Conservatarian

Conservatarians Rising?

Charles C.W. Cooke on blending elements of the conservative and libertarian philosophies.

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Charles C.W. Cooke is a writer at National Review and author of The Conservatarian Manifesto (Crown Forum), a book about a "certain coterie on the right" that combines elements of the conservative and libertarian philosophies. Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Cooke in March to talk about how the two groups can learn to get along. To see more, go here, or view the interview below.

Q: What is a conservatarian?

A: These are the people who say when they're around libertarians, they feel conservative; when they're around conservatives, they feel libertarian. The fault lines are that they disagree with libertarians on immigration, foreign policy, and sometimes abortion. They disagree with traditional conservatives on federalism, gay marriage, and drugs. And they tend to be disappointed with the Bush years. Sometimes not because of Iraq, but because of No Child Left Behind, Medicare expansion, the spending, and a general feeling that Republicans don't live up to their rhetoric.

Q: Let's talk about immigration. Somehow the government that conservatives are constantly harping on as being inefficient and stupid is going to be able to both secure the borders in a way that doesn't infringe on people's civil liberties and adjust the demographic population of 300 million-plus people to meet all of our needs—in terms of ethnic diversity as well as what jobs people can do. How can anyone think government would be good at that?

A: I'm not sure I would say government is going to be good at it. What I would say is that we already have a government that is so deeply woven into the economy and into our lives that to just allow people to come in—and if you look at the polling, tens if not hundreds of millions of people would want to—would be to put some pressure on our existing welfare system. People say, "Let's go back to how we were 100 years ago, sink or swim." I don't have so much of a problem with that. But I don't think the modern American public is willing to watch people sink or swim once they're here.

Charles C.W. Cooke

Q: If you knew for a fact that criminals were kept from getting welfare benefits, would that allay your concerns?

A: It would allay some of my concerns. I do think the existing polity gets to set the criteria by which new arrivals are permitted to enter the country.

Q: In order to be the strongest nation in the world, do we have to increase defense spending from where it is now?

A: I think conservatives damage themselves here. It does not need to increase every year. The waste is astonishing. If it were any other department, it would be on the front cover of conservative magazines, week in and week out. They can't even audit themselves—they don't even know where the money is going.

That being said, in 1945 the British empire began to collapse. The baton was handed to the United States. It finds itself in the position of power, and it cannot relinquish that without permitting another nation to come in and take that role, and I do not want to see that.

Q: How do conservatarians line up on entitlement spending?

A: We are seeing an intergenerational wealth transfer that was not what was intended by Medicare or Social Security. More important, we know that it's unsustainable and we're choosing it anyway. That's the unforgivable part.

Q: Is there a glue between conservatives and libertarians, other than a rejection of progressivism?

A: I think philosophically they start from the same point. Libertarians and conservatives mistrust the centralizer who tells you he knows everything. They don't believe that human nature changes.

NEXT: Another Reason Not to Draft Millennials: They Are Wisely Skeptical About War

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148 responses to “Conservatarians Rising?

  1. Can Conservatarians Bridge the Gap Between Libertarians and the Right?

    No. Next question?

    1. I must agree with you utterly on this one.

      Next question, as HM has requested…

      1. Why would you want to bridge a gap between two shitty ideologies?

      2. I do have a question. I followed your Sheriff Joe link and then scrolled down. What the fuck is that photo down below? Why is Roof standing behind two corrections officers who are kit-ed up as if they were about to be dropped into bin Laden’s compound for a tactical strike? Is Roof one of Magneto’s mutants or something?

        1. Well, if I had to be around Roof I’d want body armor in case someone took a shot at him and missed.

    2. Why, HM?

      “The fault lines are that they disagree with libertarians on immigration, foreign policy, and sometimes abortion.”

