Of Ideology, Reality and Fanaticism

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

Of Ideology, Reality and Fanaticism


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Recently I had the opportunity to be victimized by ideological fanatics from both ends of the spectrum; the extremist left and the radical right.

One threatened to slander me publicly because I would not debate him on the tactics and political philosophies of Karl Rove. That was a ridiculous challenge coming from someone who champions the underhanded and fanatical "win at all cost" mentality of Terry McAuliffe. The other fanatic threatened to smear me publicly unless I championed his totalitarian viewpoints on abortion, though I never expressed any inclination to do so.

These are two dangerous examples of fanaticism disguised as political ideology.

Republicans stand for many things, such as less government, lower taxes and, I like to believe, a tempered morality that makes them the party of choice over people who rationalize extremism. Republicans believe people should be able to worship as they wish without political correctness encroaching on that constitutional right.

Republicans believe government should strive to let each taxpaying American keep as much of his hard-earned money as possible rather than government accruing surpluses at our expense. They believe ultimately a person must be held accountable for his actions, a conviction at a premium in today's "its' not my fault" society cultivated by the liberal left.

Since George W. Bush's re-election, I have become concerned that some in the Republican Party are now confused about the relationship between their political ideology and their political party. The marriage between Republicanism and conservativism is wonderful. But it can be argued they are not exclusive to each other. If they were, there would be no Libertarian Party and no Constitutionalist Party. Conservatism is an ideology. The Republican Party is a political organization. They are different, even though they go well together.

The Democratic Party is in disarray, having been hijacked by its extremist left. It paid the price in losing the presidency. While Democrats try to blame everyone else for their self-inflicted demise, they tried to dictate their ideology to the American people. Rather than to represent who we are, they tried to dictate what we should believe to be right and wrong. The Republican Party much better stood the fine line between embracing morality on a given issue and championing extremism. The Democrats, in nominating John Kerry, embraced their fanatics, the "Deaniacs" and the "one-trick ponies." It brought about their demise.

The Republican Party, after its Nov. 2 political victory, risks falling prey to the same careless thinking. We need to recognize that moral values are defined not by the radical right but by "common sense." If the Republicans do not do so, and soon, they will be as vulnerable as the Democrats. …

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