Conservatism Vs. Libertarianism

We Shouldn't Fuse Conservatism And Libertarianism, The Differences Matter, Especially To Me

Just because two groups share the same ideas doesn't mean that they belong to the same classification.


In this age of political discourse, you might have heard that both conservative and libertarian voices are being censored. What most people don't know is that conservatism and libertarianism are often conflated with far-right ideologies that promote division among others, but this actually isn't the case.

Both ideologies promote the ideas of individuality, the free market, and limited government interference. Even though both ideologies advocate for the same beliefs, the terms are not interchangeable. Conservatism is defined as the commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation and the holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.

Libertarianism is defined as an extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens. Topics such as national security, drugs, and immigration are where conservatives and libertarians ideas often butt heads. Despite the ideologies having their similarities, both conservatism and libertarianism harbor different worldviews.

A debate conducted by the CATO Institute and the Heritage Foundation conducted a poll among the attendees to see where they align when it comes to the differing ideologies. The top three topics that conservatives are the most concerned about are abortion (41%), foreign policy (35%), and free speech (34%). For libertarians, the top three topics of concern are free speech (47%), government spending (37%), and regulation (28%).

From what it looks like, both conservatives and libertarians are passionate about preserving the natural human right to express their views without the risk of being censored and share the top priorities when it comes to immigration (24% vs. 20%), the welfare state (14% vs. 16%), and taxes (25% vs. 24%).

When it comes to topics like foreign policy, pronoun usage, and combating the opioid crisis, things start to contrast. 82% of American conservatives believe that U.S. foreign policy has brought peace and stability throughout the globe while 86% of libertarians say that U.S. foreign policy brought more instability and chaos.

When it comes to using a person's preferred pronoun, 75% of libertarians will use a person's preferred pronouns while 73% of conservatives will use the pronoun that corresponds to the person's biological sex. This comes from the fact the 52% of conservatives believe that society shouldn't do more for the LGBT community being accepted with 20% having no opinion, and 27% saying that society has to do more. On the contrary, 55% of libertarians believe that society should do more for LGBT people being accepted into society while 24% didn't hold an opinion, and 22% disagreed.

When it comes to the current opioid crisis, 71% of conservatives want more government involvement to counteract the addiction of prescription painkillers while 14% don't want the government to combat the problem with the same percentage neither agreeing or disagreeing with the statement. On the other hand, 59% of libertarians believe that the government shouldn't be involved with combating of the drug crisis with 25% saying that the government should do something and 15% preferring neither option.

The most immense difference between these political ideologies is their opinion on the Commander-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump. 91% of conservatives approve of President Trump's handling of the country with 9% disapproving of his job. On the contrary, 69% of libertarians disapprove of Trump's handling of the country while 31% approve. This is very telling, displaying the political differences between the two ideologies and that they're not exactly identical.

Where do I fit into this? Personally, I tend to take things from both ideologies, with the conservative ideas of preserving tradition combined with the libertarian ideas of minimal government intervention. There are some things that I disagree with when it comes to both ideologies, with a majority of conservatives believing that you need to raised with religion in order to be a good person — but the truth is, you don't need religion in order to righteous — and a majority of libertarians opposing the idea of building a large border across the U.S.-Mexican border when in reality, we need to protect our country from potential threats.

Both of the ideologies want the best for the United States, but how they determine and execute their beliefs is quite different. We shouldn't fuse the conservative and libertarian ideologies as far-right because you're stepping into dangerous territory when you just assume a person's political ideology without getting to know them. You don't know how that person was raised and their beliefs might be like yours but with a little variation. Just because two groups share the same ideas doesn't mean that they belong to the same classification.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.


Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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