Lately, I’ve sensed an undercurrent in the blogosphere, a small rift between a few well reasoned bloggers trading barbs pertaining to the “isms” of Conservative and Libertarian. While I don’t presume to know the minds of said thinkers, I will offer a quick thought on the topic. Perhaps someone fresh into the fray can offer a new perspective or a reminder as to a common goal.

In describing methods of rule or governance, some scholars have done so pictorially, using a line with anarchy on one end and tyranny on the other. They go on to break the line into levels of governance, such as monarchy, theocracy, democracy, communism, socialism etc., as they reside on the line of how much or how little government and what type it is. A friend once told me, when we were discussing the difference between Conservative and Libertarian thought, that he sees his role as a Libertarian as to pull for the least possible government in order to balance the extreme left’s argument for the most government. This, in my thinking, would place Conservatives just to the left of Libertarians on that line, but at least standing side by side.

This is the tug of war we find ourselves in, with many factions of thought hanging on to the same rope, each of them tugging with differing amount of force. It has always been the case to some extent. Hamilton and Jefferson were at odds over the allowable reach of Federal government, arguing some of the same points we wrangle with today. Jefferson and Adams also, close friends as they were, found themselves divided in the middle of their lives over their basic beliefs, at last to reach a sketchy reconciliation in their later years through a famous series of letters.

All this is to say that it would be a shame for such a fissure to develop between the Libertarian and Conservative camps at this moment in time. The way I see it, if you and I are holding the same rope, and we are pulling in the same direction against an opponent, there is no intelligent way for me to justify turning around to face you and begin pulling the other way. To do so only helps our common enemy.

  • innominatus June 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Agreed. Let’s patch the holes in the sinking ship before we argue about who gets to be captain.

  • Gorges Smythe June 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Several years ago, I came up with the idea that politics should be graphed on a circle, not a straight line. My reasoning was that after you progressed too far in one direction, it seemed like you actually began to resemble your opposition. Just a thought.

    As for conservatives and libertarians fussing, that’s because they most closely resemble republicans as opposed to democrats. Democrats can’t handle losing, while republicans can’t seem to handle winning. One of life’s little ironies, I guess.

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  • Jeffrey Ellis June 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Nicely put, robot. Let’s pull on the rope together so hard we yank the assholes off their feet.

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Yep, right into the mud pit they came from.

  • Matt June 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Well said Robot. I like to look at it as the Libertarians can be the “conscience” of the movement. Any movement, no matter how well intended, can descend into tyranny, including Conservatives. Libertarians can serve as a “reality check” in that area. The founders repeatedly warned to NEVER trust government, that includes us as well. I like Mr. Smythe’s analogy, as I think we are on a similar theme.

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      Yep, Gorges is a wise curmudgeon. Gotta watch them curmudgeons. :)

  • theCL June 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Lately, I’ve sensed an undercurrent in the blogosphere, a small rift between a few well reasoned bloggers trading barbs pertaining to the “isms” of Conservative and Libertarian.

    As vital as fusion is, I’ve come to realize the rift between conservatives and libertarians today is huge. But then again, there’s a huge rift between Taft/Goldwater conservatism and Bush-era conservatism too. The rift is over power, authority and the use of force. Modern conservatives have said “down with Locke, up with Hobbes,” which has created an irreconcilable difference.

    What’s the answer to it all? I don’t have a clue.

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      CL, you always get me to thinking deeper and wanting to read more. Thanks for that. I’m sorry to say I haven’t read Locke or Hobbes. Except Locke in as much as I’ve read the founders’ interpretation. Now I’ve got more homework to do :) Either way, I think it’s important to make sure we don’t confuse Conservative with Republican. I certainly don’t. Taft/Goldwater was before my time but from what I’ve gleaned, I like that brand of C better than what we have today. Bush I & II, Clinton and Carter, were all from a Progressive mindset. Some more than others and none nearly as much as the Dem’s in power now. L’s and C’s might disagree as to where the line between government and the individual should be drawn, but at least they agree there is a line of separation and that rights are granted from God and not from Government. To me, that is the common ground to build on.

