Libertarians, Conservatives, Cats, and Dogs

Nick Gillespie, the editor of the libertarian mag Reason has another takedown of Jonah Goldberg’s column on libertarianism. Neither Goldberg nor Gillespie really get each other’s ideology. Conservatives don’t want to enact a Taliban-like theocracy, they just want to reach back to the values of our Founding Fathers. Goldberg even makes that very same point by quoting Hayek. An American traditionalist is reaching for inherently democratic traditions, as opposed to an Arab traditionalist.

Nor are libertarians the free-for-all cultural relativists that Goldberg asserts they are. Libertarians tend to believe that society should be based on a rational order, and are perfectly willing to condemn groups like the Taliban. (In fact, Leonard Peikoff was on FOXNews a while back arguing we should nuke Afghani refugees.) Libertarians don’t really believe in nothing – they do have a bedrock of prinicipals. They may not be the right principals, but they exist nevertheless.

The fact is, both conservatives and libertarians want less government, fundamentally agree on economic issues, and only really diverge on a handful of social issues. This demonizing of the other side only detracts from getting common goals together. Both sides need to realize that there are elements of each that should be heeded, less we allow the Right to Balkanize as the Left has recently done.