The Show-Me Institute is sponsoring a debate between me, Research Assistant John Payne, and Policy Analyst David Stokes on the subject “Are Conservatives and Libertarians Natural Allies?” The debate will be held at 6:00 p.m. today at Dressel’s, located at 419 N. Euclid in Saint Louis’ Central West End.
Since the end of World War II, libertarians have typically been considered a part of the right, in a “fusionist” alliance with traditional conservatives. However, a number of libertarians have questioned the usefulness of this longstanding relationship in light of the dramatic growth in the size of government and restrictive social policies instituted by self-described conservatives in government.
Both Stokes and I want to see dramatic reductions in the size of government and the roles it plays, but we disagree on the strategy for achieving those goals. Stokes will argue in the affirmative that libertarians’ best hope is to ally with conservatives — the only other group he sees as trying to limit the size of government. I will take the negative, contending that, despite their rhetoric, the conservative commitment to limited government is only skin-deep.
Outside of our employment at the Show-Me Institute, I serve as the Missouri state chair of Young Americans for Liberty, and Stokes is the Republican committeeman for Clayton Township in Saint Louis County.
Join us tonight (Thursday, Sept. 30) at Dressel’s in the Central West End for food, drinks, and discussion. (Cash dining and bar.)