And why you should take all political ideologies with a grain of salt.
In my undergraduate studies in political science, one of the cornerstones of my political education that I was always aware of, but never read or previously heard articulated and condensed to a single phrase or sentence is…
Political ideology breeds hypocrisy.
Little do the adherents of a particular political ideology realize that ALL political ideologies are based upon wishful thinking and totally ignore many factors, chiefly, human nature.
I will spare my readers a crash course on political ideologies, because it really isn’t germane to the point of this post.
The point I want my readers to get out of this post is that following a political ideology is tantamount to being inculcated into a religion or even a cult.
I realize that may come off as extremist, but the empirical evidence speaks for itself and is indisputable.
Whether you are a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian (I personally self-identify as a “small -L” libertarian), or any other political ideology or party, the most ardent and rabid followers of your chosen ideology are not the leaders of your ideology, but the followers.
Ideology serves a very useful purpose. Ideology rallies the faithful by providing purpose and direction to a cause or set of causes. All human beings inherently need a simplified way of making sense of the very complex concepts, events, and systems that run our world.
Without ideology, much of what makes civilization possible would not exist. However, reducing a worldview to an easily digestible set of tenets, as political ideologies do, can and often does lead to things that are deleterious to society in general and to individuals in particular.
Being able to rally the like-minded has its benefits, as long as the like-minded are actually thinking, which more often than not is not the case.
Unfortunately, ideology tends to unite the gullible in far greater numbers than the like-minded. I posit that this is not necessarily an accident.
“Partisan politics” wouldn’t exist without the prism of ideology to focus it.
We are willing to put up with all sorts of malfeasance from our elected officials as long as it is “our guy” or “our party” or “my president” doing it.
This is why ideology breeds hypocrisy.
This is also why conservatives hate liberals, liberals hate conservatives, and the rest of us claim the mantle of libertarianism, claim to be independent, or simply don’t participate in politics at all.
Discussing politics, religion, or gender dynamics is verboten in many segments of our lives because anyone disagreeing with our political ideology, our religion, or anything else we consider personally sacrosanct is typically viewed as a personal affront.
If you go into a conservative forum and say anything disparaging about that ideology’s leaders or disagree with them, see how fast they will call you names or whip out the “snowflake” insult.
Isn’t calling someone a name because you disagree with them qualify as a meltdown, too?
Liberals claim to be tolerant, but are most intolerant of those who disagree with their ideology. Even if the disagreement is grounded in fact or logic.
Keep all of the above in mind the next time you feel compelled to attack someone who disagrees with your ideological opinions.
All ideologies are based on wishful thinking and should be taken with a grain of salt. Ideology breeds hypocrisy.
-The Rational Ram