It seems the divide between traditionalists and libertarians is ever growing. One the one hand, we have traditionalists bashing Hobby Lobby and capitalism in general for it’s destructive effects on culture. On the other hand, we have libertarians waging war on the oppressive government construct that are gendered bathrooms.

Lets give most libertarians the benefit of the doubt and assume they don’t buy into the more radical tendencies of the elite. Even granting this, is there anything left to salvage of the old fusionism between the two camps? Perhaps, but it requires some clearly defined terms that will leave most radical libertarians behind.

I don’t describe myself as a “capitalist.” That term has become too closely associated with Gordon Gecko types and other wolfs of Wall Street who make money out of nothing. This doesn’t mean, however, that I reject certain free market principles. I can find very little to disagree with in Hayek. The difficulty comes in determining how we keep the sacred safe from the forces of the market, and even more perplexing, how do we agree on what is sacred?

We can all (anarchists excluded) agree there are certain things we should separate from commerce. Sex and the well-being of children is a pretty obvious one, although increasing less obvious, apparently. For the old fusionists, acknowledging that familial integrity needed protection was enough. For the new-traditionalists, both no-fault divorce and contraception are seen as the root of our present discontents. For the neo-libertarians, universal rights have guaranteed free choice to anyone. The old position could generally be agreed upon by all parties. The new positions are anathema to the opposing camps.

I’m not sure the divide can be repaired. Conservatism depends upon the family, without which there is nothing to conserve nor is there anyone to conserve for. By supporting abortion and refusing to acknowledge the dangers of contraception and divorce, libertarians have shown it is precisely on the family issues were they have failed us.

Rolling back the state in all areas except those where it has every right to act is a useless endeavor that is destined to unleash more evil on the world. If family issues are excluded from the public discourse, many of us will have little left to talk about.