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Libertarians, Conservatives, and Ann Coulter

Posted By John Glaser On February 22, 2013 @ 5:10 pm In News | Comments Disabled

I was going to resist posting this aggravating video-gone-viral today, but I’ve decided to spread the aggravation around. If I got stuck hearing Ann Coulter speak as if she knows about libertarians and war, then you must too.

John Stossel hosts a show once a year at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, DC. This year he brought on Ann Coulter to, I guess, demonstrate the difference between conservatives and libertarians.

Any human being who starts off a conversation declaring “I’m for Iraq,” has lost all credibility among the rest of us with brains. So, leave aside the ignorant poison she tries to pass off as a point of view.

The video is better for ridicule than for engaging in substantively. But Coulter did, as I presume Stossel intended, crystallize what distinguishes conservatives in general from libertarians (in general). Conservatives perceive other governments and forces as the greatest threat to Americans’ liberty and security, whereas I believe that my own government is the greatest threat to my personal liberty and security.

The establishment left does have an inordinate level of faith and confidence in their own government to regulate markets and organize social programs for the good of the whole. Coulter seems to think so too (although I doubt she’d consider the ubiquitous corporate welfare the wrong kind of government intervention). But people like Coulter are guilty of the same inordinate faith in the realm of foreign policy. The state is equally incompetent, dishonest, and nefarious in that realm as it is in the first one. Most conservatives (with notable exceptions [1]) can’t see that.

Read Nick Gillespie [2] for more on the libertarian reaction to Coulter.

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[1] notable exceptions: http://www.theamericanconservative.com

[2] Read Nick Gillespie: http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/22/ann-coulter-libertarians-are-pussies

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