by Henry Oliner

When Ron Paul was a Republican candidate he was easily the first choice of the hard core libertarians. Yet he also attracted many hard core anti-Semitic and white supremacists. While I support many of his libertarian principles (I opposed his isolationist foreign policy), I felt uncomfortable with many of the groups who supported him.

I never accused Ron Paul of being anti-Semitic or racist; he had never made any statement that would indicate he was. He had never actively sought out the association of these groups, yet he seemed reluctant to denounce or distance himself or his campaign from them.

Should it matter that reprehensible groups support YOUR candidate? I would contend that while it may be a factor it is a small one. I would contend that the candidate’s direct personal relationships are far more important; who has he chosen to align himself with. People can be judged by the company they keep, to some extent.

This same test applies to Obama. Should it matter that Hamas, the Communist Party, or Iran’s Ahmadinejad, claim to support Obama? Probably not. Should Barak be called upon to denounce every nefarious supporter who announces their support for him? The better question is why these parties identify with him, but one can not fault the candidate for every wacko that supports him.

But Obama’s ties with Reverend Wright and his selection of several foreign policy advisors with questionable support for Israel is fair game. These are relationships the candidate has chosen. These can not be dismissed as mere “lies perpetuated to scare the old Jews in Florida”.

Ask yourself, “Are there any relationships in your past that would embarrass you if you sought high office the way so many past and current relationships have embarrassed Obama?”