Alex Massie

The company he keeps? Oh come off it.

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Jamie Kirchik seems very upset that some unpleasant people give money to Ron Paul's campaign and, worse, that people who have some time for Paul aren't demanding that he hand the money back:

Today I learned from Dave Weigel that the Paul campaign has no intention of returning the money it has received (and will probably continue to receive) from white supremacists. You may recall that in 1996, Bob Dole returned a $1,000 contribution from the Log Cabin Republicans. I imagine that episode made Andrew [Sullivan] angry, as it ought have. But Ron Paul taking money from a prominent neo-Nazi merits no response from Andrew, just attacks on those who merely point it out. 

Andrew has been Ron Paul's biggest booster on the blogosphere. He should explain why Ron Paul's unapologetic acceptance of money and support from neo-Nazis does not disturb him.

Well it doesn't bother me in the same way that it doesn't bother me that other candidates receive pots of cash from individuals and groups whose views I find disagreeable or repellent. In this particular instance it's pretty clear to me that Ron Paul is not in fact a Nazi sympathiser or white supremacist.

Equally it is patently daft to assume that accepting money from white supremacists is in any way an endorsement of those views. You might as well condemn WalMart for permitting Neo-Nazis to shop in their stores. If white supremacists want to waste their money upon a candidate who is not especially sympathetic to their worldview then that's their problem. I don't really understand why it should be Ron Paul's (or any other candidate who found themselves in this situation).

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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