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

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at


This Memorial Day

Never forget that we remain the home of the free because of their bravery and sacrifice.