Where Libertarianism and Conservatism Collide


Conservatives like to think of themselves as Libertarians. They’re all about freedom and not having government tell people what to do.

So they claim.

But gay marriage and polygamy are perfect examples of where they don’t actually believe that. If they were Libertarians they wouldn’t be in favor of laws that make gay marriage illegal. They would be all for it because it’s a matter of personal choice. Same for polygamy.

Oh, and I guess that would apply to drug use as well, wouldn’t it?

Actually, it would apply to most things that progressives think are ok that conservatives do not, despite the conservatives being “Libertarian” types who think the government should be out of your business. Basically, they think that it’s wrong for the government to tell you to do things, except for all the things they don’t want you to do.


If I have to obey laws from a government or from a church (anarchy doesn’t seem to be an option here), I’d pick government any day. Why? Because when it’s working properly, government is actually us. It’s the people making the rules that have to be followed by the people. And we can change laws we don’t like, with the gay marriage law being a case in point.

With the conservative model, gays can’t marry because a book written 2,000 years ago says they can’t. And it’s unalterable and non-negotiable because it came from the creator of the universe. So religion is just as controlling as government is, but it’s less alterable and more subject to interpretation.

Great combo.

So if you’re an actual Libertarian then I expect to hear that you embrace gay marriage, polygamy, and recreational drug use. If you don’t, and you happen to have strong biblical views on what should and should not be allowed, and you resist any effort to change those laws, then you’re not a Libertarian—you’re a hypocrite.


  1. Art by Chris Hayes.

  2. There are also many conservatives that don’t claim to be Libertarians.

Related posts: