Is Ron Paul Not a Libertarian Because He’s Socially Conservative? Who Else?
One can be either socially liberal or socially conservative and still be a libertarian. On issues like abortion, gay marriage and drugs, how one views the state’s role, or non-role, in these matters, is usually what determines that individual’s libertarian credentials–not necessarily their personal views on these issues.
But there are some libertarians who insist you must be socially liberal–that you must reject social conservatism wholesale–to be a true libertarian. In fact, this has long been the cartoon caricature of libertarians by their critics–that libertarians are simply libertines who want drugs and prostitutes on every street corner.
Norman Singleton and I came up with a list of prominent figures who would be disqualified from the libertarian label according to this standard. Norm is the Vice President of Policy at Campaign for Liberty and was Ron Paul’s Legislative Director for well over a decade.
Libertarians who hold socially conservative views:
Ludwig von Mises
Judge Andrew Napolitano
Anyone we’ve missed?