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Even Bigger Than Ron Paul

I’ve worked long and hard to promote Ron Paul and his message and will continue to do so however tough the odds may be (on both counts) . I love Ron Paul and have a huge amount of respect for him and his character and integrity and I certainly still hold out hope that he can win.

Ultimately though all of us who care about the issues Ron Paul is fighting for will be in this for the long haul regardless of what happens in the 2008 elections. If Paul is elected it will still be a struggle to implement changes and improve things — one that will last for years. If he is not elected then we are probably in for an even bigger struggle. I hope that those of us who are new to this “Ron Paul Revolution” will not give up and walk away if Paul does not win. He is a focal point, a leader and an example, but the message is bigger than the man. I believe Ron Paul feels the same way, as he often says: “freedom is popular”. Let us always keep a long term perspective and never allow temporary setbacks to deter us from doing what is right.

This is a good article from The Facts written by John Tompkins. It echoes my sentiments and also provides interesting detail and insight into both the Ron Paul Revolution and the man himself. (Mr. Tompkins has written a number of interesting articles which I recommend.)

 

Supporters: Movement bigger than Paul

Published January 18, 2008

When Ron Paul first announced he was considering a run for the Republican nomination for president in January 2007, he didn’t know what to expect.

He said then he was forming an exploratory committee — the initial step toward a formal campaign — because he was asked to by a strong contingent of supporters. After first telling them no, he decided to create the committee to see if there was any interest out there for a Paul presidency.

“I’m willing to do this and test the waters,” he said at the time.

Exactly a year later, a humble push for the Lake Jackson congressman has turned into a nationwide campaign. Powered by individuals rather than campaign organizers, it has turned into the most-financed Republican campaign in the last quarter of 2007 with $20 million in donations raised mostly through the Internet.

It has been supported by a group of very young and committed volunteers who love Paul’s views on ending the Iraq war, bringing back the gold standard, ending the federal income tax and abolishing federal agencies such as the CIA and IRS.

And Paul loves the attention to those views from the young people. While campaigning in South Carolina and New Hampshire, Paul never once turned down an offer to take a picture with a supporter, film a video introduction for a high school TV news program or sign a pocket-sized version of the Constitution.

After placing fifth in the New Hampshire primary, Paul stayed long after giving a speech at a Concord hotel answering such requests to hundreds of hands reaching over a velvet rope.

“He doesn’t want to disappoint anyone,” said Karl Golovin, security director for Paul’s campaign.

A different campaign

Paul doesn’t have the army of paid staff members other candidates have, choosing instead to allow volunteers to campaign of their own volition for him. The two most successful fundraisers, which helped net him $10 million, were not initiated by his campaign.

“This is a freedom-loving group that has done whatever they want to,” he said.Most of his campaign funding is spent on advertising on television, radio and direct mail campaigns, Paul’s campaign chair Kent Snyder said.

“The money is spent on traditional things,” he said. “We spent close to $4 million in New Hampshire.”

When he started his campaign, Paul was not taken seriously as a contender and Snyder said he had a hard time finding staff members with serious campaign experience.

“They laughed at the whole effort,” he said. “They didn’t think we could raise money.”

When his campaign gained traction and he raised the same amount of money as “top-tier” candidates, résumés poured in for campaign staff, he said.

Throughout his campaign, Paul has insisted he would not tell his supporters what to do nor would he disavow them for having views he did not share, such as promoting prostitution or conspiracy theories surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

When asked during the Republican debate in South Carolina last week if he would “divorce” himself from supporters who held views that the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or ask them to abandon those views, Paul refused.

“Well, it doesn’t do me any good, so if they care about me, they should,” he said. “But the only thing I have control over is what I believe and what I say. I can’t tell them what to do.”

Many of his supporters will tell you they support the ideas Paul espouses rather than Paul himself. His supporters say that is why the former obstetrician turned congressman has been so successful gaining support and donations throughout the country.

“I don’t even relate to the guy,” said Tom Griffith, a Portsmouth, N.H., college student. “I have nothing in common with a 72-year-old man from Texas. But I believe in his ideas.”

While waiting for returns the night of the New Hampshire primary showing Paul likely would come in fifth place, University of Maryland student Mike Schwarz lamented that Paul’s campaign was bigger than the candidate.

“We’re using him as a vehicle to spread the message of freedom,” he said.

