Often, libertarians and conservative talking points sound very similar, but if you brought up only a certain number of contentious topics, you’d quickly see why libertarians and conservatives are not just variations of each other.
Libertarians believe that individuals and individual liberty are the keys to a free society and that these rights are inalienable regardless of where you are on a map.
Issues like drug prohibition and prostitution have only to do with the individuals taking part and therefore should fall under criminal behavior since no individual is being deprived of life, liberty, or property through force. Libertarians do not believe in “victimless crime” like conservatives do since libertarian principles are based on voluntary cooperation and consent.
Additionally, libertarians are more strident about issues such as gun control compared to conservatives, who claim to support the Second Amendment. On issues such as the recent bump stock ban by the Trump administration, libertarians were firmly against this infringement upon gun rights since the right to own a weapon for self-defense is inalienable, and therefore shall not be infringed.
Conservatives, much like progressives, believe that without laws enforced by the state dictating the thoughts and actions of individuals, society would fall into social chaos.
However, history shows that governments around the world have done more to harm individuals living peacefully than any other thing in the world. During the Civil Rights era, establishment Democrats, as well as southern conservatives, upheld arcane institutions such as the Jim Crow laws which limited the rights of African-Americans and people of color in order to maintain a false sense of cultural and social tranquility.
Finally, in the realm of foreign policy, conservatives have historically been far too keen to intervene in the affairs of other nations who do not directly threaten the safety of the United States. Republican and Democrat presidents alike have a record of saying we support democratic institutions and civil liberties abroad but are far too alright with putting puppet dictators and despots into a place of power.
Ultimately, whether it is individual liberty or economic freedom, libertarians live a consistent set of values based on individual freedom which conservatives believe they uphold but are far too willing to compromise in the name of safety.