The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Trust in the 21st Century The Anti-Statist Alliance That Wasn’t

A burgeoning alliance between social conservatives and civil libertarians to oppose the nanny state might help end some particular abuses, but in the end the two camps want very different things. Their different goals represent two very different understandings of what human beings are and how they should live.

Published on August 19, 2014
In recent years there’s been an uneasy but growing alignment between those social conservatives primarily concerned with building and sustaining strong local communities, and civil libertarians, primarily concerned with protecting us from intrusive government. This kind of rapprochement isn’t an entirely new thing in American history. Those who want to devolve power away from the federal government to local communities have more than once seemed to make natural allies with those who want to roll back particular encroachments of the federal government. However, the civil libertarian side of this equation, in particular, seems to have come into its own recently,...