      I find i’m often quibbling with the prevailing rhetorical way libertarians approach both of the first two, particularly in how over-simplistic, unrealistic, impracticable terms like “open borders” or “non-intervention” are in any detailed discussion about actual policy

      im more pro-immigration, and anti-war than many libertarians, regardless.

      if i sometimes lean ‘classical liberal’ in some contexts, its because i think ‘doctrinaire’ libertarians are more interested in philosophical posturing than ever dealing with details of public policy

      1. Conservatives put priority on the issues where they are enemies of freedom. Conservatism is a fraud.

        1. This

        2. “Conservatives put priority on the issues where they are enemies of freedom. Conservatism is a fraud.”

          Conservatives put priority on only care about the issues where they are enemies of freedom. Conservatism is a fraud.

          Moved that dart a little closer to the bullseye.

    3. What about the cowboy and the farmer?
      They should be friends.
      One man likes to push a plow.
      The other likes to chase a cow.
      But there ain’t no reason they can’t be friends

  2. “Conservatarians”, like “Liberaltarians” before them, want to use the libertarian adjective for their own purposes, and then dump the actual libertarians when it’s convenient for them.

    1. Word up. Fusionism was always a Trojan Horse.

      What will it profit a movement if it gains the Electoral College and yet loses its soul?

      1. “…uh…..then Galahad, Launcelot and I shall LEAP from the rabbit….”

        “Wait – wut?”

      2. Why are the two automatically conjoined? Winning means a chance to push your ideas, have a basis from which to persuade others, and change the things you (we) bitch about.

        1. Why are the two automatically conjoined?

          They’re not. I’m referring to winning by selling-out. Then again, I gave up on the ballot years ago. I fear that change, for good or ill, can only going to come from another “B” word.

            1. Well HM does seem to be reason.coms Dark Knight.

          1. Burninating?

            (I said consummate V’s)

      3. You don’t have to sell your soul to win elections. But you may need to be selective in what you choose to talk about and in what battles you choose to fight. An all or nothing approach gets us, well, to where we are right now.

        1. ^This. How many times do we bitch about the perfect being the enemy of the good? Getting “conservatives” back to a base philosophical position of individual rights – in action and not just rhetoric – is what’s important right now. If a candidate can get broad GOP buy-in on criminal justice reform I’m going to hold my nose if he has to beat the war drums on ISIS and vote for him anyway. It’s not ideologically pure but I think we have to convert going one or two issues at a time.

          1. Agreed. Baby steps. The war is far from over, but this is movement in the right direction.

      4. What will it profit a movement if it gains the Electoral College and yet loses its soul?

        Does a ‘movement’ have a ‘soul’?

        Sounds way to collectivist and religious to me.

    2. I certainly get that feeling.

      Smart conservative pundits like to use libertarian rhetoric not necessarily out of any deep rooted principles but because it’s useful in their criticism of the progressivism. Outside Beck, conservatives and their listeners still tend to sneer at libertarians.

      If, hypothetically, they ‘won’ this ideological battle they’d toss libertarianism to the curb.

      1. I think you’re right. They flirt with libertarianism on a few select issues, but it’s a passing fancy. Mostly they’re just disaffected conservatives angry at the Republican Party who are seeking refuge in an ideology that’s more principled and extreme, but they don’t have the stomach for most of what libertarians actually believe.

    3. This thread perfectly illustrating the notorious lock-step mentality of the denizens of HyR.

        1. I hope you caught the sarcasm that was intended.

    4. A conservative-libertarian political alliance is at least theoretically possible, unlike “Liberaltarianism” which was dead on arrival.

      In practice, the problem is that too many conservatives have drunk the progressive Kool-Aid WRT the desirability and effectiveness of using government for social engineering projects. (Recall that Prohibition of drugs and alcohol, for example, was originally a Progressive project.) What it would take to form a conservative-libertarian alliance is for conservatives to eat a big helping of crow, and to accept “how can the government best help religion and traditional values? By leaving them alone!”

      A liberal-libertarian alliance, OTOH, is a nonstarter due to the direct contradiction in their respective fundemental axioms. Liberals believe that government is inherently good (and therefore we need more of it) while libertarians believe that government is inherently evil (and therefore we need less of it).

