there is a wealth of examples to support these claims. Although far from perfect, if the federal government would take more of a “hands off” approach, I believe social conservatism would advance, especially in the Old Dominion. Does that mean I want some sort of regionalized authoritarian theocracy? Of course not, I just believe that people have a right to preserve their cultural and religious heritage in their own society.

  11. Virginiaconservative, I got a little off the subject and strayed off the point I was trying to make about the difference on fiscal issues between true conservatives, Libertarians, and neo-cons. Smaller, more efficient, more constitutionally limited government and trickle economics don’t mix. Libertarians and true conservatives should both oppose trickle economics together. Democrats (trickle up) and Republicans (trickle down) appear to be in opposition, but are in fact necessary to sustain each other. The whole liberal vs conservative as apposing forces no longer seems to hold water. The relationship defies definition within such a bipolar system.

    I read somewhere that libertarians are seeing a serge in popularity. It seems don’t trickle true conservatives are in fact moving away from the trickle down Republican Party. Just look at Ron Paul’s popularity.

    The trend has been noticed. John Stossel is now on Fox (the propagator of trickle down) as a direct result. Fox management knows its base. It moved quickly and quietly on the trend. Does that signal a change in Fox’s stance on the trickle down corporate welfare state?

    I doubt it. Fox is in the business of influencing public opinion. They cannot influence if an important block tunes out. I personally find the constant drum beat of trickle economics as an irritation. I only tune in because of the complete lack of choices brought about by corporate media consolidation and I’m not alone. Fox’s position is precarious. Their agenda and the libertarian don’t trickle agenda are in opposition. So, why go through the trouble?

    Libertarians believe in deregulation. The same deregulation that allowed News Corp to get a virtual monopoly on the so called conservative perspective. This is not a healthy turn of events for any democracy. The founding fathers were very adamant about a free and independent press.

    The want of money is the root of all evil. Nowhere is that more apparent then in media consolidation. Almost all the money that flows through our corrupt political system ends up in the hands of the corporate media moguls. That is a lot of corrupting influence in the hands of five or six people. It is no wonder that each election gets more and more expensive. For them demand driven pricing with limited air time is not a problem, they adjust there fee schedules to consume every bit by Election Day. No problem.

    I’ll bet a lot of you don’t even think about it when you cut a check for a Republican candidate that most of the money will end up in the hands of the so called “Liberal Media.” The fact is you support the liberal media willingly while at the same time you are taught to despise it by one of the competitors (Fox). Propaganda is the devils tool and it can draw you off the path of righteousness faster then any other. Five or six people?

    The libertarian view is that this sort of behavior is ok because market forces will somehow fix the problem; no laws are necessary. While a true conservative knows that the rule of law is necessary to protect this country from enemies both foreign and domestic. We had laws in place that were meant to prevent this sort of thing from happening. They were weakened and dismantled. Where was the old guard of the Republican Party in all this? They were right up to their noses in it holding hands with the likes of Dian Feinstein singing cum-by-yaa. But I digress.

    So you see the libertarians are already doing their part in this sick game.

    1. Gee. I certainly understand and appreciate what you are saying on the matter True Conservative and would like to offer some kind of additional insight, but I’m at a bit of a loss here.

      Based on what you wrote, the question I have for you is this: How would you define true conservatism and libertarianism? In your opinion, what are the similarities and differences?

      Thanks!

  12. virginiaconservative,

    Good post!

    I’ve written a couple posts on libertarianism over the past couple days, trying to give conservatives a better understanding of what it really means. I found your post looking for a further understanding of the perceived and actual differences.

    Although I have been called a libertarian on many occasions, I assure you that I am about as socially conservative as they come. I just believe that we must act within the confines of the Constitution.

    I live my life in a “socially conservative” manner, but I don’t want the government making that decision for me. I also believe that “power corrupts,” so the reigns of government power need to be strictly limited.

    I’m pro-life, because it’s life. I don’t view it as a “social issue,” but one of inalienable (individual) rights.

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy, that’s it. So while my politics are based on libertarianism, my morality is based on my Lutheran faith. This is where, I believe, conservatives misunderstand libertarians. We really do separate church and state.

    That said, law is for crimes, not morals. For example, drug use is a moral problem, not a criminal one. For a person like me, morals are a spiritual matter, not a matter of the state. Thus the main reason why I’m against the war on drugs.

    Being that you’d prefer to stay within the Constitution, in reality, we’re on the same side. Leave it to the states, provided the state’s constitution allows it, then down to smaller communities from there.

    There’s also as many strains of libertarian, as there are conservative. But that’s what happens when you get 2 or more people in a room. I hope I added to the conversation. I appreciate your effort to reach out!

  13. theCL, I have to agree with you. Self medication is a fundamental choice like choosing a doctor or not. Of course there are special interests like AMA (legal drug pushers) who want to maintain their monopoly on medicating only the ones that pay fees to their members.

    Did you know that the illegalization of self medication was instigated with Nixon’s drug classification system to give him an excuse to squelch the first amendment rights of war protesters? He couldn’t clamp down on them for opposing him, but he could reclassify the drugs they were known to be using and accomplish the same goal.

    Nixon chose to invent the drug classification system as a means to side stepping congress for expediency. This way he could do the deed on his time table. It was in his best interests to start shutting the war protesters up as soon as possible. All the rest is the fruit of a poison tree.

    It is funny that you mention the abortion issue. As a Christen, it is my moral duty to minister to anyone considering an abortion. There are many Christen who would shirk that duty by assigning the responsibility to government. They are guilty of the sin of sloth and don’t even realize it. The devils tool (propaganda) is at work here leading them off the path of righteousness. God knows and we will all be judged by our deeds.

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