Monday, April 23, 2012

My Problem With Libertarians

I'm a conservative. You can even see that from my blog description. What you don't see in that little blurb is that I am a firm believer in Reagan's three-legged stool: free enterprise, strong national defense, and pro-family social policy. These three "legs" represent three factions of the Republican party: The fiscal conservatives, the war hawks, and the social conservatives. I'm somewhat of a minority in that I belong to all three groups. However, the GOP tent is usually big enough to accommodate all three factions comfortably.

Until recently, when the Libertarians started telling the war hawks and the social conservatives to shut up.

Now, I often mentally make a distinction between the two types of libertarians, so let me clarify. Small-l libertarians are the ones I usually get along with. They tend to believe in libertarian principles, but are content to let people live their own lives and decide things for themselves. I can get along with these libertarians because we can work together on fiscal issues. Big-L Libertarians, however, are the ones I have a problem with. They believe in libertarian principles, except the one about letting people live their own lives. They constantly try to convert people to libertarianism and disparage "so-cons" (social conservatives) as out-of-touch and war hawks as bloodthirsty idiots. I have a hard time working with them on our common ground of fiscal conservatism because they're too busy screaming insults at me.

I have a message for you Libertarians: I am not a libertarian, and never will be! In your quest for "tolerance," telling people to shut up because you don't like their views is not only a step down the wrong path, it also doesn't win you any converts. I am a "so-con," and proud of it. I also believe that our military is here to kill people and break stuff. You are essentially demanding that I give up most of my political identity. This is America, and I am allowed to not only have my own political beliefs, but express them as well.

As for the movement to do away with any stance on morality to get votes, let me tell you a story:

After Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, much of the GOP establishment had given up. They were convinced that the country was pro-choice (like they were), and that to get votes in the future, the GOP would have to embrace abortion.

My grandfather disagreed.

He fought tooth and nail along with other pro-lifers to get the pro-life plank in the party platform at a time when it seemed impossible. And he kept pushing the pro-life cause to the end of his days, talking about what a wonderful pro-life example people like Sarah Palin were to me as his own health failed.

My grandfather ultimately won. Through the efforts of the reborn GOP, the legal pendulum has started swinging back to restricting abortion. Pro-life identification is high for a number of reasons, but the main reason is the legacy that people like him left behind. A legacy of not giving in to the idea that we should embrace "social progress" for votes. A legacy of fighting for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is popular is not always right, and I'll take my chances on being unpopular rather than giving up what I believe in: True conservatism.