  3. OT: Reason’s favorite sheriff, “Sheriff Joe”, is sending posses to “protect” black churches…..”whether they like it or not.” That’s our Joe! #FuckJoeArpaio

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../28996519/

    1. Will he “protect” Mexican immigrant churches?

      1. If you append the word “racket…then, sure.

      2. That’s what the Swiss Guards are for.

      3. What about libertarian churches like Reason?

        1. The best part of this church is that I don’t have to wake up early on Sunday.

          1. Or Saturday, Or Friday.

        2. That’s what the wood chippers are for.

  4. Thanks for defending the Reason commentariat, Mr. Cooke.

  5. Somehow the government that conservatives are constantly harping on as being inefficient and stupid is going to be able to both secure the borders in a way that doesn’t infringe on people’s civil liberties and adjust the demographic population of 300 million-plus people to meet all of our needs?in terms of ethnic diversity as well as what jobs people can do.

    This is what a degree in English produces? Nick should demand a refund.

    1. An expressed need for ethnic diversity is an egalitarian goal, not a libertarian one. Libertarianism doesn’t take an explicit stance for or against diversity, it’s all about private property and the non aggression principle.

  6. Reddit’s ‘bullies’ pushed me to fight weight gain

    A touching story of how Internet trolls forced a woman to face some hard truths about her obesity and provided motivation for a healthier lifestyle. Really!

    1. Meh…..

      “If all goes according to plan, in a little less than four months I’ll be having gastric bypass surgery.”

      I was hoping for another heartwarming Bette Midler in the basement, “Ruthless People” story.

    2. The process won’t be an easy one. From this point forward, for the rest of my life, the buck stops with me. There are no more excuses. I’m getting the surgery, shedding my fatlogic and changing my life.

      You hear that? Rudeness saves lives.

      1. I have mixed feelings about bariatric surgery. On the one hand some people are never going to lose weight with diet and exercise. On the other hand I see a fair amount of complications with the surgery. I’m probably suffering from sample bias in that people who don’t have complication don’t show up for corrective surgery.

        1. It’s a ridiculous thing to do, and unless the fatty completely changes their lifestyle, it doesn’t even work. You stay a disgusting blob of fat if you go back to the Mountain Dew and Oreos diet after your bariatric surgery.

          1. I’ve seen people who come back after years for unrelated surgery and they are doing well. I agree they have to put the work in, the surgery is just a jump start.

          2. Exhibit A:

            Chris Christie

            What I wouldn’t give to hear the conversations between Christie and his dietician. The guy must suffer from extreme food delusions. Elect a President who has a desire to control other peoples behaviors as a way to cover his insecurities about his own lack of impulse control. What could go wrong?

      1. The John signal has been lit!

  7. I’m guessing this is the Saturday open thread, so I’ll just leave this here:

    Hawaii’s governor has signed a bill to make his state the first to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

    The measure aims to prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing both traditional and electronic cigarettes. Gov. David Ige signed it into law Friday.

    Dozens of local governments have similar bans, including Hawaii County and New York City.

    “Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our keiki will grow up tobacco-free,” said Ige, using the Hawaiian word for children.

    FOR TEH KEIKI!

    1. So Hawaiians consider their children to be “clones”?

      I’ve only been there once, didn’t care for it. Now I like it even less.

    2. Black market demand curve just shot up like…why like a HOCKEY STICK!

      1. You should be expecting to hear from Mann’s attorneys any day now.

    3. It’s being raised for other states too.
      I think the same will be coming to gun laws. It’s already age 21 for handguns in various states including Texas.

      1. Given the state of youth these days, raising the legal age of adult from 18 to 21 might actually make sense.

        Oh who am I kidding. It could be 40 and it still wouldn’t be enough for some people.

        1. Given the state of youth these days, raising the legal age of adult from 18 to 21 might actually make sense.

          How do we know that “the state of youth these days” isn’t itself a product of society and government pushing the expectations of adulthood to later and later ages?

          The ages should be pulled back, not pushed forward. Maturity doesn’t magically come from getting older; it has to be acquired through experience.

      2. 21 for possession? Because federal law already prohibits handgun sales to under 21s.

