"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." ~ Ronald Reagan
Read more of Ronald Reagan's views on Libertarianism from this interview he did in 1975. At that time, Reagan used the term "libertarian-conservative" to describe his political philosophy. Reagan’s record, while generally conservative, was not particularly libertarian, but one’s administrative decisions, constrained as they are by existing laws, institutions, and politics, do not necessarily mirror one’s underlying philosophy (consider Mitt Romney when governing the very liberal state of Massachusetts). This interview gives an interesting glimpse into the real Ronald Reagan.
It's good to get to know where a candidate comes form, where their true roots lie and what their underlying philosophy is. Elections have a way of pulling candidates to the center as they pander for votes, so if you want to know what will actually drive a politician once they're in office, look to their core values and beliefs, and not just what they say months before an election.
Ronald Reagan was, in my opinion, a great President, because deep down he believed in the libertarian ideals of smaller government and more personal responsibility. Barack Obama is one hundred and eighty degrees from Ronald Reagan in that belief. Obama may be pulling to the center to win your vote, but if you look at what he has said and done in years prior, you'll see someone who can't wait to raise taxes and let government step in and start solving your problems.
It's hard to find many things government does right, so why would anyone want to turn to government to solve more of their problems? This would be like choosing the worst shooter on your basketball team to shoot the technical free throws. It makes no sense.
Another good quote from Ronald Reagan, "I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."
I couldn't agree more. If I need protecting from myself, I hope friends, family, church, neighbors, and community support groups will be there for me, not the Federal Government.