Ideology And Pragmatism


I don’t think people carry around with them a fixed ideology. I think a majority of people, they’re going about their business, going about their lives – they just want to make sure we’re making progress.”

“We’re not going to rule out ideas because they’re Democrat or Republican. We want to just see what works.”

~ President Barak Obama at White House press conference ~  November 3, 2010

Yes, civilization represents the evolution of ideas about freedom, compassion and justice.

Yes, there are ideologies that enshrine these ideals, that are worth defending.

Yes, there are ideologies that seek to destroy our democratic way of life.

Our greatest freedoms come from the evolution of ideologies, the flexibility of ideologies, the tolerance of ideologies, the willingness  of ideologies to accept new realities, to discard the mistaken notions of the past and embrace change.

In our political system, it is the realization that we are all human and subject to error and mistaken judgment that moves us forward.

In choosing between ideological  certainty and the real world of human experience, America has thrived because we as a people have been willing to accept the truth, even when it challenges long-held beliefs.

No one can predict the future. No one  knows where all the decisions we make will lead us as a nation. But with a pragmatic eye open to reality, even when it comes into conflict with a sacred ideology, we can learn from the real world of actual events and embrace change.

Because none of us can predict the future,  because none of us knows everything, because none of us is perfect, we must set absolute certainty aside. We must come together and compromise. We must extend our vision beyond a nation of winners and losers who are constantly at war and continue our journey together toward a more perfect union.