As I watch the blog wars between libertarians and conservatives I wonder if the tenth amendment can be the great unifier between these two political siblings. I say that these groups are political siblings because both belong on the same family tree. They both believe in limited government, property rights, and many other classical liberal ideas. This makes them related to each other much more than with modern liberals but the differences between the groups seems to have the power to break them up. Those differences are usually over social values.
Libertarians tend to believe a person’s social and moral values are an individual choice (this is my personal view as well) while conservatives believe they are a collective choice. Modern conservatives (as well as progressives) have taken away the moral choice over someone’s lives away from the individual and into the collective where each person sacrifices their own individual decision making power to the collective. This view is an affront to individual liberty but its going to be difficult to undo the feeling of wanting to purify the world from them.
I don’t fault social conservatives because most of them are well meaning and the desire to forbid other people from doing immoral acts is pretty powerful over us. We all do it to a certain degree so I’m not going to rant about it any further. It may appear that social values will split libertarians and social conservatives but the great peacemaker between these two sides is the tenth amendment.
Most of us should agree that the federal government has very few powers and none of them revolve around social planning but this does not mean that states can’t do this. The tenth amendment allows social conservatives and libertarian to live under the same tent because each side can live the way they want to in their own states. Essentially, they can divvy up the tent into smaller political units known as states.
This kind of localism is not a threat to either side since both sides can live independently of the other in their own separate societies known as states. Their is no way a social conservative can claim to believe in individual liberty and complain about the fact that people in other municipalities are living under laws they don’t agree to. If they did, they would essentially be attempting to claim a right over another person to dictate how they should live their lives which is a violation of individual liberty.
The tenth amendment must be used to forge an alliance between these two sides. This alliance is essential for either side to succeed because no one will support a pure libertarian movement at this point in time and people will reject social conservatism. Such and alliance would attract more people to the Republican Party since it will have something that appeals to everyone. Value voters would be attracted to the social conservatives and individual freedom lovers would be attracted to the libertarians.
How can such an alliance fail?