My friend Christopher Bowen wrote a piece today called “Conscience Of A Liberaltarian”. It is a very thoughtful piece, I urge all of you to read it if at the very least to understand left-libertarianism which is probably most ascendant strain in the libertarian movement at this moment. This is especially true in academia, inside the Beltway, and on college campuses.
Now a bit about my political background. My mom is a liberal Democrat, bless her heart. The rest of my family are conservative Republicans though. I grew up on Rush Limbaugh and despised Bill Clinton. Then in the summer of 2001 at the age of 16, I spent that summer with my grandmother and spent my nights surfing her WebTV. There, I discovered Free Republic, which is/was a conservative web forum. It was there in some of the threads, I discovered libertarianism. Then 9/11 happened. While I still remained libertarian on domestic issues, I became hawkish on foreign policy. I supported the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and I supported a tough stance against Islamic terrorism. I joined the College Republicans when I graduated high school and entered university. In 2004, I voted against Louisiana’s gay marriage ban and I voted for George W. Bush. I eventually became disillusioned and turned against the Iraq War, but after watching how Louisiana’s mostly Democratic leadership handled Katrina, I returned to the fold. I voted for Bobby Jindal in 2007 for governor. I also worked on several political campaigns professionally but I was becoming more and more disillusioned. In 2008, I did not vote for president. I became more and more libertarian. In 2012, I voted for Ron Paul in the GOP primaries and I did not want to vote at all again for president, but ultimately I voted for Gary Johnson.
I do not want to take away from the good work my friend Allan Bourdius has done with his Conservatarian 101 series (and you should read it as well!) but here’s a very brief outline of what most conservatarians generally believe.
* I’ll take this directly from Allan: “believes the Constitution of the United States, as amended, is inviolate. It’s also meaningless without the Declaration of Independence standing behind it.”
* Believes in as much of a decentralized government as possible. Government should be as close to the governed as possible
* Are politically pragmatic. Knows it is better to get some of what of you want and to advance liberty in small steps than to achieve 100% of nothing.
* Has a deep distain for political purity tests of any kind, whether it be from “truuuuuuue” conservative Tea Party types or Big-L Libertarians.
* Sees the “conservative” in conservatarian as more of a temperment than an ideology. Because of this, we have a deep distain for social engineers, statists, and any grand scheme to remake society, whether it comes from the left or the right.
* Generally adheres to “live and let live” on social matters. If it does not impact another person’s physical welfare, government has no right to regulate it.
* Taxes are fundamentally theft, but at the same time there is no other real way to fund government. Taxes should only be as high as needed to fund the necessary and proper functions of government.
* We have a deep suspicion of anything written by “Gang of whatever” or 1,000+ page bills. Usually, they’re trying to hide something from the American people and it is usually not good.
* We reject the corporatism of the Republican Party and the socialism of the Democratic Party. We support free markets for all and especially letting people fail. No bailouts for anyone.
*Finally, conservatarians are all over the place on foreign policy. Some lean neo-conservative, some are non-interventionists, most are realists. As for myself, I am a realist with a non-interventionist bias.
This is just a broad outline of what conservatarianism is. I hope expound on it some more in the future and more importantly, I hope others will do so as well.
What do you think?