Compare and Contrast: Conservatives and Libertarians

Ever wondered what the major differences are between conservatives and libertarians?

I have.

I asked a friend what he thought the differences between the two are and he said “libertarians believe in the Constitution and freedom as in limited or no government involvement outside of its constitutional authority.”

I said, “so do conservatives.”

So we thought some more.  And with a snap of his fingers, he exclaimed, “abortion!”  Libertarians don’t give a shit if a woman has an abortion and believe the government should stay out of it.”

Trying to stay on track, I left that to the side.  I had limited time with my friend and the last thing I wanted was to get into a debate on abortion … but I planned on getting back to it.  My goal was to determine the major sticking points and from there find a way to ban together.  What I did say was, “yes, ok, definitely a difference there but as far as I can tell, there aren’t too many conservatives running on a platform of repealing abortion laws.  It seems the left and the media always want to ‘expose’ a particular candidate’s pro-life stance, but that is secondary to what policy changes they want to make.”

So, conservatives, listen up!  Shape your message better and don’t let the media and leftists shape the conversation.

Ok, back to the convo.  “Anything else?” I asked.

Jeopardy music played for a few second then, WHAMMO, another snap of his fingers, “Religion!” he blurted triumphantly.

“Yeah?” I questioned. “What about it?”

“Well, Conservatives let religious beliefs guide their policies while libertarians want to keep it out of the public forum, separation of Church and State as the Constitution says.”

Not sure what to address first, I tackled one correction by informing my well-intentioned but uninformed friend that “there is no reference in the Constitution to separation of church and state … as in none … got that?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, look it up but not now,” I said as he reached for his phone.  “We need to keep going.  I only have a few minutes.”

“Ok,” he said.  “Regardless, libertarians see no place for religion in policy making.”

“Hmm,” I pondered.  “So, libertarians believe in stealing?”

“Well, no …”

“Oh, ok, so they believe in murder?”

“Uh, no, I didn’t—”

“Uh, hold on,” I interrupted.  “Libertarians think children should dishonor their parents or covet others hard-earned money or achievements?”

“Of course not, but the government …”

“I agree, the government has nothing to do with that last one although it seems the left is consumed with coveting what the rich have and redistributing it.  Wouldn’t you agree?

“Ah yeah,” he said.

“Anything else about religion? I mean, like it or not, Judeo-Christian values have guided Western Civilization for thousands of years.”

“I got it,” he said.  “It’s just that libertarians want to make sure religious zealots do not impose their views on the people.”

“I agree,” I said.  “And guess what?”


“Conservatives agree and strongly believe in what the Constitution DOES say about religion, which provides freedom of religion but NOT freedom from religion.”

He sat on that for a second, wheels turning … then …

“WAR!” He exclaimed victoriously.  “Libertarians see no need to spend billions of dollars to fight other countries’ wars for them.”

“Ok,” I said nodding my head.  “There is a possible difference there.  Conservatives see it as our duty to rid the world of fascists and dictators thereby spreading liberty and democracy throughout the world because they believe if all societies have this freedom, we will all be better off.”

“Yeah, but we have our own problems at home and libertarians want to stay focused on that.”

“I think conservatives would agree,” I said.  “but think about it from another perspective.”

“Ok,” he said.  “Like what?”

“Say you lived in a country ruled by a dictator who decided all libertarians should be shot, or all Jews, or all Christians.  Wouldn’t you hope the world’s super power would get involved instead of sitting back, cracking a beer on its sofa and saying ‘eh, not my problem’?”

He pondered. I looked at the clock on the wall and I was now ten minutes late.  Damn, I thought.  Good conversations always get rushed, but I had to go.  I gave my friend a high five and said “gotta go, let’s continue this later.  Ok?”

“Yeah, definitely,” he said.

As I walked to my car, I thought, is that it?  Abortion, war,  and  Religion?  Those are the differences?

Seems to me we can find common ground on all of those and build from the MAJOR similarities or similarity, which is a firm belief in the Constitution and Liberty as provided by our Founding Document and Fathers.  I concluded that we need to form a united front and take back our country from the ruling class!



2 thoughts on “Compare and Contrast: Conservatives and Libertarians

  1. Interesting post. I’m a pessimistic libertarian myself – leaning toward a kind of anarchism though lately.

    Something you hit on was the issue of religion in policy making which I always find to be somewhat of a misunderstood issue. If the left in particular is honest with themselves, ALL laws are someone’s worldview – religious or not – enforced on the general public. Every single law has a moral and ethical reason behind it.

    The question I then ask those who always pull the “separation of church and state” card out of their backpockets is why being “religious” immediately means one’s worldview shouldn’t affect their politics and/or law making process while any other non-spiritual/ non religious worldviews affecting legislation are somehow perfectly acceptable. That’s some doublespeak in terms of consistent thinking right there.

    Everything has a core philosophy behind it, but people usually deliberately overlook that when they don’t like someone’s POV.

    There are two other differences I can think of between libertarians and conservatives:

    1. Drugs. Even liberals aren’t consistent on this one. It’s your body when it comes to reproductive rights, but that suddenly doesn’t apply if you want to do coke in your basement. (Either all or nothing in terms of legalization.

    2. Cops. Conservatives I noticed tend to be very supportive of law enforcement. Interestingly enough liberals are very critical of the police state, but there is a catch. They directly ensure the power and continued police abuse by their absolute devotion to making sure that the police unions remain so damn powerful that nothing can be done to seek justice and actual investigation. (Another reason I have problems with public unions.)

    I’m with conservatives on issues like small government, second amendment rights (In fact I oppose any kind of registration for any reason.) welfare, ect.

    Pessimism has overtaken me though. I read an interesting book with the conclusion that the US will implode, something I’ve also been thinking about. (We can’t continue to have more people mooching than working without an implosion.)

    Liberals have made it so damn hard to start and own your own business, that there is no point. Why bother to work hard when the government can take so much of you money through both direct and indirect taxes? I recently had to sign up for healthcare, but I’m going to get vengeance back on the government and I’ve already signed up for medicaid and foodstamps. In fact literally has numerous programs you can quality for.

    I’m literally to the point where I think everything is too far gone. If Rand Paul wins the GOP nomination, I will vote for him though. 🙂

    • Great comment/comments. That book you sent a link to looks great. I am going to get it. I try not to get sucked into the “we are too far gone” line of thinking, BUT I can’t help but believe we ARE too far gone.

      So many good points here! Thank you for sharing and looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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