Dying Daily #183: Good People with Bad Ideologies

I have been asked why I don’t take political stands on this blog.

I have also been asked why my blog is so liberal, and when I started skewing so conservative in my thinking.

The nearest I can guess is that by talking about compassion and how everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, I was seen as liberal, and that by talking about integrity and duty and telling people to own their problems, I was seen as conservative.

And this is all actually a pretty good summary of what I dislike about ideologies: they give us the answer before the question, and allow us to judge something based on how well it matches up to our thinking rather than if it is worthwhile.

Ideologies give us a way to avoid engaging things in any real way, because we already know where we stand going in.

The thing I hate the most about them is that they give us an excuse to treat people who disagree with our ideology poorly, and not feel bad about it. It seems like this is especially prevalent in our country right now.

Let’s make a list.

If your ideology makes you happy about:

  • People being assaulted because of who they voted for
  • Police Officers being ambushed and killed
  • Black people being shot by the police 
  • Soldiers dying
  • Muslims being bombed, whether by a military or other Muslims
  • Christians being murdered
  • Gay people being discriminated against or assaulted or murdered
  • Heterosexual people being called CIS Shitlords
  • Immigrants being treated as less than human
  • A woman being raped, no matter how she was dressed
  • All men being called rapists
  • Any race having a blanket description applied to it
  • Children dying for any reason

Then:

  • Your ideology is part of what is wrong with the world.

This isn’t about one ideology being superior to another, or to say that any ideology has no redeeming aspects. This isn’t about at all ideology really, it’s about how we treat the people we share this planet with. 

This is about remembering that people matter more than our ideas. 

I rarely meet a truly evil or hateful person. When I do, it is almost always possible to understand why they are the way they are.

The sad thing to me is how many really awesome people I meet who are assholes because of the ideas they buy into. 

No matter what your ideology tells you, every human is nuanced and intricate and has beliefs and conflicts about those beliefs. Allowing our ideologies to reduce anyone to less than what they are is dangerous and terrifying and stupid all at the same time.

But that’s just my ideology talking.