JB: The American Solidarity platform includes planks that, at least in the American context, have long been seen as contradictory. For instance, it combines a distributist emphasis on local control and subsidiarity with a commitment to using the federal government to tackle big problems like environmental degradation and poverty. What core commitments enable this party to so radically reimagine political possibilities?
BC: Rather than offering a batch of new ideas, the American Solidarity Party offers a new combination of ideas. We believe that government does have a legitimate role in American life, but the strategies for different issues are best addressed by different levels of authority, starting with individual families, and extending to treaties between sovereign nations. The UN has no business forcing abortion on its member nations, but it does have a role overseeing the rules of ocean-fishing. A city council—even for a city adjacent to a national border—cannot set immigration policy, but it should be able to set zoning laws, with some oversight from the state legislature. Parents and a local school board should have the first say about curriculum decisions. The Federal government grew when no state government was big enough to control the railroads. The nature of the problem should dictate the appropriate way to address that problem.