    4. i have always wondered how you could pick up a rifle to “defend” the country, yet are not “responsible” enough to drink a beer, own a gun, or now smoke a cigarette.

  8. Good job last night everyone, trolls included. I wonder if our Top Men attempted to read through that love fest we left em… I hope it made them cry

    1. They cried, they laughed, they became upset and planned more arrests.

      1. Ya but at least they had to work for it this time. And I bet that they can’t even hear the words ‘wood’ or ‘chipper’ without being filled with indignant statist rage

    2. “If these smart-alec fuckers only knew what power I could yield with my little dick!”

      1. The thing is these people are cowards. They think “hey, if somebody threatened me, I’d shut the fuck up.” Problem is this will backfire. Plenty of neutral people will become more engaged because they don’t like being fucked with.

    3. Only 123 comments?

      WAIT, 1123????

      The one time I decide to be social on a Friday night….

    4. It’s over 1000!

  9. Can Conservatarians Bridge the Gap Between Libertarians and the Right?

    After listening to Charles Cooke’s podcast a few times, I would say no. He has too many underlying assumptions with which I think most libertarians would disagree.

    1. How about “conservojectivists”?

      1. Even more no.

    2. A lot depends on defining terms. “Conservative” isn’t a monolithic term. I think in particular the pre-GW Bush and post-GW Bush meaning has changed. There used to be a significant paleocon voice within the general “conservative” movement. That’s probably where libertarians by and large would find more agreement (particularly on foreign policy). Neoconservatism seems to be what is meant by the term “conservative” in modern parlance, and there’s not much there to attract libertarians given that neoconservatism is essentially “conservative” relative to the New Deal, only with a more aggressive approach to foreign policy.

      1. Neither pre nor post GWB conservatives fully accepted the concept of self ownership. The Paleos got within shouting distance IMO.

      2. You just need to read more left-wing sources which will convince you that not only are ALL conservatives 100% alike, but that any who aren’t dedicated lefties (i.e. of the one true and correct faith) are ALSO conservatives.

        That and conservative is just another word for evil.

    3. On many of the major issues you choose to either be a conservatarian or a liberaltarian even though you may not realize it: immigration/welfare, gay marriage/free association. You are virtually never allowed to pick a pure libertarian option.

      I find it amusing that so few seem to understand the concept of a non-conservative path, i.e. the order in which you do things can be as important as the things themselves and typically show their liberaltarian leanings.

      1. That’s because pure first principles libertarianism is anarchocapitalism. Those of us who are minarchists have to accept some violations of the NAP in order to establish a legitimate state. What issues we consider worth such a violation reflects what issues are important to us. Military/family values types will be conservatarians, while social justice/campaign finance types will be liberaltarians.

  10. Reason #(some insanely large number) you should never call the police for help.
    Cop shoots at family dog hits 4 year old in leg

    1. In all fairness you mammals all look a like

    2. Nobody needs more than 0 dogs.

  11. No conservatarians are just like conservatives. Both run around waving the flag yelling about freedom and liberty, while supporting things that are antithetical to those rights.

    Look at where sacrificing those rights has gotten this country. Gov’t is a failed experiment. It is a violent coercive monopoly that will never limit itself. It’s very being violates liberty and the NAP.

    1. That would put you out of favor with certain flavors of libertarianism, let alone conservatism. The minarchist contingent of libertarians is probably the majority.

      1. As we say, give the minarchists 6 months. *time may vary with age

      2. I don’t think there are many true minarchists either.

  12. Q: What is a conservatarian?

    A: These are the people who say when they’re around libertarians, they feel conservative; when they’re around conservatives, they feel libertarian.

    Never really thought about it, but that sounds a lot like me.

    1. Me too. I would suspect it also somewhat describes both Ron and Rand Paul to some extent as well.

      1. I would imagine so. The fact both have of their own free will chose association much more with the right than the left pretty much reveals all.

    2. If you ask my family, they’d probably say I’m an eyelash away from liberal.

    3. I don’t feel this way at all, but I suspect many “libertarians” do. As I said above, disaffected Republicans / conservatives.

