Book Review: The Conservatarian Manifesto

Anyone paying attention to politics over the past four years knows that the tea party brand has been spoiled and the disillusioned non-establishment Republicans are desperately searching for a new label.  As we head into another presidential election cycle, the term Conservatarian is being thrown about more and more and we can most certainly expect to hear it often on the campaign trail.

In his new book The Conservartarian Manifesto, National Review writer Charles C. W. Cooke tries to define what the label actually means (or could mean) and how it can be most effective. In the process he examines both Libertarian and Conservative ideology and points out common ground and inconsistencies in both (although he reserves the majority of his criticism for Conservatives).

Cooke spends a large portion of the book championing local governance and States’ Rights which is a good starting point for Libertarians and Conservatives to begin a discussion. The problem here, is that in the real world these discussions rarely advance from this point as supposed small government individuals get bogged down in supporting unconstitutional big government laws like Federal drug and marriage laws.

The author stresses to Conservatives that they are on the losing side on these types of social issues and would be wise to embrace a more consistent liberty oriented argument. In turn (and where I would argue the book goes slightly off track) Cooke suggests that Libertarians should not be as strongly non-interventionist as they are on foreign policy. He then evens the criticism by telling Conservatives to be more consistent on the topic.

The take away message from The Conservatarian Manifesto is one of unity and common ground. The writing is on the wall. Conservatives and Republicans will continue to lose their power and influence if they do not wake up and realize that the young right leans strongly Libertarian. After years of pushing Libertarians away, Republicans are realizing that they need them.

The question we should all be asking ourselves is can this alliance even be possible? Have too many bridges already been burned?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.



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