Western conservatism

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Western conservatism generally refers to a political orientation[1] prevalent in the Western United States that some might otherwise call libertarian conservatism, Jeffersonian conservatism, or in some circles, classical liberalism, typified by politicians like Barry Goldwater,[2][3] Ronald Reagan,[3] Ron and Rand Paul,[2][3] Rick Perry,[4] and Margaret Thatcher. It has been described as a "soft-libertarian" ideology that focuses on economic rather than social issues, one which strongly "embraces individual freedom" and opposes an "expanded role for government".[3]

Differences with other ideologies[edit]

Western conservatives differ from "purist" libertarians in that most tend to be pro-life, believing abortion to be more of a state, not federal, issue; foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan ought be driven by a clearly defined mission and exit strategy; immediate legalization or decriminalization of drugs is not a practical near-term solution.

On the other hand, western conservatives differ from neoconservatives in that they tend to believe there should be a natural or practical separation of church and state, military presence throughout the world should be significantly less than it is now, and that a premium placed on privacy trumps most any rationale behind the USA PATRIOT Act or REAL ID Act.


  1. ^ "What’s A Western Conservative? – New West". www.newwest.net. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  2. ^ a b "The GOP's future: Western conservatism v Southern conservatism". The Economist. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d Weisberg, Jacob (2010-05-29). "Showdown at the GOP Corral". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  4. ^ Helfrich, Jesse (2014-03-10). "Parsing the Rick Perry rebellion: A manifesto of Western conservatism". Retrieved 2016-09-26.