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Non-practicing ideologues

By J.J. Jackson
web posted March 26, 2007

Former vice-president, and self-proclaimed once the "next president of the United States", Al Gore shows no signs of stopping his assault on the Jabberwocky of man-made global warming.  And why should he?  He did, after all, have had a hand in creating the internet.  With a resume enhancement like that who can blame him?

His latest excursion took him to Capitol Hill in search of a platform to preach for new converts to his religion.  Once there Mr. Environmentalist continued with his same mantra that he runs around the world spouting about how manmade global warming is going to doom us all to simultaneously both a fiery and a watery death, claiming a "consensus" on the issue that doesn't exist and telling everyone that they need to conserve and alter their life style.

Al GoreBut weeks ago the inconvenient truth came out that he uses more energy in his own home in one month than most people use in a year and working power plants overtime to feed his insatiable need for energy.   As one reader who emailed me said "How serious is he then?"  Good question and one that I myself have asked several times.  But we all know the answer.

I think we all know that for all the grand ideas do gooders like Al Gore have and their boat loads of opinions about how we should live our lives, when push comes to shove they often don't follow their own advice.

Sure, he tries to mask this problem by buying "carbon offsets" which he claims counter his massive use of energy and make him "carbon neutral" by investing in renewable and "green" energy.  But he's still using the "dirty" energy and still polluting right?

It really doesn't make sense on a basic level.  And the vast majority of people scratch their heads wondering how Mr. Gore can use massive amounts of "non-green" energy and then claim that by throwing money into his own company and investing in carbon offsets anything is actually solved.  Especially when even The Carbon Neutral Company, which sells offsets to Al Gore's Company, states clearly that such purchases "will be unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term." 

I guess the real next question is to define short term.  10 years?  50 years? 1,000 years?  "Short term" is pretty relative.  It's one of those dreaded weasel terms.  So much for being "carbon neutral".

So it doesn't really sound like Al Gore is all that serious.  Which leads to the next obvious question of why doesn't Mr. Gore just use less energy that produces CO2 himself if he is so worried about the effects of the gas on the Earth's climate?  He claims to believe in the cause after all.  So why not just cut his own emissions in a straight forward and transparent manner rather than throwing money through a series of hoops and black holes and merely "demonstrating commitment" to the cause, "educating the public" and only to "encourage the use of low-carbon technologies" as Carbon Neutral's website claims is their only goals?

The answer to all these questions is simple.  People like Al Gore are ideologues.  But they are non-practicing ideologues.  After all, actually practicing what you preach can be such a drag.

They're like the guy you know who says he is a Catholic but that has not been to church in ten years (except maybe on Easter and Christmas) and breaks each of the Ten Commandments every day and twice on Sundays for good measure.

You want another example?  Ok, you've got it.  My wife and I were driving around downtown Pittsburgh last weekend and we were behind a car that still proudly had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on the back along with another that proudly proclaimed that the driver couldn't wait for Bush's last day in office.  There was also a third sticker that made sure to let everyone know that the driver was a "treehugger".

The one problem for this would be Birkenstock wearing, 1960's liberal was the "car" was not something "environmentally friendly" but rather as gas guzzling Toyota Land Cruiser.  That's right.  This "treehugger" was driving a vehicle that (depending on the exact model year) chugs down somewhere between 12 and 17 miles per gallon and ranks among the poorest vehicles for annual greenhouse gas emissions.

See?  Another "non-practicing" environmental ideologue and disciple of Al Gore.

I have no doubt that that the driver of the vehicle had no ability to understand how ironic their choice of vehicle is.  But it is what you have to expect when dealing with people that have a world view but simply are not willing to actually live by that world view.

There are lots of non-practicing ideologues out there.  And they are not just in the radical environmentalism sector either.

Why?  Because Marxism and its promotion of a slow march from capitalism to the government nanny state of socialism and eventually to the "utopia" of communism really stinks.  And the Marxists know it.  That is why they invent magical ways of making themselves feel better and exclude not just them, but also their friends from the policies and ideas they create.  For the rabid environmentalists whose ultimately goal is to control human activity on the most minute level, they call these inventions things like "carbon offsets" or other such smoke and mirrors scheme to allow themselves the ability to live outside of their own ideas.

Forget about actually buying a smaller, more fuel efficient car.  Forget about simply not using "dirty" energy.  Forget about not jetting around the world to attend conferences and meetings in jets.  That's too easy.  It's too transparent.  It's better to keep doing what their doing and shuffle money around and through their own companies and when all is said and done claim that they have helped the environment.

Ok, so I said that non-practicing ideologues were not limited to the environmentalist movement.  And I'm ready to back that up.

John EdwardsJohn Edwards, for example, fits this bill.  John Edwards gets upset at Ann Coulter taunting him with the use of the word "faggot".  Mind you, this was after he not only employed but also defended a pair of anti-Catholic, anti-Bush (heck anti-anything that wasn't liberal for that matter) bloggers in Melissa McEwan and Amanda Marcotte who threw out expletives and taunts at other people not fit to print here.   And Edwards gets upset about being called a name after that?

Of course he does.  He is immune to the standard his ideology holds others to while he believes in it because he himself is "non-practicing".

But don't think that only the left has these non-practicing ideologues.  Sure, they are more prevalent among that segment of the populace.  But they exist all over the political spectrum.  Some, like Al Gore and John Edwards use the fact that they are non-practicing ideologues to continue doing what they are doing outside of their ideology.  But others claim to be non-practicing ideologues in order to excuse their past behaviors and garner favor.

Rudy Giuliani, for example, who despite his strong pro-abortion record and firm reliance on unconstitutional gun control laws while mayor of New York claims that if elected president he will appoint strict constructionists (i.e. judges who would have a strong chance of overturning Roe v. Wade and upholding the second amendment) to the bench despite being against what he believes in.  He's yet another non-practicing ideologue.

He believes that abortion and gun control are ok, but he isn't actively practicing that ideology.  Or so he claims.  And that is the basis on which he hopes to get conservatives to vote for him.

Just understand that it's just easier for all these people to act in this way.  It is easier to claim to believe in something (or not believe in something).  But when push comes to shove and it is time to walk the walk, all of these folks stop going to the alter at which they prayed for so long. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor of Conservative News & Opinion – The Land of the Free and also the owner of The Right Things – Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.


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