Friday, January 11, 2008

FITP Presents: How To Be A Blogging Ideologue

Well, it's another presidential election year, which means the political blogosphere will be really hopping. I don't know about you, but in these times I think what the Internets need--what we all need really--is many more ideologically driven bloggers. We just don't have enough. So I'm going to do my part to bring more folks into the fold. After all, the more pointless blather there is, the better off the nation will be, don't you think?

You think you don't have the chops to be a blogging ideologue. You think you don't have what it takes? Well, you sell yourself short. It's really not that hard. Just follow these simple rules and you too can get into the game:

1. Subscribe to a set of positions and act as though those positions are 100% correct, with no room for doubt or error.

2. Never assume that anyone who is not on your "side" may just have an honest disagreement with you or that they have arrived at their conclusions through sincere means. Always assume instead that that person is motivated by some evil or otherwise nefarious impulse. If you are a religious or social conservative, for instance, you should assume that less-socially conservative conservatives are motivated by money and/or selfishness rather than honest intellectual disagreement. If you are a peacenik liberal, for another instance, you should assume that any other liberals who are more hawkish than you must be just doing what is politically expedient for them at the expense of higher principles.

3. Ignore new facts that come to light if those facts are inconvenient to your 100% correct position. By that same token, trumpet any new facts that support your 100% correct position. Bonus points: when trumpeting these new facts, make sure to criticize ideologues on the other "side" for ignoring these facts because they are inconvenient to their position.

4. Excuse any rude or untoward behavior you may exhibit toward others by pointing out over and over that this is what you have to do because you are Fighting for Something Very Important. More bonus points: act as though you’ve gotten the vapors when anyone you’ve attacked returns fire. Then use their perfectly legitimate response to you as proof of the righteousness of your position.

5. Treat anyone who is generally on your “side” like a traitor if they disagree with you on a few points. Be sure to beat your chest a lot about personal honor, party loyalty and so forth. By that same token, treat anyone who is not generally on your “side” as though they are somehow wonderful, honorable people if they occasionally step across party lines to support your “side.” Party loyalty only goes one way, after all. If you need an example, check out how some conservative ideologues treat John McCain. Now look at how many of those same folks treat Joe Lieberman.

6. Only focus on the positions people arrive at rather than how they got there to determine what team colors they’re wearing. As an example, if a generally liberal person is nonetheless interested in controlling immigration because of its effect on American workers, the liberal ideologue should declare this person no longer a “real” liberal, since we all know that there is no possible way someone could be opposed to open borders and still be a liberal. As an another example, if a generally conservative person is opposed to the Iraq invasion for isolationist, constitutional or other normally “conservative” reasons, you should nevertheless immediately write that person off as a liberal, because we all know that only liberals oppose the Iraq invasion.

7. Link only to bloggers and sites which reflect the view that everyone on your “side” is brilliant and everyone on the other “side” is stupid and/or nutcase. If you are a lefty, for instance, you must always link approvingly to any other lefty sites or bloggers, whether these sites or bloggers are completely whacko or not, while only linking to the most extreme conservative sites or bloggers to demonstrate how wrong and/or crazy all conservatives are.

8. Always extrapolate your personal experiences to the world at large and never allow for exceptions or use new information to adjust your positions (see number 3 for a refresher). For instance, if you were once unjustly terminated by a major corporation, you should naturally assume that all major corporations operate in this fashion. If, as yet another for instance, you once had a hippie-ish liberal neighbor who had a spoiled, bratty kid, you should assume that all hippie-ish liberals have spoiled, bratty kids.

9. Never, ever, ever admit you were wrong. It’s a sign of weakness. Remember, you are Fighting for Something Very Important here, and there’s no time for intellectual honesty. Which reminds me: you probably ought to determine what “important thing” you are going to be fighting for. If you need a jumpstart, here are some suggestions: God, the poor, minorities, women, small business people, world peace, the free market, freedom and/or liberty. There are hundreds of these. Just pick the ones that get your particular motor running.

10. Measure your talent as a blogger only by how many people already on your side agree with you along with by how many people not on your side completely despise you. Remember: these are the only two sorts of people in the world.

Always glad to help. Now get to it. You have an election to screw up.