Liberty activists often unfortunately struggle in working with other groups that might not agree 100% with everything we support. And this fact is a shame, because in order for us to realize any of our goals, we have to be able to work sometimes with those who don't share all of our goals.
Young Americans for Liberty at the University of West Florida is a very ideologically diverse group of activists. We as a club have always tried our best to reach out and integrate within the larger campus community, working alongside groups like College Republicans, College Democrats, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and others. Our campus debates were a great example of how we were able to work with other clubs in order to host exciting events that can help awaken a new political dialogue on campus.
With that fact in mind, here are the five rules we've found helpful when working with people with whom we have disagreements.
1. Be Honest
Pretty much everyone knows I'm a libertarian-leaning Republican. Other YAL members are similarly forthcoming about their views. When I attend other club meetings or work with their members, I don't make any sort of effort to hide who I am or what I believe.
Despite the unfair flak many Ron Paul Republicans have gotten throughout the past years for supposedly trying to "infiltrate" the GOP or "pretend" to be members of various establishment groups, it is important to avoid being guilty of such charges. Trying to "pull one over" on people is a bad idea. We should respect others, and we should respect our own views, enough not to try to hide what we believe.
2. Don't Be Abrasive
We've all seen (and to be honest, probably been at some point) the type: no conversation is safe, no situation immune, from this person's insatiable attempts to "educate" and convert every single person into a bumper sticker-sporting Ron Paul Rothbardian (or something). And while certainly there is quite a bit of value in strongly held beliefs and the desire to share them, if we are single-minded pursuers of political converts, we won't get very far working with others - or converting them.