      I’m glad that libertarian-leaning conservatives like you, Ron, Rand, and others exist, but I am not so sure libertarian would be the proper label.

      1. It’s hard to overstate the importance of those labels. Can’t very well tell whose a true and naturalized Scotsman without the paperwork.

        1. The label isn’t important, but what the label represents. The watering down of libertarianism by the conservatives and the conservatarians is one I take issue with. I don’t need libertarianism to be some perfect, idealistic, utopian philosophy, but without some basic core principles, how is it substantively different than just being conservative?

          If the argument is just that we should want to make conservatives more libertarian, then yes please! If the argument is that libertarians should cross over to make the movement more suitable for the conservative hordes, then no.

          1. There’s a point of diminishing returns in purity tests and purges. Libertarianism is the NAP. That’s it. It shouldn’t be that terribly complicated.

            The only time I ever feel particularly “conservative” is when we play the True Scotsman game in the Reason comments and somebody inevitably comes ’round to inform me my paperwork is not in order. The people I know in real life think I’m bordering on insane in my politics. At Reason I’m a hardcore socon fundamentalist, depending on who you ask. If the tent ain’t big enough for me, I wouldn’t worry too much about it sliding down the slippery slope to Irving Kristol

          2. “The watering down of libertarianism by the conservatives and the conservatarians is one I take issue with.”

            Who decides what libertarianism is, you?

          3. The problem is that the word conservative is completely worthless as a political label. It does not convey any clear consistent sense of the beliefs of the people that self identify with the label nor the people that are labeled as such by their political opponents.

            At best, it’s an umbrella term for everyone that opposes secular socialism.

          4. “The watering down of libertarianism by the conservatives and the conservatarians is one I take issue with.”

            There was also this Bo Cara-esque brainfart the other day.

        2. Your papers, please.

  13. Why can’t both groups join together and consolidate their human capital and financial resources to help bring on entropy to the most dangerous of governmental agencies to our freedom?

    1. Because one of the agencies conservatives still stand by with almost no ability to critically criticize is law enforcement? I don’t how the two would mesh here.

      1. “don’t see how.”

        How do I miss an entire word?

        /pan to absurd David Byrne look.

      2. Perhaps you should read a bit of Mr. Cooke’s stable mate – Kevin Williamson. He’s rather Balko-esque, for a conservative.

        1. I’ve read him but is he more of an exception?

          1. Probably, and certainly to the Fox crowd.

      3. It is maddening that people who oppose government in every other instance still reflexively support and trust law enforcement.

    2. Why couldn’t Russia and America consolidate their human capital, financial resources and vast petroleum reserves to help bring affordable fuel to both their peoples? It certainly would have been a huge boost to both world peace and the world economy. Russia wanted it. A lot of people I knew and worked with wanted it. Bill Clinton and his creepy followers were more interested in reigniting cold war level distrust and mutual dislike by taking us to war in Yugoslavia.

    3. Because the ‘conseratives ‘ love the NSA ,FBI,military and cops and thinkt hey can do no wrong.Their all heroes that put their life on the line for ‘freedom ‘ every day.Then there’s the DEA and the drug war they love to talk about fighting while sipping whiskey.

      1. “Because the ‘conseratives ‘ love the NSA ,FBI,military and cops and thinkt hey can do no wrong.”

        Is that really what conservatives think, or what you believe your scarecrow figure conservatives think?

        1. To ask is to answer.

          A bunch of RINOs like the NSA, therefore conservatives do! -opposite day in logictown

    4. I agree, if I had to pick out two of the worst programs/agencies in the government, I’d say the Drug War and the NSA or the Drug War and defense more generally, which the conservatives, Republicans, and even conservatarians are less interested or completely uninterested in really fighting.

      1. Showing your liberaltarian tendencies very clearly. I would say that the two worst programs in the government are SS and Medicare/Medicaid. They’re certainly much, much larger in terms of number of people directly impacted and in terms of actual spending. Priorities matter. They matter a lot.

