Since I seem to be on a rant about objective words that are commonly used as pejoratives, how about this one: “ideologue.”
I hear this almost exclusively from the left, be they Democrats or Republicans. (The terms, “Demopublicans” and “Republicrats” are becoming more common as the distinctions between the two parties breaks down. I use the term “left” advisedly, meaning one who favors bigger government, higher taxes, more welfare and entitlements, and a general overthrow of the Constitution. I use the term “right” to be the opposite of that. In this context, Republican and Democrat are not useful. We can discuss left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, etc, but not here. I have defined my terms, and will proceed as if people are actually going to read ALL of this.)
So, “Ideologue.” I always like to start with some dictionary definitions. I’m one that gives me the details of what an ideologue is, not his moral stature, intelligence, or political affiliation.
Merriam Webster’s online dictionary is utterly useless: “An impractical idealist.” “An often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.” MW loves to use words to define themselves, which is completely invalid. They also throw in the highly judgmental words, “impractical…blindly partisan,” which is an evaluation of an ideologue, but doesn’t tell us what one is. What horse hockey.
Google says, “an adherent of an ideology, esp. one who is uncompromising and dogmatic. “a conservative ideologue.” Well, that’s certainly not slanted or judgmental. I won’t even dignify this drivel with a critique. If this is the only definition you have, you’re in trouble.
To my surprise, freedictionary.com offered this simple, neutral definition, which they credited to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: “a zealous advocate or adherent of an ideology”, and under the thesaurus section, offered this: “an advocate of some ideology.”
Finally, Cambridge.org gave what I think is the most succinct definition of the four: “a person who believes very strongly in particular principles and tries to follow them carefully.”
Between freedictionary and Cambridge, I think we have something to work with. An ideologue is a person who believes certain ideas are correct, advocates them, and tries to follow them. If I’m not mistaken, socialism is an idea, as are fascism and capitalism. Some of us believe in the idea that individuals have rights and powers separate and distinct from those of government, and others believe in the idea that individuals should be subservient to the government. Joe Biden believes in the idea that, if threatened with home invasion, one should step out on the balcony and fire a shotgun into the air, endangering innocent bystanders and telling the thugs where you are. Some of us have pointed out the hazards inherent in this idea, but Joe clings to it with considerable tenacity. He also clings to the idea that guns cause crime and that gun owners are pretty much the scum of the earth, an idea widely held and expressed with utmost savagery and hatred by the left.
Nancy Pelosi believes in the idea that it is acceptable to create laws without knowing what is in them, and she defends this idea with great obstinacy and passion. A tiny handful of real conservatives in Congress held to the idea that socialized medicine and government-run health care is a very bad idea, and a large number of liberals held, with equal fervor and unmatched ad hominem, the opposite idea.
In truth, any conscious action or consciously spoken word begins as an idea. This is true for liberals and conservatives, alike. When liberals call conservatives ideologues, they are, literally, accusing them of thinking and acting on their thoughts. (Acting on one’s thoughts and ideas is a good basic definition of “integrity,” a term that actually has meaning, and defines a trait that was once considered a virtue.)
This begs the question that if acting on one’s thoughts and ideas is a terrible thing, worthy obscene vitriol and physical assault, what are the liberals acting on? I wouldn’t want to accuse them of hypocrisy, so if they condemn acting on conscious thought, what in hell guides their actions? I think we know the answer to that: they are mindless twits who don’t have sense to pound sand down a rathole. Why do I say that?
It’s just an idea I had.
28 Dec., 2013