I copied this over from my other site, JBFS. I spent some time writing it, and felt like sharing it with my other two readers 🙂
Isn’t it funny how much the word “ideology” sounds like “idiot?” In today’s political climate, where hysteria-tinged knee jerk reactions routinely replace rational debate about , many of the more outspoken politicos hide behind ideology. They have collectively turned the country into
a pair of figurative armed camps — with the ideology of each forming the walls that ensure that no one, particularly the “other side” can breach their defenses and rape, pillage, and — gasp! — make them think. Each side — shall we refer to them as liberals and conservatives? democrats and republicans? big government and little government? take your pick — each side is locked into its respective ideology and refuses to budge for anything. Why? As with most human institutions it is money.
The Almighty Dollar. At one time, the American system of government, at its inception unique in the world, was crafted to benefit We the People who make up the country. It was not intended to be a feeding trough for every jackass who didn’t feel like being a farmer — or doing other worthwhile labor. And yet, as the years passed, more and more people became drawn to the sacred halls of government, much like moths to a flame, or, more appropriately, flies to something else, and discovered that , “Hey! I can draw a paycheck for doing nothing more physical or strenuous than convincing the folks back home every few years that they should vote to keep me here!” Oh yeah – “…and I even get to set my own paycheck!” How cool is that?
So why the conflict? Why not just work together, compromise (as the Founding Fathers intended), and represent the will of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority? Nah…too hard. Let’s just point fingers and blame the other guy. With a villain on stage, each of them gets a boost in campaign power back home. ”Look, I’m protecting you from ! You have to reelect me or life as you know it is over!” The rich. The poor. Immigrants. Gay. Straight. White. Black. Hispanic. North. South. East. West. Pick a villain. Hell, pick a couple. Division is good. It gives us all something to be frightened of. And hacks feed on your fear.
So ideology — each side’s ideology — has become their defense and savior, when rational debate comes knocking. They don’t want to talk about it. They (or their forefathers) have already talked about it. They know right from wrong, and you can’t tell them otherwise. Ideology. Don’t think. You don’t have to. We’ve already done your thinking for you. Sounds kind of Orwellian, doesn’t it? And yet, without admitting it (either side) that is precisely what they do. Pick your debate: taxation, abortion, gun control, immigration, the war on terror, education, health care, foreign aid, diversity, tolerance. Ooh! That last one — tolerance — that one has a bunch of barbs, doesn’t it? But pick any topic and see if you can find representatives from either side who are honestly willing to discuss the issue without falling back on the party line. The ideology. Good luck.
I daresay that most Americans probably live their daily lives outside these two armed camps. We generally have our opinions and beliefs, one way or the other. But it doesn’t matter, because the left and the right together in their isolation, maintain their choke hold on government. They both profit from the conflict. And they both know it. The greatest tragedy that could strike either party — or both, would be the emergence of a third political party that was strong enough to actually challenge the “duopoly” (to steal a term I learned from Dan Carlin). Or a fourth. It is obvious that both sides know this — look at how they work together to exclude third party candidates from presidential debates, among other things, knowing that if a candidate can’t get him- or herself heard, chances for success are laughable.
In spite of their outward appearance of ideological separation and animosity, that is one thing you can be certain both parties will always cooperate on — keeping anyone else from being allowed to feed at the trough.