Exactly what is “ideology?” Visionary theorizing, or a worldview distilled from cherry-picked evidence and flawed logic?
After a mildly defiant adolescence, I became a mildly liberal adult, later “evolving” to very liberal and eventually associating with fringe-dwelling kooks who prowl the halls of alternative health care. But my education and career in hard science, life experience, and common sense eventually collaborated to convince me to examine evidence—something which I had ignored except at my place of work.
So then came a shift to the right.
Effective conservatives use principled clear thinking to weigh facts. Many use religion to shape their views but don’t foist that relgion on other people. Effective conservatism embraces an objective way of observing reality in order to decide how to function within that reality.
While many people personally resolve to think clearly, the most effective people count error among their constant companions. Clear thinkers know that the best decisions flow from sound logic applied to accurate information, and that learning from mistakes is key to success in life. Effective people know that emotion plays a role in decision making, but without reason, people confuse feeling right with knowing what is right. Faulty thinking can breed the catastrophic belief that “feel-good” actions are necessarily good actions.
Allegedly “conservative” adults recognize that giving freebies to idle people reinforces their idleness. Such conservatives understand that handouts entice people to succumb to the allure of a government-supported “lifestyle.” But incredibly, some of these same otherwise rational conservatives then turn around and push “creation science.” Such ideological conservatives fail to see that purveyors of the welfare state and religion-based pseudoscience both engage in miserably unclear thinking, differing mainly in method and tenor of rhetoric. Indeed, the left routinely ejects venom—a behavior less prevalent but by no means absent in most conservatives.
Let’s be precise. That anyone holds certain beliefs is not at issue in this discusion. Simply put, problems arise when ideologues force ideology on others. All staunch ideologues share at least one basic trait: promotion of faith-based worldviews at the expense of accuracy and reason.
Global warmists ignore science and conjure up a theory motivated by collectivism, wealth redistribution, and rabid environmentalism. Warmists want technologically advanced people to reign in the modern way of life and pay financial tribute, which the warmists would then funnel to people deemed deserving of a share of the advanced people’s wealth. With precisely the same arrogance, proponents of “intelligent design” ignore science and, in some cases, even want public schools to teach faith-based theory.
There is at least one huge distinction between the sociopolitical left and right: one side consistently tries to use government to force its agenda while the other side typically does not. Which extreme is most hostile to American’s way of life? Muddled thinkers botch this question. The muddled ideology which they drag through life tilts them so badly to the left that their ideology obscures their view of truth. People uafflicted by leftism think their way to the correct answer.
The world will never lack murky logic and doctrinaire power-seekers pushing that logic. But 221 years ago, clear-thinking men bequeathed to newly independent English colonists a way to assure the freedom to exercise clear thinking. The United States Constitution will continue to facilitate America’s prosperous society as long as we keep the document’s interpretation out of the hands of ideologues.