Is a Conservative Libertarian Alliance Possible?

In a recent column on American Greatness entitled “The Choice Facing Libertarians,” I argued that libertarians ought to stop supporting third-party candidates and join our side in an effort to stand up to the Left. In response, writing for Reason, this was the substance of libertarian author Steven Greenhut’s rebuttal. He claimed that while conservatives and libertarians have been allies on many issues in the past, “now we’re like residents of different planets.”

Maybe. A lot of the issues that joined conservatives and libertarians in the past have not gone away. As Greenhut acknowledged, during the Cold War, conservatives and libertarians agreed on the dangers of Soviet expansionism. They differed on how much that justified empowering the American security agencies. They agreed to fight progressive assaults on property rights, but disagreed on some major details, such as making asset forfeiture a tool in the war on drugs.

How much has changed? Where there was the Soviet Union, now there is China. Where there was cocaine and crack, how there’s methamphetamine and fentanyl. These problems, which Greenhut cites as examples, are bigger threats today than they were a generation ago.

It is impossible to explore the growing rift between populist conservatives and libertarians without discussing Trump’s role. Are libertarians, like Never Trumpers, putting Trump’s rhetoric and style in front of his policies? Have they examined Trump’s policies in their entirety, or selectively chosen what they see as his major transgressions because they don’t like him? To explore that question, […] Read More

Conservative Victory Requires Overcoming Popular Fantasies

It will take more than a disastrous performance by Joe Biden for conservatives to win back control of the house and senate in 2022, and retake the presidency in 2024. For conservatives to get their country back, they will have to build a coalition that brings together Never Trumpers, libertarians, social conservatives, economic nationalists, and millions of independents and moderate democrats.

Defining an agenda that ought to appeal to all of these groups is actually the easier part. It just requires courage combined with tact. Reject, with Reaganesque grace rather than Trumpian bluster, all the nihilistic absurdities of leftist democrats. Reject them categorically. For example:

We will not enforce quotas based on race or gender. Anywhere. We will not tolerate curricula that teaches K-12 students that America is inherently oppressive. We will take back our city streets and, if necessary, conscript homeless, willfully unemployed, able-bodied substance abusers into a national service. We will control our borders and protect American jobs. We will have realistic energy policies that embrace an all-of-the-above strategy, recognizing that fossil fuel and nuclear power are essential to our economic health.

These pivotal issues involve the twin pillars of leftist thought: Fighting oppression and fighting climate change. They are both tools to cause further centralization of wealth and power, they are both massive exaggerations of facts, and both exploit primal emotions; envy, resentment, fear. The challenge for conservatives is to unite to expose identity politics and extreme environmentalism as frauds, and replace them with common sense.

[…] Read More