Many a political idea is shot down these days as “idealistic.” There is nothing wrong with being idealistic. We should strive for ideals in leaps and bounds, though we normally are lucky to even make baby steps. When it comes to the law, it had better be as ideal as possible.

The sleight of hand the cool people use, which you probably already know but I’m slow to grasp, is “idealist” is applied not to lofty goals, but the claim that some crazy program or another is going to create an idealistic society. The application is double-standardized so a leftist can be shot down for being idealist in the sense of touting a utopian program, and then conservatives, with some presumption of equivalence in the term, are shot down for holding high aspirations.