I was having a chat with an old acquaintance recently, who kinda took me aback when he claimed to be a libertarian. I asked him what made him a libertarian. He told me he doesn’t like so-called conservatives with “progressive” views like Newt Gingrich (National Review conservatives agree), that he’s against the drug war (so are National Reviewers), and while he agrees with conservatives that while government is in the marriage business it shouldn’t “redefine” the term…he also thinks government shouldn’t be in the marriage business (which is indeed a more libertarian position, but I don’t think this idea – which right now IMHO has no chance of being implemented as all LGBT equality is coming through marriage equality measures – alone makes my friend a libertarian).
So I think he’s a conservative. Moreover, I’ve met more than one conservative who claims to be a libertarian because they either are for marriage privatization or are (horror of horrors) for marriage equality. I say they’re conservative because they have traditional values, they’re religious, and can’t think of anything else they differ from conservatives on. One of them who used to pull the “I’m not a conservative but” shtick with me has in several conversations let slip that he’s a conservative (“We should start a website, call it Liber[al]-[Conserv]Ative, you and me arguing,”).
So my question is, why do people who can’t be differentiated from conservative opinion-leaders on any other issue or even in temperament claim to be libertarian?