Libertarian and Conservative
By John Silveira
Backwoods Home Magazine
I cringe when I hear libertarians lumped with conservatives — or at least today’s conservatives. Liberals want you to view us as conservatives so you won’t look any closer to see how and why we are different. Neoconservative Republicans want you to see us as one of them so you’ll think we’re on their side. We’re not.
The differences are many, but I’ll list just a few. First, with the neoconservatives in charge we have seen an increase in government spending and the national debt, an expansion of entitlements, more foreign meddling, more military adventurism, and with the PATRIOT Act, the diminishment of most of our Natural or God-given Rights. None of these are libertarian sentiments.
Unlike many conservatives, libertarians are not looking misty-eyed at the 19th century as some kind of “paradise lost.” We don’t dwell on the past; we’re trying to make a freer future. Most libertarians realize the country has never been truly “free.” Our government started right out working against our freedoms with things like the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams. Until 1865, we had slavery. Women were also treated as second-class citizens. And the Indians? We were killing and throwing them into what were the concentration camps of their day — reservations.