Tocqueville recently directed me to this link (interesting blog) and issue, which he suggested was an "important discussion taking place across the blogosphere."

The post discusses an essay by Brink Lindsey entitled "Liberaltarians" (on the Cato Institute website) and a discussion of the essay from the American Spectator.

What is a Liberaltarian?

According to Lindsey, libertarian-leaning voters are increasingly unhappy with the conservative-dominated Republican Party over so-called big-government conservatism and the growing influence of evangelical Christianity in GOP policy making. That is, libertarians favor small government and less regulation in business and personal morality. The current Republican Party seems perfectly content to allow (facilitate) the growth of government and runaway government spending. The other gap is on moral issues (values): "The old formulation defined conservatism as the desire to protect traditional values from the intrusion of big government; the new one seeks to promote traditional values through the intrusion of big government."

What is a libertarian-Republican to do? The old fusion of libertarians and traditional conservatives appears more and more tenuous. As the original blog post points out, most traditional conservatives are more than ready and willing to show their erstwhile Cold War allies the door. Lindsey suggests that the libertarians ought to start thinking about a new alliance for progress and freedom with liberals.

My real question today, however, is how would you define your own political philosophy? In the comments section a few days ago, the Okie Gardener took renewed umbrage at a remark I made years ago, when I observed that he was not a pure conservative--but a Midwestern populist. Frankly, after reading the Gardener on a daily basis, he writes much more conservative than I originally believed him to be when I made that statement, but I would not back off from my assertion that populism and regionalism play a significant role in his worldview.

As the piece on "liberaltarians" argues, there is great difficulty in fitting one's political philosophy into one category. Gossenius labels himself a small-government liberal. I see myself as an evangelical-conservative-libertarian. Joab claims to be a libertarian-conservative. Steinway is a Goldwater Republican. Tocqueville is the most orthodox conservative I know. What about Martian Mariner? Photognome? Bear-Tex? Evrvglnt? And others?

So, my question: how would you define your political philosophy? How did you get there? Where do you want to go? Feel free to comment on the Liberaltarian article--but I would also really enjoy hearing about your intellectual journey.

Note: Obviously, I should lead by example, but I may not be able to offer my story for a few hours or days.

Update: I have now posted some of my thoughts in the comments section