The U.S. political scene has become more and more polarized. The last time I remember it being this highly-charged was during the latter years of the Vietnam War.
If you talk to an ardent supporter of liberal ideology, you'll hear certain viewpoints being communicated over and over.
Hard-core conservatives have their list of subjects they are quite passionate about.
But there is a HUGE shortcoming connected with these ideologies. With any ideology.The more one adheres to a political ideology, the more one loses his powers of observation.
Let me explain in terms of my overall approach to politics:
- I believe government is there to protect us (from attacks, terrorism, crime, etc.) and therefore should be strong enough to achieve this.
- I believe government exists to help put an infrastructure there (roads, bridges, etc.)
- I believe in less government, not more. Much less actually.
- I believe a free market economy is vastly superior to one that has government involvement or intrusion.
- I believe that if you reward production, you get more of it. If you reward non-production, you get more of that. I believe governments should follow this principle.
- I believe people will go to great lengths to solve their own problems (financial, social, familial, etc.) and attempts by government to solve everyone's problems results in eroding personal initiative.
Those are some of my basic political beliefs. But I'm not glued to them. For example: I do not believe in a free-market economy so blindly that I don't want any government involvement. When monopolies existed and crushed competition; when work conditions were horrific; when airplanes were flying around without any central control, then I want a group of relatively sane people to pass legislation to put some order into things.
But I don't want our government squeezing their way into ownership of our nation's banks, major auto manufacturers, etc.
How about the environment? This subject produces very heated "debates." The word debate is in quotes because far too often they don't remotely resemble a debate. One side of the discussion is certain the environment is in such bad shape we need to take drastic measures right now, right now and if we don't, then our planet will cease to exist in the very near future. The other side of the discussion believes many efforts to make improvements to the environment are based on whacko theories or come from full time tree-huggers.
Viewpoint A considers Viewpoint B to be stuck in corporate greed, uncaring and unwilling to listen; Viewpoint B considers Viewpoint A to be hysterical, too caring about things not ultimately important and unwilling to listen. Yes, there are many shades of grey to this discussion, but far too often we are presented with very polarized viewpoints, neither of which get the job done.
First things first: we DO all live on planet Earth. So, if there is a problem with the sustainability of our planet, then every single one of us needs to be concerned.
And secondly: we need to be incredibly intelligent and practical about WHAT we do to ensure our planet's health and longevity. We cannot knee-jerk to solve one problem which then causes a new problem to manifest.
When a politician has to adhere to a party ideology, they are right then and there incapable of genuine OBSERVATION. They are not able or willing to look at all of the possible solutions. They are filtering information through an ideological set of blinders. How important is unfettered observation? The less able one is to simply observe, the less able one is in solving problems.
Ideology has the power to blind. Don't let it happen to you.
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