I know that there are a great many well-meaning, highly intelligent, moral, kind, and remarkable conservatives out there. I disagree with them, but I must and do respect them. My question is, how do I get past my strong disagreements with them?
Let us look first at the two political parties. Neither party differs from the other on essential matters. They are both tools of multinational corporations and represent the interests of the wealthy classes, not the interests of the people as a whole. This is why I cannot identify with either political party.
Now take the divide between liberals and conservatives. On certain issues, like abortion or capital punishment, or Euthanasia, it is quite possible for intelligent and good people to disagree. I think a case can be made for those opposed and in favor of these acts. So we can agree to intelligently discuss it, and to respectfully disagree on the matter.
But beyond this where can we go? The Right-wing (which I consider a distinct group from conservatives) are simply insane. The far left (e.g. Michael Moore, and Bill Maher) are not quite so insane, but are smug, self-righteous, and too idealistic. Self-professed "centrists" are enslaved to the will of big corporations.
So, assuming both political parties do not represent us and that the far left and the far right are not sound options, where do we go? On certain issues, I cannot but oppose conservatives ... gay marriage, American imperialism and militarism, public health care, welfare, regulation of the market, I will not and cannot give ground on these matters. But neither, I suppose, will, or can, the conservatives.
So here is the question: where can I and they find common ground? My economic philosophy is from the school of the New Deal, The Great Society, and Great Britain's "Welfare State," I am close to what in Europe is called a "Social Democrat." On social issues, I'm a libertarian, favoring maximizing personal liberty. Can I find common ground and get beyond partisanship with conservatives who are on social issues far less libertarian and want more "moral legislation," but who on economic issues are far more libertarian - in favor of privatization and deregulation?
How can they and I meet and work together? Any suggestions?