The need to scale back
- the size and scope of our military intervention
- the war on drugs and the resultant mass incarceration
- domestic and international surveillance.
Until we reach broad consensus on these goals, though, opportunities remain for partnerships that work toward them. Among Friends, many of whom are or consider themselves progressive, building bridges to those who identify as libertarian or anarchist could be such a creative partnership.
Author Sheldon Richman discussed the potential for such an alliance following a joint interview with Ralph Nader and Ron Paul:
"Yes, Progressives and libertarians have serious differences, just as they both have with conservatives. But all people of good faith who oppose America’s corporate welfare-warfare state — whether Progressives, conservatives, or libertarians — have an interest in moving America in a different direction."
Glenn Greenwald discussed shared similar thoughts in a column for Salon:
"It’s long been clear that the best (and perhaps only) political hope for civil liberties in the U.S. is an alliance that transcends the standard Democrat v. GOP or left v. right dichotomies.
"The establishments of both political parties — whether because of actual conviction or political calculation — are equally devoted to the National Security State, the Surveillance State, and the endless erosions of core liberties they entail. Partisan devotees of each party generally pretend to care about such liberties only when the other party is in power — because screaming about abuses of power confers political advantage and enables demonization of the President — but they quickly ignore or even justify the destruction of those liberties when their own party wields power.
"Both liberal and conservative ideology can and should sustain popular opposition to ongoing reductions in civil liberties. It’s the political establishment — regardless of the party to which it belongs — that is incentivized to seize always-greater levels of power in the name of Security."
As FCNL and other Friends seek ways forward for domestic and international policy, moving beyond faith in influencing the two dominant political parties that have so often failed us may be important shift to consider.