The concept of “ideological purity” simply means staying 100% true to your ideals and values when you vote.
In choosing a candidate for whom to vote for any office or position, isn’t it reasonable to expect that the candidate, if elected, will proceed to deliver votes on critical issues that match the candidate’s campaign rhetoric, promises and/or party label?
Before some wordy pontification on this topic, a brief musical interlude from songwriters Joe Darion & Mitchell Leigh (with thanks & apologies):
“To dream the impossible dream; To fight the unbeatable foe; to bear with unbearable sorrow; to run where the brave dare not go; to right the unrightable wrong; to try when your arms are too weary; to reach the unreachable star; to fight for the right without question or pause; to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.”
Isn’t that what we are all looking for in a candidate? A person to fight our battles,to vanquish our foes, and to stand up for our dearly-held principles.
But how many times have you voted to elect someone, that person ends up winning their election, and when they take office their votes in office do not match the principles for which they claimed to stand when they were campaigning?
A good guess would be that this happens a lot to most everyone.
When choosing a candidate for whom to vote in any election, it is impossible to know in advance how they will vote on every issue that might come before them when the take office. So, we end up relying on the “brand” under which they run.
So, if you want to have lower taxes, smaller and less intrusive government at all levels, more personal liberty, support of traditional American values, and the like, logic dictates that you would vote for the Republican candidate.
But if you want to expand the government and do not care whether taxes keep increasing or whether personal liberty is degraded or whether traditional American values are important, logic dictates that you would vote for the candidate bearing the Democrat Party label.
As previously noted, the Republican Brand has been diluted and the “R” label often can no longer simply be relied upon to produce an office holder that is true to Republican Party principles.
Since we live in an imperfect world, and since all humans are themselves imperfect, the ideal of 100% ideological purity is truly an impossible dream. Probably the most that one can hope for is around the 80% range or so.
Seldom do we find a candidate or office holder with whom we agree on 100% of what they say or what they do. And we do not have political party loyalty oaths to try to weed out the fakes, or, as some might say, the RINOs.
A great sage long ago said that there are three ways to learn the real truth about a person: 1- what they say; 2- what they do; and 3- what others say about them. This should most certainly apply to candidates and office holders.
In my book, #2 is the most important of the three attributes.
If their words, or more importantly, their actions in office, fall below the 80% threshold (or whatever number happens to suit you), they should be voted out office (or never elected in the first place), no matter what they have called themselves.
While words and labels can be very important, actual actions are much more important.