Throughout his column, Douthat speaks of how libertarian values restrain fascism--they do. To equate them with conservative ideology, however, is a bit of stretch. Conservatives are not libertarians. Conservatism is not the ally of liberty. It is first and foremost the ally of the status quo and the past. Every attempt to expand human liberty was opposed by conservatives of the day.
Everyday Iowa voters are less likely to caucus for former Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry "because of his involvement" with a controversial oil pipeline proposal, according to an influential state lawmaker who has made eminent domain one of his signature issues in the Iowa House of Representatives.
In 2011 the Palikot movement, which championed libertarian positions in favor of legalizing marijuana, supporting LGBT rights, and reducing the influence of the church in the secular sphere, surprised everyone by catapulting into parliament with 10 percent of the vote. Long-time feminist activist Wanda Nowicka ran on the Palikot ticket in 2011 and won a seat.
As someone who has now personally experienced a tragic, unnecessary death, I worry that the banner of libertarianism too often drowns out rational, middle-of-the road approaches to genuine harms. It is hard to imagine anyone who has lost a relative or dear friend in such a manner to see such innocent deaths as the price of doing business. Indeed, it is downright chilling to suggest this.