The Sanctimonious Smugness of Ideological Puritans

It would be an understatement to say that I am annoyed easily. You all would know that I flare up at the simplest provocation. Yet nothing annoys me more politically than the sanctimony of those I generally agree with.

I am, of course, talking about puritan libertarians. Those who seem to think it okay to retreat from political discourse, and instead, do little more than spend their times in the echo-chamber of those who they agree with.

Oh, it’s so easy to be “pure”. To “stand up for what you believe”. I’m sure the people who espouse politically puritanical views sleep so well at night, knowing that they “have not compromised their ideals”.

The problem is,such an attitude achieves nothing. It makes no difference to the world, it achieves no change. It does nothing other than to make the holder feel smug and morally superior.

Yes, politics is difficult. Yes, compromise is tough. But at the end of the day, those of us on the right – conservatives and libertarians both – need to recognize that we hold 95% of our principles in tandem. And for someone to take the easy road, and refuse to even dialogue with their ideological compatriots – then that is cowardice of the highest order.

The only way to achieve change is to build alliances. Those of us who decide to declare war on everyone who isn’t “pure” have little interest in that. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that they have little interest in affecting change; all they care about is being able to continue riding their moral high horse.

The real political heroes are not those who “remain pure”, proclaiming to all and sundry how difficult this must be for them. Rather, the real heroes are those who toil away at actually changing things. Who have the backbone and moral fortitude to put aside their own arrogance, and actually work with others to achieve change.

Look, I think more than most people involved in partisan politics, I have a general detestation towards political compromise. I certainly believe principles matter. But there is a point where ideological puritans are no longer fighting for principles, but rather, simply to sate their ego. To be able to tell people that they are “pure” and damn the consequences.  And such selfish action I can not tolerate.

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8 Responses to “The Sanctimonious Smugness of Ideological Puritans”

  1. Ben Says:

    I can also see how the so-called Moderate’s position is a form of “moral Puritanism” dressed in sanctimonious clothes. Fence sitting is a form of fundamentalism – but your broader argument makes perfect sense.

  2. Hmm Says:

    95% of the same principles? I think we’re down to about 60% since Tony Abbot became leader 🙂

  3. Jake the Muss Says:

    You conveniently failed to provide a single example of this in action, making your statement so vague as to leave it incapable of being rebutted or meaningfully commented on. A fine rhetorical trick.

    Except unfortunately a super genius reads your blog and eats rhetorical tricks for breakfast. I dare you to rectify.

  4. Ross Grove Says:

    Tim Andrews, is he what he tells us? Or is he what he has become over the years? An F-C-I-N-O? Fiscal Conservative in Name Only? A wolf in sheep’s clothing…

  5. Tim Humphries Says:

    Under this logic would Mr. Turnbull hence be welcomed back to the Opposition Leader’s role if an opportunity presented itself in the next 6-12months?

    Or am I mis-reading the analytic imputation of idelogical and political “compromise”.

    Go Tony! 🙂

  6. Hmm Says:

    You would have to first accept that Mr. Turnbull was either a conservative or a libertarian. A very long bow to draw!

    I guess you could call “compromise” leaving the LDP to join the Liberal Party after years of labelling everyone that failed to do the opposite unprincipled. Or is that hypocrisy?

  7. Jake the Muss Says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Hmm has Tim Humphries confused with John Humphreys. THAT is very funny.

  8. Hmm Says:

    hahaha you’re right. I was thinking of a way to save face, but what the hell – Ooops! I stand by my point though. John Humphries is a dick.

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