IS THE IDAHO FREEDOM FOUNDATION CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERTARIAN?
By Wayne Hoffman
The dirty little secret about political labels is that nearly all of them are creations of the leftist legacy news media. When “news” organizations report that a politician is “conservative,” quite often that label is based on an extremely shallow subset of criteria: Republican party affiliation, pro-life and pro-gun votes, and a stated aversion to national figures such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. In truth, many of the elected officials that the socialists in the media claim are conservative are actually very much leftists.
The labels are irrelevant, and the loose use of the words by the press makes them largely meaningless.
That said, when reporters write that the IFF is “Libertarian” (with a capital letter “L”) that implies a connection with the Libertarian Party, which is an absolute lie. The IFF is nonpartisan, and is not connected with any political party: Libertarian, Republican, or Democrat. As far as the lowercase version of the word, IFF has never labeled itself as “libertarian.”
The IFF’s policy concentration is on the limitation of government, which is central to the definition of conservative values, and the conservative spectrum of political ideas sometimes overlaps with libertarianism. Some libertarians believe that no government is the proper level of government. The IFF does not share that objective. We do, however, believe there is too much government, and too much government harms people and denies people their God-given rights.
If one is to label the IFF, it is most appropriate to label it as “conservative,” but more appropriate and specific descriptors would be “pro-limited government,” “pro-free market,” “pro-liberty,” and so on.
Wayne Hoffman is president of Idaho Freedom Foundation.