Just look at where libertarianism has had its greatest impact: economics. There simply isn’t a conservative economics that is distinct from a libertarian one. Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, James M. Buchanan & Co. are gods of the libertarian and conservative pantheons alike. When Pat Buchanan wanted to move America towards protectionism and statism, he had to leave the party to do it.
Libertarian and conservative critiques of Obamacare, the stimulus, and other Democratic policies are indistinguishable from one another. On trade, taxes, property rights, energy, the environment, intellectual property, and other issues, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you the difference, if any, between the conservative and libertarian positions.
On the Constitution, there are some interesting debates, but both factions are united in rejecting a “living Constitution.” The debate on the right is over what the Constitution says, not what liberals think it should say.
When Jim DeMint resigned from the Senate, the pro-life libertarian journalist Timothy Carney wrote for the Washington Examiner, “For libertarians, Christian conservative pro-lifer Jim DeMint was the best thing to come through the Senate in decades.” DeMint had a 93 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union and a perfect 100 percent from the libertarian Club for Growth.