“Too Ideological” Is a Myth

Some people blame Obama’s failures on being “too ideological.” This is equivalent to saying: “Obama is failing because he has ideas.” Ridiculous. Nobody in politics — or anything else — fails for having ideas. People fail for having BAD ideas. Obama, like Democrats more generally, has bad ideas. What makes him different from other Democrats — Bill Clinton, for example — is that he adheres to these bad ideas with firmness and consistency. He doesn’t want a little bit of socialism; he wants full-fledged socialism. He doesn’t want moderately Big Government; he wants all-encompassing government. These and many other bad ideas get him into trouble. These ideas are unpopular with most people, and they don’t work in practice — because they’re bad.

The lesson of Obama is not to abandon ideas. The lesson of Obama is to replace bad ideas with good ones, with ones that are right and that work. Anyone who tells you, “Ideology is bad” is saying, in essence, “I have no ideas.” Historically, those with no ideas have defaulted to the bad ideas of the Democratic Party. That’s why Republicans have been Democratic-lite for years, and have really offered nothing but a scaled-down version of the Democratic tax-and-spend welfare/regulatory state. Only a Republican Party with completely opposite ideas of the Democrats qualifies as a competing or second party.

There’s nothing to fear from being ideologically rigid — if your ideas are rational, practical and make sense. I have heard it said: Ideas move man, and man moves the world. This is true on an individual level as well as a social or political one. Without good ideas, mankind is done. With good ideas, almost anything is possible and it’s the best of all imaginable worlds.