        Ask yourself this: what percentage of conservatives are willing to talk about cutting defense compared to what percentage of liberals are willing to talk about reducing the welfare state? In my experience, even though the conservative numbers are low, the liberal numbers are epsilon away from zero.

      2. There are a lot more destructive agencies/programs than the defense establishment. Like the education establishment and the regulatory state’s pursuit of absolute safety and ‘fairness’.

        Although I do agree that the drug war belongs at the top of the list.

    5. help bring on entropy

      You just lost the law-n-order folks.

      Other countries know how bring the entropy:

      Politician Fight – Judo master

      Packing a Punch: Fist fights the norm in Ukraine’s parliament

  14. Waaay OT:

    So, um, Mastodon released a video of a song from their last album, and I thought some of you guys will dig it. I think it’s way cool.

    I guess the alternate title could be Agile Cyborg the Cat goes for a walk

    1. I like it.

      OT: AC is a typing cat who posts in the Reason comments?

    2. Looks like they use the same suit tailors as GWAR.

  15. Libertarians and conservatives (or conservatarians) absolutely can and should get along…in areas where they agree. In areas where we disagree, no. It’s sort of self evident.

    But I’m perfectly fine with calling for a sort of ceasefire in areas where we disagree so that we can more easily work together in the areas we do. We need to do that.

    1. Conservatives are most easily disliked when they’re riding around on the SJW’s progfascist bandwagon. Anymore it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the two groups apart.

  16. There’s a conservative philosophy? I was a conservative for many years and don’t remember having a philosophy. It’s more like a team that you decide to cheer for.

    1. Conservatism, like any other political faction, does indeed have a philosophical foundation, going back as far as Burke or even Locke (depending on which conservative you’re talking to). That you didn’t have/weren’t aware of those philosophical underpinnings doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Libertarianism isn’t unique in having a philosophical foundation. It’s probably more unique than modern conservatism and modern liberalism in that its adherents are probably more aware of the underlying philosophy.

    2. I’m with PM a bit on this one. I’m just going to say this, knowing damn well what kind of ire it might bring me. I’ve listened to Limbaugh before (gasp!). He actually does a pretty decent job summing up conservatism in a coherent way, when he wants. I, of course, disagree with parts of it. But there are large chunks (limited government) that are easy to get behind and I think libertarians and conservatives would do well to work together on those. You can simultaneously work together on decreasing the size of the welfare state, while fighting about the drug war. I’m not saying libertarians need to compromise their principles, but when some irrationally start demanding that we not work with one of the TEAMs, it actually turns us into one.

      1. I’m not saying libertarians need to compromise their principles, but when some irrationally start demanding that we not work with one of the TEAMs, it actually turns us into one.

        Excellent.

  17. I admire Cooke’s wit and writing abilities but I’ve noticed he seems to have an inexplicable hostility for Rand Paul and I cannot abide his support for Marco Rubio, who represents the Stupid Party at its worst when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties.

    Sorry Charlie, you aren’t getting much libertarian support if you expect us to vote for a guy who thinks the embargo on Cuba is still a good idea, Gitmo should stay open, and the NSA spying is essential to national security.

    1. If there is such a thing as a conservatarian, they wouldn’t be caught dead voting for Marco Rubio. That’s why I’m skeptical of the whole notion. Marco Rubio is all conserva- and no -tarian, so if he draws the “conservatarians,” that’s a sign that it’s all poppycock.

  18. I know many here at Reason might resist the conservatarian label, but I think that ideology – if you can call it that – is alive and well here. Just look at any post about open borders and the so-called libertarians lose their shit arguing for economic authoritarianism and alarming statist solutions.

    Yesterday’s thread about race and transgenderism somehow resulted in a surprising number of people saying in so many words how transgender people are violating nature and biology, and that they’re troubled and sick. I even saw them arguing for traditional values and traditional marriage, which at best would put them dead center in the very worst strain of libertarianism.

