If you join the ASP discussion group on Facebook, you’ll see in the group description something titled “Spirit of the Forum.” It is the code of conduct by which party members and those interested in ASP seek to conduct their discussions. In a sense, you could say it is the spirit of the party writ large. It is an approach to politics which is much needed in post-election America. We lament our deep divides and wonder where bipartisanship has gone, but too often fail to be the kind of people who engender cross-party cooperation and civil dialogue. Here are its four points:
1. GENEROSITY & HUMILITY. We approach others with generosity and ourselves with humility. Even when our opponents are wrong, they may be well-intentioned or see things that we do not. We recognize that we are not perfect and that our own perception is limited.
2. UNDERSTANDING. We seek to understand before we make decisions or criticize.
3. PERSUASION. We desire to persuade those who do not agree with us. We aim to use a welcoming tone and language they understand. We disavow insults, aggression, and arguments aimed only at scoring points.
4. COMPROMISE. Fundamental principles are not negotiable. But in all other matters, we seek common ground, so as to work together with those who are willing to help us advance toward common goals.