Monday, September 2, 2013

No Scottie Hughes, Libertarians are not Conservatives

Perhaps I'm wasting my time but Garry Reed of Examiner reports on how conservative Scottie Hughes joins the long list of conservatives who have no actual idea on what libertarianism is. Lets go through the points that she considers what libertarians to be;

Until Libertarians have a serious candidate running on more than just legalization of marijuana, both Republicans and Democrats have an equal chance at recruiting this growing bloc of voters, especially among the younger voters who have recently turned to the Libertarian viewpoint as a result of their mistrust of Government. 

What exactly does Hughes consider a serious candidate? I think if a candidate and their staff (especially third party candidates) spend the time and resources to collect signatures and run a campaign would be considered a serious candidate. Not to mention also fighting challenges to ballot access that come from the liberal and conservative candidates.

Saying that libertarians only care about marijuana legalization is pretty damm dishonest if not out right stupid. Was Hughes not paying any attention to Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns? Other than talking about the statist drug war Ron Paul went into depth about foreign policy, monetary policy, trade, the national security state, the patriot act, personal liberty among others. The top libertarians websites such as, and along with libertarian figures like Judge Andrew Napolitano, Justin Raimondo, Radley Balko and Karen DeCoster advocate issues other than the legalization of marijuana.

For years, GOP grandees have taken it for granted that Libertarians would be with them come Election Day. After all, aren't Libertarians essentially free-market, freedom-loving conservatives who just don't want to be formally affiliated with Republicans?

Well she does get right that the Republican party has taken advantage of libertarian voters during the times that conservatives have power but to say that libertarians are just conservatives who don't want to be associated with the Republican party is just a lie. I can only speak for myself but I rather be lynched by David Duke himself than be associated with conservatives and conservatism.

To quote Lew Rockwell;

"What does conservatism today stand for? It stands for war. It stands for power. It stands for spying, jailing without trial, torture, counterfeiting without limit, and lying from morning to night. There comes a time in the life of every believer in freedom when he must declare, without any hesitation, to have no attachment to the idea of conservatism."

Conservatives want to fool independents and middle of the road voters that they're the ones who will stop the movement of statism. Sure conservatives are against statist programs such as Obamacare and gun control but even on those issues they're just as hypocritical as any run of the mill liberal. Remember conservatives weren't and still aren't against statist programs like domestic spying, the Patriot Act, the national security state and happily cheer on the military-industrial complex when their guys were in power. Yes some will point to paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and Chuck Baldwin as being against those things from day one but when reading about paleoconservatism one realizes that the paleoconservatives just want to enforce their own statist ideas onto people. For all the bluster conservatives go on about supporting liberty, their record shows that they do the complete opposite. Compare Ron Paul's congressional record to any of the so-called "real conservatives" that have served in the house alongside with him and Dr. Paul's record still wins out. Another stand out between libertarians and conservatives is the non-aggression principal. How many conservatives actually advocate let alone support the non-aggression principal? The answer is not too many if not zero.

By definition, a Libertarian is a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action. Libertarians believe in personal responsibility while preserving personal freedom. They oppose the Government interfering with any of their business, family, or personal decisions.

It all sounds like Republican boilerplate until you get to two issues that will cause Libertarians to defect to Democrats in droves, if they haven't already.

If conservatives were actually interested in keeping the state out of business, family and personal issues they would've resolved them during the three separate times they have gotten in power. The Reagan Revolution, the Republican Revolution in the 1990s and the Bush era. If conservatives were actually interested in true liberty;  the welfare state (social security, medicare, medicaid, SCHIP, etc), public schools, minimum wage, the militarization of domestic police forces and various gun control laws among other things wouldn't be here. The truth of the matter is they don't and only use it as campaign talking points.

To say that libertarians would all of a sudden flock to liberals is outright stupid and intellectually dishonest. There are as many problems with liberalism and there is with conservatism.

As the Democrats watch the Tea Party and other Conservative groups continue to grow in momentum towards 2014, they know they must appeal to Libertarians. And it is their libertine social views that could be an opening for voter recruitment. Watch as the Democrats start running more emotional campaign commercials focused on issues like equal marriage rights for all, how pot can relieve painful health symptoms, and an oppressive national security apparatus. The Republicans; however, might also tweak their message by focusing on the outrageous spending and new limits and restrictions which this Administration has implemented in volume on small businesses and individual freedoms.

Today's Libertarians are not very organized; however, with over 1 million voting for the official Libertarian Party's nominee in the last Presidential election, these voters will be even more valuable in a non-Presidential election. Let's just hope the majority of Libertarians are more influenced by the words of Reagan and Goldwater then Cheech and Chong.

The only way conservatives are going to appeal to libertarian voters is to reject conservatism. (see the Lew Rockwell quote) To claim that libertarians will be swayed by emotional campaigns by liberals is laughable and outright pathetic. Other than bluster there is nothing that conservatism offers that actually proves to the libertarian voter (the ones who still think that voting may work) that this time it will be different. As much as I hate Pat Buchanan, he was right, fusionism (the merging of libertarianism into the conservative movement) doesn't work and never well. For most libertarians

As for the invoking the conservative demi-god Ronald Reagan, the late Austrian economist Murray Rothbard exposed what "the gipper" really was; a statist.

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