Hey, anti-war conservatives, can we work together to rein in military waste and destruction?

There are many conservatives of a libertarian bent who want to rein in military waste and adventurism.

Progressives and libertarians both oppose the immense corruption, waste, loss of rights, and destruction that results from the activities of the military and security state.

Ron Paul and many of his followers come to mind. But so does the Tea Party.

From the moment they came in to office, a number of the “Tea Party” darlings in Congress were talking openly about cutting Defense Department spending, something which earned them scorn from the military and condemnation from many of the establishment Republicans, for whom military spending can only go in one direction – up. –  Growing Tea Party Calls for Military Spending Cuts

Tea Party members have opposed the NSA.   How the Tea Party became an anti-war movement reports:

The first sign that a real alliance of “progressive anti-war Democrats and isolationist Tea Party libertarians” was actually materializing, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post, was the narrow defeat of a proposal by conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and liberal stalwart Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to restrict NSA domestic phone surveillance.

Tea Party members have recently called on Congress not to get involved in Syria.  Tea Party group to fight Syria resolution:  “Congress should be focusing on the red ink at home, not arbitrarily established red lines abroad,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. “Congress ignores the will of the voters on this issue at their own peril.”

The Wikipedia article on the Tea Party Movement says:

 Some Tea Party affiliated Republicans, such as Michele Bachmann, Jeff Duncan, Connie Mack IV, Jeff Flake, Tim Scott, Joe Walsh, Allen West, and Jason Chaffetz, voted for progressive Congressman Dennis Kucinich‘s resolution to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Libya. In the Senate, three Tea Party backed Republicans, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee and Michael Crapo, voted to limit foreign aid to Libya, Pakistan and Egypt.Tea Partiers in both houses of Congress have shown willingness to cut foreign aid. Most leading figures within the Tea Party both within and outside Congress opposed military intervention in Syria.

I know that Dennis Kucinich has called on people to move beyond labels and parties and to work on issues that matter, despite differences.

But when I raised the question with progressive friends they responded negatively.

One person responded, “Should happen. Will not happen.” Another person said, “Probably not.”

In a chat room, someone said, “No – I mean progressives tend to be anti-war on human rights basis… libertarians anti-war on money and ‘not-our-business’ basis… different reasons tend to result in different legislation and different strings attached which would be unpalatable to the other sides.”

Someone said, “We tried working with some of them here on GMO stuff. They tried to co-opt the group, and pushed the FEMA camps, contrails, you name it, as part of the agenda”

“They said FEMA camps are dress rehearsals for incarcerating us in camps….a view I happen to agree with.”

“For every tea partier you get, you will lose a Kennedy democrat.”

But I am not calling for a broad alliance with libertarians. That’s impossible.  Just a targeted, narrow, strategic alliance on this one issue.

Someone pointed out that some of the Republican opposition to military spending is a result of their opposition to President Obama. Had  Republican been president, they would have supported the spending.

You’d think that many Christians would loudly oppose military spending and adventurism.  Sure, too many of them care more about abortions and gay marriage.   Still, there are many anti-war nuns and people of faith.

Peace dove

I’d like to invite anti-war conservatives and progressives to get together to see how they can work to raise awareness about the issues and to strategize about ways to rein in military spending, secrecy, and adventurism.

Can progressives and anti-war conservatives work together on this?  It would garner immense interest as an example of across-the-aisle bipartisanship, and it could really have a positive effect.  The blowback from the security state would be immense, no doubt.

Leave a Reply