This past weekend’s Dallas Morning News carried a predictable, editorial which sadly reflects the views of many in our society who believe themselves to be educated but aren’t.
Here’s the headline: “Challenges to Straus put ideology ahead of the state” and it starts with “Here’s a question for Texas’ conservative activists: Do you consider yourself a conservative first or a Texan first?”
This is typical sloppy-thinking, ever so common among today’s self-described thinking class which is absent a classical education, that adherence to philosophy, or ideology, no matter how well proven over time, means that you are a shallow person showing no signs of post-Enlightenment knowledge.
What is it about ideology, or philosophy, that so-called thinking people don’t understand? If one holds a particular ideology, one believes that it, those ideas, is what is best – in this case for the State of Texas.
Those who contrast ideology with being for the common good ascribe to an ideology of their own which is ill-defined, constantly changing, and not rooted in well-argued ideas. There is a word for it: populism.
Populism can be liberal in form, conservative in form, or just about any flavor on any given issue. But it is dangerous. Populism is essentially an expression of the mob-rule so feared and disdained by our founders and framers who eschewed popular-democracy for a much slower, more careful, deliberative, and more power-diffused Republic.
It’s too bad so many can be fooled by such specious editorializing.
Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com