Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that this is an interesting term whose meaning, or connotation has changed subtly through the centuries.  By derivation of course, it means the “study of ideas.”  That definition is now considered either archaic or belonging to the realm of philosophy.  But its hidden, and increasingly not so hidden meaning has come to be something a touch nefarious.

Ideology has come to be associated with extreme left and extreme right political or social factions.  To personalize the word, give it a little sting, the targets of this word are called “ideologues” (so and so is just another crazy ideologue – you hear this all the time).  Well this pejorative use of the word, drives ME crazy.  We ALL have a large set of notions that constitute the way we look at, make sense of, and understand our environment.  And of course, ideas are not always true, which I guess means scientifically proven or validated?  So the notion that iIdeology 6deologues often believe in myths, or fanciful speculation has developed.

This begs the question though, are the great masses of centrists in the world free of ideology?  Of course not.  Not even for us folks who split things down the middle, base our concepts on things we know, and things we think we know.  It is especially popular for members of the extreme left to call members of the extreme right, ideologues, as though the term were a polite but definite slur.  The right does the same to the left.

I am waiting for the day when a socialist calls me a centrist ideologue.  The unkindest cut of all.  I guess then I will be accused of being wishy washy, hopelessly undecided, or worse (rather than thoughtful, balanced, or eclectic – now wouldn’t that be a terrible thing?).

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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