Ronald Reagan described his own politics as libertarian as late as 1975. When I believe this interview was done with 60 Minutes. And if you look at his career from 1975 to 81 when he wasn’t a politician in office and spent that time running for and then getting elected President in 1980, that’s where he was politically. Not just on economic policy, but social policy and did not believe it was the job of government to interfere with how Americans should live their own lives.
And even though President Reagan escalated the War on Drugs in the 1980s, he didn’t really have much to and want to give the Religious-Right. Or what I call the Neo-Right in America. Much if anything officially and even though he talked to those groups he was never really with them. And was more about using them to help him politically so they would vote for him. And keep the Far-Right off is back when he ran for reelection in 1984. Something that his Vice President George H.W. Bush wasn’t able to do when he ran for reelection for President in 1992.
I agree with most of what Reagan said in this short clip. Except for when it came it liberalism, where he is dead wrong about liberalism being another word for fascism. Which is a different subject, but what Reagan got right was that libertarianism is conservatism. At least in the sense that government shouldn’t be involved in people’s personal or economic lives. As far as trying to direct people in how they should live their own lives. That the real difference between conservatism and libertarianism has to do with foreign affairs and national security. Not when it comes to government’s involvement in culture and people live their own lives.