    I’m fine working with the conservatives and the conservatarians, but many of our biggest problems are conservative- or Republican-led. Although conservatives might say they distrust the state, they’re far too supportive and trusting of government spying, the military, law enforcement, the prison and judicial systems, the Drug War, and heavily restricted immigration, all of which are dangerous threats to human freedom. While we need tax, welfare, health care, and education reform, the ways in which the government imprisons and kills people are much higher stakes. I’m also not very confident that they have the stomach for the economic or educational reforms, anyway – even among the conservatarians. Incremental solutions are fine, but when the principles are lacking to guide them, sometimes the reforms are worse.

    1. Yup. The Hit&Runpublicans; are numerous and belligerent.

      1. Shut up you buuk larnin faggot!

      2. Go read what he’s referencing, W., and tell me if that was actually “pickup engine-revving” or not

        1. I see lots of whining in that thread. Lots of social signaling. Tedious. Tiresome.

          1. I’m not sure what was so ‘republican’ about people rejecting the notion that ‘intellectual honesty’ should require people to want to hug trannies

            Or why it should be ‘tiresome’ to assert that tolerance does not require ‘approval’

    2. I totally agree with working with conservatives on issues that we all basically agree on, but I have a couple issues with what you say here.

      somehow resulted in a surprising number of people saying in so many words how transgender people are violating nature and biology, and that they’re troubled and sick

      Libertarianism doesn’t tell you what you’re supposed to *think* of someone else’s actions, just that you shouldn’t use force to stop them, so I wouldn’t even apply a conservative label to someone’s revulsion over an ex-olympic athlete turning their dick inside out. I think that’s a very normal response.

      Just look at any post about open borders and the so-called libertarians lose their shit arguing for economic authoritarianism and alarming statist solutions.

      Libertarians are in a total no-win situation here. You can’t just open the borders into an extant welfare state. So the goal of opening the borders takes a back seat to ending the welfare state and that is not going to happen any time soon. Again, it comes down to picking which is the greater evil: closed borders or having to support tens of millions of new low-income residents with welfare programs. A lot of libertarians would say the latter, with good reason.

      1. Inconceivable!! He makes a different path choice with significantly different outcomes and thinks it’s equivalent simply because he prioritizes things differently. Liberaltarian doesn’t like conservatarian. Shocker!

    3. Yesterday’s thread about race and transgenderism somehow resulted in a surprising number of people saying in so many words how transgender people are violating nature and biology, and that they’re troubled and sick. I even saw them arguing for traditional values

      Oh dear! I hope you didn’t damage your pearls clutching them so tightly.

      Unless they advocated for the state to adjudicate the issue in some way, what does it matter what their personal moral viewpoints are? If libertarianism means total uniformity of thought on matters of personal morality and behavior, then there’s probably no such thing as a libertarian. This was the cause of the Rothbard “paleolibertarian” schism back in the 80’s. Reason seems to be the last bastion keeping that old rivalry alive. Libertarianism and libertinism aren’t synonymous. It’s entirely possible for promiscuous gay transhumanist gender-fluid post-racial pot smokers and for old white married cis-hetero racist Catholic suburbanites to be fully and equally libertarian. The only personal behavior and moral viewpoint the NAP mandates is not hurting other people and not taking their stuff.

      1. *nods aggressively*

        1. Your aggression has been noted and reported.

    4. “Yesterday’s thread about race and transgenderism somehow resulted in a surprising number of people saying in so many words how transgender people are violating nature and biology, and that they’re troubled and sick. “

      You used the term ‘intellectually dishonest’ in that discussion, despite the above mischaracterization being a shining example of exactly that

      most people said nothing of the sort. they (I) simply pointed out YOUR argument for the “spirit of tolerance ” resulting logically in affirmation was pure horseshit

      1. the above “brainfart” link provides ample example

  19. How many untrue Scotsman does it take to change the definition of a Scotsman?

  20. I, cautiously, see this as a move in the right direction. The perfect need not be the enemy of the good. The goal needs to be to convince people (everyone) that liberty, not government, is the solution to their problems. If they choose liberty on the issues, without embracing the philosophy, and see that liberty works, you have ammunition to further the philosophy.

