The term in the headline is coined by Tim Nerenz:
It is no surprise that a full third of the American electorate now self-identifies as independent. The conventional wisdom holds that we independents can’t decide if we are liberal or conservative and end up stuck somewhere in the middle. …
It is fitting that mixing red and blue produces the color of a bruise. A quarter century of pandering politicians “moving to the middle” has delivered to us the worst of both worlds – a permanent welfare/warfare state that is bankrupting us both economically and morally.
However, there is a different and more important middle; and that is the space between conservative and libertarian on the continuum. Let’s call it conservatarian. Many thousands of readers of this column aren’t certain if they are conservative libertarians or libertarian-leaning conservatives. This conservatarian middle is what wins elections these days – need convincing?
Conservatarian is the space claimed by the Tea Party that sent a record number of reformers to Washington, D.C. and state capitols around the nation in 2010.
Conservatarian is the gravitational pull that compelled even establishment RINO’s to vote to audit the Federal Reserve.
Conservatarian is the energy that made Ron Paul the last man standing against Romney when all the others fell by the wayside.
Conservatarians are the reason Wisconsin’s Governor is named Walker.
Some people can’t see past the things that divide libertarians and conservatives; and there are indeed enough to warrant the two different nameplates. But I prefer to focus on the things that unite us, because when we are united we win elections.
And when we win elections we at least give ourselves a chance to restore liberty as our nation’s first principle instead of just writing about how nice it would be to live free again someday.
Polling has shown that Americans, by a 2:1 margin, want less government, not more. Less government is the bedrock conservatarian ideal – we are the 2 and liberals are the 1. While libertarians and conservatives may differ about how much less, we both want a whole lot less of the stuff than we have now.
Free trade, individual liberty, sound money, school choice, lower taxes, a fairer tax system, family sovereignty, gun rights, religious freedom, Constitutionally limited government, tenth amendment, property rights – conservatarians are united in support of these things.
The welfare state, warrantless seizure, world government, crony corporatism, nationalized industry, nanny-statism, vote-rigging, corruption, excessive regulation, sovereign debt, central banking, “nation-building”, bailouts, TSA, and forced unionization – conservatarians are united in opposition to these things.
President Ronald Reagan ran twice as a conservatarian, extolling the virtues of freedom and American exceptionalism while railing against government. He did not hide his libertarian leanings when appealing to conservatives, and he did not disguise his conservative values when appealing to libertarians. You may recall that he pummeled the liberal establishment…twice. …
Every election brings up the specter of the 3rd party “spoiler”. Listen, if every single conservatarian – conservative, libertarian, and “tweener” – goes out and votes their conscience, then President Obama will be crushed.
Whether it is 70-30 or 60-30-10 does not change the mandate. In fact, a strong Libertarian Party showing across the country would help keep the shallow-rudder GOP from drifting once they get back in power.So what about you? Can’t decide if you are a libertarian conservative or a conservative libertarian? Don’t worry – just call yourself a conservatarian and let the political parties join you.
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