Skip to comments.What's a conservatarian?
Posted on 10/24/2007 8:11:42 AM PDT by Josh Painter
Ive seen several others use the term, but I'm not quite sure that it has the same meaning for them that it holds for me. In my case, at least, a conservatarian is a mainstream conservative in the Goldwater/Reagan tradition who subscribes to the fiscal and modern federalist principles of the libertarian philosophy.
Why not just refer to myself as a conservative?
I don't believe that's possible in the 21st Century. The ink on the conservative label has been smudged by too much abuse of the term. There are people who call themselves "conservatives" these days who leave me scratching my head.
Take neoconservatives (please, as Henny Youngman taught us to say). They favor lower taxes, but aren't much interested in fighting for the sort of cuts in spending which make tax cuts most effective. Sorry, but no political philosophy which fails to enthusiastically advocate less spending by government deserves to be called any kind of "conservatism."
Although many of the first neocons were former liberals who had been mugged by the shock of just how far out there their radical liberal bretheren had become, they still hold to many of their liberal beliefs. The fact that they favor "welfare lite" over welfare doesn't qualify them to call themselves conservatives.
Neoconservatives can't quite rid themselves of their admiration for Roosevelt and his New Dealism, and they have never embraced limited government and the originalist view of the U.S. Constitution. Though neocons are strongly opposed to communism, they still blindly trod the path toward socialism.
I see little difference between neoconservatives and those who consider themselves to be "compassionate conservatives." Both see government is the ideal vehicle to use for social engineering. Their justification that they are doing so to achieve conservative results only serves as a reminder to the more thoughtful that the ends can't justify such anti-conservative means.
Why am I not a libertarian?
While I share libertarian thinking on most economic and small-government matters, I can't accept their position on many social issues. The libertarian take on drugs is just one example. While I think medicinal marijuana has great potential for mitigating the suffering of cancer patients, which I favor, it has even greater potential for abuse by those who just want to get high, something I do not favor.
I also can't buy into libertarian acceptance of free and open immigration. Again, there's that pesky "potential for abuse" thing which requires us to carefully regulate our borders. We are a nation at war with Islamofacists, whether we recognize it or not, and we're also a nation of laws. Even if the libertarian doesn't see illegal immigration for the security issue that it clearly is, we have established, legal procedures for proper immigration to the United States, and they must be followed to the letter.
I part company with libertarians on abortion. Government is forced to get involved in the matter because life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must not be denied. Like most matters not involving national security, I believe the proper purview for regulating abortion, however, is found at the state level.
Why not simply describe myself as a modern federalist? Perhaps "modern federalism" is a better appellation for my way of thinking, but the federalist label leads to confusion. The original small-government conservatives were actually called "Anti-Federalists" because Madison, Jefferson and their like-minded colleagues opposed the "Federalist" thinking of Hamilton and his disciples who argued for a stronger central government. In later years, the "Anti-" qualifier was dropped, and "Federalism" became the name of the "Anti-Federalist" philosophy. "Modern Federalism" was tried as a title to clear up the confusion, but it never caught on. I've just never been comfortable with any term which has the opposite meaning of its original usage. It's so much easier just to say, "I'm a conservatarian."
A conservative that doesn’t eat meat?
I think that is a “Vegan Conservative,” LOL.
I’m more than happy to just call myself a “Goldwater conservative”. Not only does it clearly convey my philosophies and positions, it pays homage to the best President we never had.
A libertarian conservative or a conservative libertarian, sort of in between the two. A fusionist, to use older conservative movement terms. See Frank Meyer, In Defense of Freedom.
I want a label!
(here it comes)
The word Conservative requires no adjective or modifier like “neo”, “social”, “fiscal” or otherwise.
A Conservative is a Conservative. By adding any special condition to limit its meaning simply plays to the hand of Liberals who seek to divide those who understand common sense right and wrong.
However, I'm NOT to be confused with a hamasexual.
If what I just wrote made you sad or angry,
it was probably just a joke.
"However, I'm NOT to be confused with a hamasexual."
Stopped screwing pigs, have you....
I fit this label pretty well also.
>> A conservative that doesnt eat meat?
That’s a B12-deficient-conservative ... also known as a conservative with steak-envy.
I see no reason that the author shouldn’t simply call himself a conservative. He’s come up with an entirely unnecessary new label - conservatarian - with the exact same definition as “conservative”.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.