Politics and Cults
By Arnold Kling
I started to write this as a blog post this morning, but I turned it into an essay, and TCS quickly ran it.
So, I still have not defined “cult.” For now, let’s say that you are in a cult if you have a set of beliefs where your emotional defense mechanisms have shut down any receptivity to what others would consider reasonable doubt.
Again, I am not sure that this is a rigorous definition. If your doubts about the theory of evolution seem reasonable to you but not to me, does that mean that from your perspective I belong to the “cult” of evolution?
…I do not know Ron Paul. He may be wise. He may be decent. But to dismiss all doubts about his judgment and his character would be to succumb to a cult.
Let me hasten to add that I do not think of the Paul cult as unique. I am equally loathe to join the Clinton cult, the Obama cult, the Guiliani cult…you name it.
For me, democratic politics is a “lesser of evils” game, and I’m never sure how best to play it. But I have to say that when I read that this year’s New Hampshire primary had a record turnout, it made my heart sink rather than warm. Not that I’m against voting, but I hate to think of people as buying into anyone’s political campaign.
Read the whole thing, and let me know what you think.