Libertarians and Conservatives: Can They Work Together?


by: Anna Maria Hoffman: 

Not too long ago, we received a great question from one of our readers named Thomas. His question addresses the different factions in the GOP and the importance of uniting on principle to achieve victory this year and in 2016.

I firmly believe that the many different factions on the right side of politics (libertarians, tea party, and the “established” GOP) must unite if we want to win not only in 2014, but 2016 as well. For me, I consider myself an old Reaganite and firmly believe in his 80/20 rule for our success. You can see a glimpse of this rule in his call to unite the party in his 1976 Republican National Convention Speech. What else would you say could be instrumental in uniting the party?
The party will be united if libertarians and conservatives work together instead of alienating each other on key issues. Libertarians should realize that many socially conservative people are against big government; thus, they should not tell them to be quiet on pro-family and pro-life issues. They should understand that socially conservative issues, especially marriage and the natural family unit, are rooted in small government. In addition, libertarians should stand against the abortion and “marriage equality” movements, because they champion big government. They should stand against taxpayer funding for abortion and the “marriage equality” movement’s trampling of states’ rights and bullying of businesses which hold traditional values.

In addition, people who care most about socially conservative issues should not alienate libertarians on fiscal issues and should understand that government funding of certain social issues, like abstinence education, is contrary to the small government core of social conservatism. Moreover, if libertarians want to be more influential in the movement, they should put aside issues like drug decriminalization and instead focus on reducing the size and scope of government. There’s nothing wrong with them championing common sense reforms like reforming mandatory minimum laws for nonviolent drug crimes. However, if they want to win more people over to their cause and be more influential, they should prioritize welfare reform over drug decriminalization.
In regards to the GOP establishment, let’s be honest. They are the biggest problem in our movement, because they say they are for limited government, but don’t mind another tax hike and are tolerant of crony capitalism. Also, they talk about being pro-life (and sometimes being pro-family) only when it’s convenient. They generally bring up those issues during elections just to secure votes from the socially conservative voting block. Essentially, the GOP establishment is a foe to conservatives and libertarians, but there are few members of it who are sympathetic to our causes. We can’t discount those people.

This blog post was originally published: on: Counter Cultured’s “Ask CC”: column. Ask us your question today!

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