Populism does not mix with libertarianism. Progressivism doesn’t mix with libertarianism either.
Sure, lots of folks claim to be ‘fiscally conservative and socially liberal’ but is that really the case?
Populists aren’t fiscally conservative, at least not in the classical liberal sense. As a populist if XYZ Corp should be free to move retroenacabulator production to Guadalatacobell or if the government should prevent it and they will choose the latter every time. Ask them if the government should stop Americans from being able to access foreign goods in the global market and, as often as not, they will support the government self-emplacing trade embargos. Don’t even mention cutting Social Security to a populist. They aren’t fiscal conservatives.
What about progressives? Surely they are social liberals, right? Nope. At least not if the word ‘liberal’ has any relationship to the word ‘liberty’. Progressives demand that the power of the state be used in as heavy handed a means as necessary to enforce the progressive agenda. They most certainly aren’t liberal enough to allow a Christian baker the liberty to choose for whom he will and won’t bake a cake. You can test the liberal sensitivities of a progressive by asking them if local governments should be allowed to make their own public toilet policies. The response you will get will have nothing to do with liberty.
Basically, libertarians offer something for everyone to hate. Progressives are openly hostile to the fiscal conservatism of libertarians but are secretly hostile to its socially liberal policies. Populists, on the other hand, are openly hostile to the socially libertine policies of libertarianism but secretly hate its fiscal conservatism.
I used to think that if libertarians could just get the word out to these ‘fiscally conservative and socially liberal’ folks they would see its appeal. I now believe that I was deluded. There are no libertarians among the populists and progressives that now make up the American political environ.