    Baby steps. This is awesome.

    (You didn’t think you’d just wake up one morning and everyone, seeing the error of their ways, would be libertarian?)

    1. (You didn’t think you’d just wake up one morning and everyone, seeing the error of their ways, would be libertarian?)

      I think you are 100% right. People will come to their own conclusions, especially once they realize liberty is not so scary. Bush, Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Reid, and McConnell have done so much damage that the natural push will be toward a more libertarian philosophy, even if the term itself is too scary to actually use.

      1. AND when people are repelled by the likes of the political actors you mentioned and start thinking about jumping off of their team’s ship, it opens them up to think about why they’re so attached to whatever political philosophy they think they subscribe to. This, in turn, makes those crazy libertarians not-so-scary. After all, if you finally woke up and realized how screwed up your team is, maybe there are some other things you haven’t considered. This has happened to A LOT of people I know.

        1. Yes. This is why I think Rand Paul has a real chance at be coming the next president. If he sticks with his civil liberties policies, says he is down with gay marriage (millennials love the gay marriage), and says “but hey, I still want a strong military, I just want to make sure we use it only when we really, really, really have to, but it will be a strong military” he could win. None of the other bozos running have similar credibility.

  21. In the late 1970s someone in Chi. whose name I forgot gave us a talk on the different types of libertarians. He defined the “conservatarian” as one whose ideas are generally libertarian, but who when in doubt about an issue waits to see what The National Review has to say about it 1st.

    Script squirrels be heavy in this thread.

    1. I don’t remember such intrusive scripting the 1st time this article was broached here. WHY CAN’T THEY RE-POST THE DAMN COMMENTS THREAD instead of making us start from scratch?

  22. “… blending elements of the conservative and libertarian philosophies …”

    There is no such thing as conservative philosophy. Conservatism is “standing athwart history yelling stop!” – in Buckley’s obnoxious definition.

    Traditionally conservatism means deference to institutions, the Church, the Military, the Monarchy if a country has one – Bush, Clinton, …

    In America conservatism means that plus keeping foreigners out, stopping global trade and technological innovation, keeping America white, hands off my Social Security and Medicare, keeping the American standard of living artificially propped up, etc.

    Immigration in particular is this year’s litmus test for Pure Conservatism. The nativist position is incompatible with individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise and other values that conservatives like to claim as theirs before elections.

    Conservatarianism is capitulation to the Welfare State, now one more thing that conservatives want to conserve. Conservatarianism would confirm America’s “progression” to a European-style political dynamic; elections are about who can manage the Welfare State most effectively.

    That is why conservatives are constantly whining about Obama’s incompetence or his supposed lack of leadership abilities, why McCain ran on Obama being ‘not ready to lead’, why Romney ran on being a great manager with lots of executive experience.

    Conservatives seem weirdly blind to Obama’s ideological motivations.

    1. Conservative means pulpit-thumping mystical bigot, just like it does in the Middle East.

  23. In a word: no. Libertarians should work with whatever groups they can on an issue-by-issue basis but no ‘alliances’ please. Conservatism is a fraud and so are conservatives.

    What’s alarming is that in the past conservatives had waited until ‘their guy/team’ got power until they dropped the pretense of giving a damn about freedom. Now they are just going Full Retard over immigration before we even get there. That being said things are going well at the state level and co-operation between conservatives and libertarians has yielded good there.

  24. In 1980, YAF was routinely infiltrated by objectivists and libertarians. I distinctly remember some teenaged tool remarking in their magazine that The Will to ban abortion set the “true” conservative apart from mere libertarians.
    That hasn’t changed. What has changed is that now they infiltrate us and are willing to temporarily give up on prohibition and genocidal invasions for a chance to brainwash kids into a Reichs Jugend. Thank Dawkins the Islamic Statists aren’t decking out in libertarian drag.

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  27. So we get staunch support of due process before being disseized. Unfortunately, Carly Fiorina has merged public defenders with a fleet of autonomous roving wood chippers, and she DOES have to answer to the Board of Governors. It’s the feel-good moment of the year.

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