Because those so-called conservatives are anything but. They are not acting out of conservative principles, but moral ones, and while they are entitled to believe whatever they want, if they think that morality is in any way within the purvue of the government, they are not conservatives. To argue in favor of smaller government, while at the same time pushing for any kind of restrictions on behavior is not a logically consistent ideology, just like those on the left who protest in favor of personal freedoms, but believe that government can solve our problems. These two sides are the political choices we have been presented with in the great battle between Republican and Democrat, and it is a false choice, because no matter which side wins, we all lose liberty in the process.When I'm helping the fight against "blue" laws, alcohol restrictions, drug prohibition, laws prohibiting gambling, prostitution, and other forms of consensual non-violent conduct, the people I most often see in opposition are "conservatives". When I stand up for the basic human rights of individuals who have fallen afoul of society's good graces, such as ex-convicts and paroled sex offenders, my opposition is again usually "conservatives". The folks generally helping are "liberals". I fail to see then, how libertarians and conservatives can all be lumped in together.
Those free-thinkers on the left need to be shown that greater government control can only lead to less liberty, and the prudes on the right need to learn that tolerating some things which they find distasteful is part of the cost of living in a free society.
A while back an article was posted that showed modern day conservatism, was actually the product of libertarian philosophy.
I couldn't find the original essay, but I believe this link is a reprint of the article.
TAC TV Libertarianism Is Real Conservatism
In the essay, is a quote from Ronald Reagan. “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."
I don't really concern myself with the chicken/egg argument. I do wish the modern day Republican party would recognize a greater degree of liberty.
I may be a libertarian, but how is that a useful distinction to make? That label carries plenty of baggage, as well.
What I guess that I'm trying to say is that we need to get people to unite under a broad banner with a few basic principles, and not get so wrapped up in the details of individual issues. Because while we've been arguing among ourselves, our country has been heading for all-out socialism.
As good a definition of any I've found of conservatism is Russell Kirk's "six canon's", The Conservative Mind (1953):
"(1) Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience.... Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems...(2) Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and equilitarianism and utilitarian aims of most radical systems. (3) Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes.... Society longs for leadership....(4) Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic levelling is not economic progress.... (5) Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters and calculators." Man must put a control upon his will and his appetite.... Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man's anarchic impulse. (6) Recognition that change and reform are not identical.... "
Barack Obama: In your heart you know he's nuts.
"Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder's welcome." (Mackay, 1841)
The Libertarian brand of conservatism is real, but it is often at odds with other flavors of conservatives.
For instance, we have had big business conservatives who agree with liberty types on low taxes (especially low corporate taxes) and less regluation. However, they also tend to like big government spending when they are the ones selling stuff to the government. They've also supported various forms of "corporate welfare" in the past. If you think that the government should build new roads and other infrastructure specifically to serve the needs of a single corporation that's considering building a new plant, you're a big business conservative. You're definitely not a small government conservative.
Religious conservatives aren't uniform on liberty issues, either. On some issues regarding freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and religious neutrality of the government, religious conservatives have come in to conflict with libertarian conservatives. I am a religious conservative in my personal life, but I consider it near-blasphemy when politicians try to pander to religious conservatives by blurring the line between government and religion. I do believe I am in the minority of religious conservatives on this issue, though.
Another brand of conservatives is what I'd call "law and order" conservatives. These folks are not generally friendly to constitutional liberties. You know; the folks who say you shouldn't object to being arbitrarily searched, scanned, interrogated, or surveilled unless you have something to hide. If you believe that only a criminal should object to a random strip search, you may be a conservative but you're certainly not about limits on government power. The war on drugs has been another rift between libertarian conservatives and law-and-order conservatives.
The problem you're running in to here is that you are trying to impose a single uniform definition on a very heterogenous group of beliefs. There is no single basic definition of conservatives because there are lots of different kinds of conservatives, and they often disagree on fundamental issues.
Watch this web video TODAY: http://www.iousathemovie.com/
In Soviet Amerika, the Law violates YOU
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. -- H.L. Mencken