According to the "Political Compass" typology, at politicalcompass.org, there is a Libertarian Left as well as a Libertarian Right. Surprising? It may be worth exploring because many libertarian ideas are very compatible with reining in corporate excesses, peace, giving small business a chance, and stopping the corporate domination of government. Why are we not joining forces to promote our common goals?
One of the factors that has tilted the playing field in favor of the right-leaning aspect of libertarianism is that the wealthy/corporate interests have taken over our media. Through political and corporate advertising, and not wanting to embarrass their corporate advertisers with too much off-message "news," have helped money to dominate our culture, government and politics. (Remember when newspapers and networks were owned by many organizations and families rather than just a few corporate empires?) This is the authoritarian leadership we have in the U.S., not the individual rights, favoring small business and freedom part of libertarian thought. Note that it doesn't matter whether the media are right or left. They amass power and their frame of reference simply shifts to that of the oligarchy, which strongly favors authoritarian principles and serves moneyed elites on the right, and sometimes the left, also.
The vast majority of people, looking for easy solutions, appear drawn to the right-wing, authoritarian, conspiracy theory aspect of libertarian ideology rather than the inclusive, freedom-loving kind. They may believe that they favor freedom, but time and time again are drawn into authoritarian organizations and politics. There is some blending and cross-over, of course. The majority of people worship wealth and power and give faith to the marketplace, leaving diminished concern for ethics, morality and working for a better future. It's all a feeding frenzy for the wealthy, with everyone just focused on "getting theirs." The right wing sees war as highly profitable and nationalism leading to a global empire as excellent for business interests. So, when libertarians are being led by wealthy authoritarian conservatives, they start to believe that what we have in the U.S. is a free market. Of course, they know that we have nothing close to a free market, but the conservatives want to maintain the status quo. They may rail against the Federal Reserve, but only as show. In reality, they love the corrupt oligarchy we have and they will do anything to maintain it.
On the other hand, classic liberals were extremely concerned about freedom of the masses from political, religious and economic oppression. They saw a strong democracy with an empowered middle class as bulwarks against government oppression and they saw democratized government as the bulwark against exploitation by corporations and the wealthy. They oppose wars that promote business interests and empire building. That's the libertarian left. They don't see a "free market" in the U.S., but a market that is operated for the benefit of those who already control the wealth - wanting no input from human people, except as to the color and taste of the products and foods they will buy.
Conservatives, through manipulating the Tea Party, have claimed control over libertarianism, anarchism and a whole lot of ideologies that are, in fact, hugely opposed to classic conservatism and neoconservatism. The conservatives being in control of populist and freedom-centered people is a rather serious problem, in my opinion. This is an explosive mix of strange bedfellows, extremes on both authoritarian and liberty that are almost like matter and anti-matter. It is dangerous to have them mixed together, with big corporation conservative elites sponsoring and controlling the very people who hate them the most. This conflict may account for the rising threat of terrorism from the right-wing. There is just no constructive political path for the freedom-for-everyone Libertarians to take. Every time they raise a valid criticism of the elites, the military industrial complex, etc., they are herded by their anti-populist handlers back towards hot-button issues that distract from the libertarian agenda.
Today, conservative authoritarians are extremely concerned about the chaos of democracy and the power of the masses to steer a country away from the vested interests of the wealthy and powerful. That's the libertarian right, and it uses religious conservatism, gun rights, racism, misogyny and homophobia to pull in people willing to surrender their freedom to be protected from whatever external or internal threats the conservatives can convince them are real. Of course, the overwhelming threat to our nation is the dominant oligarchy (Republicans with most Democrats) and their success at dismantling of our democracy and the freedoms of people who are not wealthy.