Way back in 1975, a Republican agitator named Ronald Reagan had this to say about an esoteric young movement that was roiling politics: “If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”Read the rest here.
Neither the GOP old guard nor the rowdy libertarians ever quite bought that argument.
They both lay claim to the same conservative economic philosophy. But libertarians are more isolationist and antiwar than Republican orthodoxy allows on foreign policy and more permissive on social issues.
Still, in the nearly four decades since Reagan made those comments, the two have managed — at least most of the time — to maintain an uneasy marriage of expedience.
Libertarianism once again appears to be on the rise, particularly among the young. However, its alliance with the Republican establishment is fraying, as demonstrated by the increasingly personal war of words between two leading potential 2016 presidential contenders.