How does a kid grow up in a deeply conservative background, and become libertarian? Probably by taking those teachings to heart and realizing there can be no double standards without compromising the principles he was taught.
By internalizing the lesson that if someone is doing something you believe they shouldn’t be doing — unless they are attacking, stealing, defrauding, or possibly trespassing — you have no right to do more than point out that you think they are doing wrong, ask them to reconsider their actions, and then let them make their own mistakes.
You can’t fix a minor wrong by committing a major wrong.
I’ve come to realize there is no one else to blame when you choose to do the wrong thing and it goes badly.
If it is wrong to attack, kidnap, steal, and murder, it changes nothing if the acts are committed by people who work for the government and who call the acts “airport security,” “arrest,” “taxation,” and “war.”
You can’t protect individual rights and property rights, the only legitimate justifications for any government, by violating those same rights in any way.
I was libertarian, with conservative tendencies, long before I knew what libertarian meant. I was called an individualist.
Once I began to really consider my beliefs, I began to eliminate the “conservative” inconsistencies that I had held. Like dominoes, they fell and toppled others as they went. Down went the racism; the nationalism; the hunger for punitive, false justice. Down went the support for “the war on drugs.”
I’m not saying every non-libertarian has these same flaws, but these were mine. Other people have their own.
I came to see that you can’t love liberty if you allow these things to persist in your life. Liberty is not a buffet where you can pick the parts you like for yourself, but toss away the rest to deny others their choice. That was a hard thing to learn.
So, when a jail inmate is said to be accidentally released from the county jail (or maybe not), or when the military wants to buzz regional private property, I try to dig below the emotion and rhetoric to get to the foundation. Such as, why was the shoplifter in jail rather than working to pay restitution? And, why does the military need even more land over which to train for a military occupation (or two, or …?) which should never have begun?
See, getting to the root clears up a lot of things.