I've personally liked and respected Ron Paul ever since I interviewed him in my college dorm room. But I don't support his political movement. It reminds me too much of the evangelical Christianity I once embraced.
Consider the ways that many of Ron Paul's core supporters are like religious fundamentalists:
- They have a simple solution to every problem. For evangelicals, it's more God. For Ron Paul supporters, it's less government.
- Their positions are logically consistent, but only if you accept strict, specific interpretations of key documents. For evangelicals, it's the Bible. For Ron Paul supporters, it's the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
- They have an "us against the world" mentality in which business, government, and media elites are all working against them.
- They believe our civilization teeters on the brink of destruction and only their philosophy can save it. Evangelicals predict apocalyptic tribulations for the unsaved; Ron Paul supporters warn of a tyrannical socialist police state.
- They reflexively lash out against any perceived criticism of their philosophy or its leader (see: every comment section on the Internet).
These similarities to religious fundamentalism are extremely ironic of course, given Ron Paul's belief in individual liberty and independent thinking.
When I was an evangelical Christian I believed I had all the answers. Anyone who thought otherwise was simply wrong. Eventually -- and painfully -- I realized I was wrong.
That's why I'm so skeptical of any single-minded movement brandishing absolute truths and promising simple solutions to complex problems.
And that's why -- very respectfully -- I don't support Ron Paul.