Ron Paul supporters are different. Many of them seem to take the view that you are either for Ron Paul or you’re going to hell with the rest of the traitors. I received an email today which was a response to some pointed criticism of Ron Paul by Rush Limbaugh. In it, the writer called Limbaugh a “globalist New World Order hack and shill.” He then charged that Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck are “well paid shills…enemies from within, not friends to liberty and freedom.”
One of the reasons I have stopped listening to Michael Savage – and often turn off Mark Levin – is that each of them routinely insults and demeans other conservative talk show hosts. I find that deplorable. I have a similar reaction to the “Ron Paul or you’re going to hell” contingent. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are not friends to liberty and freedom? All these commentators have different strengths, different weaknesses. Each brings his own unique set of gifts to the battle. Would it make any sense for the Navy to insult and demean the Air Force because the Air Force engages the enemy with a different set of tools than does the Navy? One of the reasons our military is so effective is that we have many different approaches to defeating an enemy. I see Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin, Savage, and many other talk show commentators as soldiers enlisted “till the conflict is o’er.” None is perfect, but overall and in combination with one another they have done a great service to the nation. But when any of those conservative talk show soldiers attempts to destroy the credibility of another, they lose me.
Likewise Ron Paul supporters. Oftentimes I perceive these folks as Zoramites standing on their ideological Rameumptoms with their hands stretched forth to heaven thanking God that “thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell” (Alma 31:17). Remember the sweet spirit of Gordon B. Hinckley as he spoke of those of other faiths who don’t believe as we do? He said:
“We can respect other religions, and must do so. We must recognize the great good they accomplish. We must teach our children to be tolerant and friendly toward those not of our faith…We recognize the good in all churches. We recognize the value of religion generally. We say to everyone: live the teachings which you have received from your church. We invite you to come and learn from us, to see if we can add to those teachings and enhance your life and your understanding of things sacred and divine” (Gordon B. Hinckley, interview with Lawrence Spicer, London News Service, 28 Aug. 1995).
There seems to be no such Christ-like tolerance among Ron Paul supporters. Only calumny. There is neither tolerance nor friendliness towards those not of their political faith. They don’t recognize any of the good done by Rush Limbaugh and the others. Where is the brotherly love among these folks, inviting those who see things differently to come and learn from them and see if they can add truth to what we already possess? As was Alma and his brethren, having observed the arrogance of the Zoramites, I find myself “astonished beyond all measure” (Alma 31:19) at the rash invective hurled by those who ought to be our brethren.