Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, December 21, 2021

Maverick Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is staying true to his populist image by refusing to return the $500 campaign contribution he received from Don Black, who runs a white supremacist website called the “Stormfront White Nationalist Community”.

The reasoning behind keeping the money is pretty specious, though:

“Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he’s wasted his money,” Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. “Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom.

“And that’s $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does,” Benton added.

In practical terms, there’s no risk in dissing Black and his ilk, precisely because they represent a fringe movement, e.g. a “small ideology”. Paul’s not going to alienate any significant number of voters by spurning white supremacists, and indeed will probably see a net gain of supporters. Meanwhile, what are the whitey-righties going to do to retaliate — vote for Obama?

Still, keeping the money and framing it as some sort of resource drain to prevent further mischief from disagreeable movements? Not that any candidate is obliged to apply a blanket policy to how it handles campaign contributions, but let’s imagine how the Paul campaign would address donations from “big ideologies” if it treated them the same way:

- National Rifle Association: “Keeping this money keeps that many more guns out of the hands of these people!”

- Planned Parenthood: “This is a few hundred dollars less that abortion clinics will have to keep the lights on!”

- Oil companies: “Less money for fossil-fuel drilling, more to dedicate toward research on green-energy solutions!”

- Pharmaceutical makers: “We’re taking this money in the hopes that we’ll see fewer of those penis-pill commercials on TV!”

Heck, the possibilities are endless. Who knew spreading the message of freedom was a special-interests zero-sum game?

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/21/2007 08:49:08 PM
Category: Politics
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