I was recently accused of having a left-wing ideology by someone who commented on a post about the pledge of allegiance.
Merriam-Webster defines ideology as:
a: a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture; b: a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture; c: the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program.
To say that I have a liberal ideology suggests that, because overall I’m a liberal, I must have certain opinions on everything.
But I’d like to think that I’m a relatively independent thinker. Sure, overall I agree more often with liberals than with conservatives. However, now and then I find that my opinions on an issue are considered part of the conservative ideology.
For example, I believe that everyone who lives in America should learn to speak English. I believe that young children shouldn’t be exposed to violence in the media. I don’t believe that Islam is per definition a peaceful religion.
I doubt that because of these opinions, most people who follow my blog would pigeonhole me as a conservative.
The whole reason I didn’t want my three-year-old to pledge allegiance to the flag–in a Montessori school no less–is because I didn’t want others to implant automatic connections or assumptions in her head.
Connections like: Going to war must be the right thing at this moment, because the president is telling us to with the American flag in the background. Assumptions like: If you don’t pledge allegiance to the flag, you must be against America. And if you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?
I want my children to listen to people,–to different ideas, opinions, feelings–and then use their own reasoning skills and research skills and their sense of humanity to determine what they themselves think.
I want my children to learn the difference between fact and opinion and to be able to recognize manipulation and indoctrination when they see and hear it.
I want my children to recognize an ideology when they encounter it, and be mindful of automatically having a certain opinion on issue B because it’s considered to be the right opinion to go with their opinion on Issue A.
Though that would be convenient, it’s mentally lazy and irresponsible. In my opinion, anyway.