Diary

Conservative vs. Libertarian

So in my intro post I mentioned that, by and large I am conservative, but with some Libertarian views. I want to try to clarify some of that stuff now…

The general notion of conservatism is that individual rights outweigh the need for government intervention and support. A lot of the political talking heads will speak to fiscal ideology versus social ideology – but I think by and large social conservatism versus social liberalism is beginning to get blurry. A lot of views that have traditionally been much more conservative are now starting to pop up in the liberal agenda and likewise, conservatives are starting to get a bit more relaxed in some of their views.

BUT – back to the topic…

Conservatism is basically the government telling us that they fell that individuals are able to make decisions about themselves better than a bureaucrat can. Doesn’t this make a lot of sense? In his new book, “Do the Right Thing,” Mike Huckabee dedicates an entire chapter to this idea – he refers to it as self-government, and I think that makes a great deal of sense. Almost everything in our society would be much improved if everyone was able to take care of themselves better and to police themselves more responsibly. Lose a job? Go get a new one. Kids misbehaving? Discipline them. These are the values that I live by. I know what the right choice is – at least the right choice for me and my family – and I will have the responsibility to actually ensure that happens. I won’t send my kids off to school expecting the teachers to teach them morality. They will know those morals before they get to school.
My own parents raised me with very simple rules growing up: “Don’t be dumb.” I’m not paraphrasing, either. That’s what my dad told me when I got a license, when I starting going on on the weekends with my friends, and when my first girlfriend and I got more serious. Those were his exact words. I knew what he meant and I knew what was acceptable.

Conservatives by and large still see the necessity of government – we need government to ensure the defense of the nation, to enforce the laws of the country and to provide basic human services. The government, I don’t think, needs to get involved in raising families. I think the government should provide a public education, but should be far less involved in the regulation – leave professional educators to govern themselves, just as doctors and lawyers do.

Libertarians, on the other hand, feel that government should be all but non-existant – nearly anarchy. The Libertarian agenda is basically that government is completely out of your life – the only purpose of government is to provide for national defense – and strictly DEFENSE – only to protect us should someone come and invade. All of the other laws would be eliminated.
There are many who think this is the way to go – but the problem is the lack of self-government with too many people in our society. Libertarianism relies on everyone having a very similar sense of morality and upholding those morals consistently. We know that isn’t the case.

A lot of people in the public have a bit of a skewed vision of the conservative, right-wing party. This is because there are a lot of Libertarians out there who are riding around as conservative Republicans. Republicans don’t want to eliminate the government, they just want to slim it down and narrow the scope of responsibility. And how is that a bad thing? How can it be so terrible to say the government is going to fiddle around with your business less, and as a result, need less money out of your paycheck? That all seems to make a lot of sense to me — but then again, I feel that most people should be responsible enough to take care of themselves — and thus enter the liberal agenda. While I am not saying liberals are cracked out and have no idea what they are talking about – I do give their views credence – BUT – I disagree with the liberal platform on a number of issues. That stuff will come later.

So… that’s all for now – thanks for reading, and please – leave me some feedback!