  • 5etester June 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

    The argument is always that divided votes loses elections.However,compromising on principle is a hallmark of the left.Holding firm to our foundational bedrock is what sets us apart.To do otherwise is ‘the ends justify the means’,is it not?I think we need to keep the fight focused on why the ideology of the left is wrong rather than wasting time trying to decide who has the better grip on the same rope.

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      “…keep the fight focused on why the ideology of the left is wrong rather than wasting time trying to decide who has the better grip on the same rope.” I’m in agreement with you 5e. That was my hope with this post to hopefully put off the argument until after the war is won. I’m afraid some are busy staking claims to territory already ceded and have yet to retake, to use a really bad metaphor.

      • theCL June 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

        I don’t know … Maybe we need more honesty and less unity. See the Tea Parties for example. They’re not a unified front, but highly effective in ways beneficial to limited government advocates in general.

        P.S. – I’m working on a post about Locke and Hobbes. I’ll send it your way when I’m done.

        • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm

          I don’t see that about the TEA Parties at all. I see a bunch of people who may have differing ideas about specifics getting together and forging ahead with a common goal. They have found a common enemy and are fighting it. It’s the essence of America, really. A beautiful thing to see. We are living in a time of resurgence of political thought unlike any I can recall in my young 47 yrs. Now is the time to capitalize on that curiosity. Arguing a philosophy is one thing, but I’ve seen both sides overstate issues to make their point of view seem more justified, and dishonesty, even a mischaracterization, can be taken as an afront.
          Bottom line is, I see two sides I have a ton of respect for going at it needlessly and I had to say something about it. The battle is out there, not in here.

          That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

        • Bob Belvedere June 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm

          The TEA Parties are doing exactly what I’m advocating!

          • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm

            Where’s my “like” button? Hell, for that matter, where is my LOVE button? lol Shut up.

            • theCL June 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

              What I was trying to say is that they aren’t focused on getting along, they’re focused on getting things done as individual groups. You can be productive without agreeing to a singular platform. The Tea Parties aren’t team orientated either, as in “we’re Republicans.” The Tea Party movement is also very libertarian in nature and conservatives love it!

              Hobbes v. Locke


  • FellowAmerican June 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Great article MNR. If we were to work together we could easily restore our countries freedom. Isn’t that what both groups are striving for?
    This article reminded me of…

    1 Corinthians 12:20-26
    20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

    If we remember that we each have purpose, individually, and work together as one, we will strengthen each other’s objective and overcome our enemies together.

  • […] If We Allow A Rift 09 June 2010 @ 11:11 by bobbelvedere The Mind Numbed Robot is shouting ‘Danger, danger, Will Robinson!’ with those of us on the Right play the […]

  • Bob Belvedere June 9, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Bravo! Well said.

  • Bunni June 9, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Well said Robot. We all need to pull together to rid America
    of these statists. Then, we can sort it out and split hairs as
    to who is more right.

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks Bunni. Hey, how would you like to run for VP? We could change your first name to Easter. :)

  • Fuzzy June 9, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Agreed, we do need to pull together to get rid of progressives, and I’m up for that. (um, that doesn’t mean I have support Ron Paul for president, right? heh)

    • mnrobot June 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      Fuzzy’s in da house! Howdy!
      To tell you the truth Fuzzy, at this moment in time, I’d vote for Ron Paul and the Easter Bunni. It would be a damn sight better than what we have now and if the Republicans nominate him, he’ll get my backing. But that’s a question for 2012. Let’s concentrate on 2010 and then see who we can promote for a Presidential run. That being said, I’ve been liking Paul Ryan but he doesn’t seem to want it, which makes me like him that much more.

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  • Reaganite Republican June 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Great post ‘Bot- everyone on the Right should read this

    Linked today at Reaganite Republican-

    Have a great weekend

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