Right's Mistake: Ignoring Ron Paul

Conservatives sideline candidate amid growing support for his ideas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2011 1:32 PM CST
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks at a campaign town hall in Derry, N.H., Dec. 14.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – It's time for mainstream conservatives to stop pretending Ron Paul doesn't exist, writes Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic. He embodies the Tea Party's small-government ethos. He raises "legitimate concerns"—about the Iraq war, for example—that no other candidate will espouse; most Republicans now see that war as a "mistake." Yet mainstream conservative voices, like the National Review, are doing their best to keep Paul on the fringes, even "egregiously" distorting his views to do so.

The magazine recently accused Paul of "re-dabbling in vile conspiracy theories about September 11," conjuring up images of a 9/11 Truther. But that's a complete misreading of Paul's comments. He simply suggested that "there was glee in the administration" after 9/11 "because now we can invade Iraq." It's typical of the way Paul gets treated on the right. Conservatives should be warned: "Dismissing the burgeoning number of Americans on the right who are suspicious of interventionism and hawkishness is intellectually suspect and unwise." What's more, in sidelining Paul, they're behaving very much like the dreaded mainstream media. (Read more Ron Paul stories.)

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