The success of Paul’s campaign, which also includes a fifth-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses and fourth-place showing in Tuesday’s Michigan Primary, has been hard to pinpoint for Paul or even seasoned political analysts.

“He’s tapped into something,” said George Stephanopolous, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton and now host of “This Week,” ABC’s Sunday news program. “I don’t know exactly what it is. All I know is whenever I go to a college campus, I see a lot of Ron Paul supporters.”

Contrasting approach

More than 300 people filled a snow-covered plaza last week in front of the gold-capped dome of the New Hampshire Capitol in Concord.

They were waiting for Republican candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona to arrive. As two charter buses pulled up on the side, an entourage of media and former politicians poured out of the bus and walked into the plaza, including CBS News anchor Katie Couric and former Texas senator and presidential candidate Phil Gramm.

As McCain walked out of the bus, reporters and photographers swamped him as he made his way to the center of the plaza to deliver a stump speech covering topics such as the nuclear ambitions of Iran, wasteful government spending and global warming.

“I need your support,” he told the crowd, which was peppered with supporters from other campaigns, including Paul’s. “We will hand to you a cleaner president than the one you had before I become president.”

While most presidential candidates rolled through a snowy New Hampshire with chartered buses, a security detail and an entourage of media and campaign aides, Paul’s approach was more modest.

Paul often traveled in a rented minivan with his campaign spokesman Jess Benton, Golovin and an assortment of family members that included his wife, Carol.

While waiting to speak to an anxious crowd the night of the New Hampshire Primary, Paul readied himself then turned around and looked at members of his family.

“Walk with me onto the stage,” he said.

While Paul talked to his rapt audience about ending the Iraq war, eliminating the Federal Reserve and empowering individual freedoms, his wife, his son, Rand Paul, and several other relatives stood behind him.

Being on the campaign trail might be exciting, but it also can be a bit stressful, Carol Paul said.

“I don’t know if it’s fun,” she said. “I understand it has to be done.”

Carol and Rand Paul have been part of a Paul presidential run before, when the congressman was the Libertarian candidate in 1988, as well as many of his congressional elections.

While Ron Paul signed placards and pocket Constitutions during his campaign, Carol Paul also was asked to pose for pictures as supporters told her they hoped she would be First Lady.

“It’s wonderful to hear that,” Carol Paul said of the crowds who cheer for her husband. “They know how important it is.”

Traveling from one campaign stop to another can get a little taxing after awhile, Paul’s daughter-in-law, Peggy Paul, said while he talked with students in New Hampshire.

“You just get caught up in the movement,” she said. “Sometimes it gets a little confusing,” knowing where to be.”

Ron Paul, who has five children and 17 grandchildren, said he loves having his family travel with him while he’s campaigning, at least because he knows where they are.

“If they’re not here, I’m always worrying about what they’re doing,” he said.


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7 Responses

  1. I am definitely there for the long haul, and I do understand the task will last much longer than anyone thinks. Thank God for the internet, or the truth would never have surfaced. Bigger yet, RP would never raised the dollars needed to get the message out. I just made my 3rd donation yesterday.

  2. Um he has 18 grandchildren and one GREAT grandchild. 🙂

    The campaign started on Feb 24th in Pembroke NH at a private house party where 200 people turned out and we raised $25,000

  3. I will vote for Ron Paul, but I do wish we had a libertarian candidate that wasn’t so idealistic. I do not think public roads should turn into toll roads, and there are a few things I feel that public money should be spent on, such as our national parks system. I think most people agree with me on this, and if we had a candidate that supported liberty in principle but also recognized the good (albeit very limited) government can do, such a candidate would have much wider support. With public support for a more reasonable common sense approach, libertarian principles could get off the ground. I have a gut feeling that the libertarian party was, some time ago, infiltrated by idealists that subvert the goals of the party, and the cause of liberty.

  4. I mean, first things first. The first thing I see that needs to be done is to eliminate the income tax, replacing it with a sales tax, which would be of course the only fair tax, not to mention the added bonus of it being the only thing that can tax the underground economy, which everyone participates in, except those dreaming of a position on the supreme court. The IRS (probably somewhat smaller) would have a new goal of enforcing the sales tax. I’m sure someone has already said all this before, so I’ll shut up.

    If a president did nothing more than get rid of the income tax, the whole thing would be a huge success. Worry about ideals later.

  5. Don’t you think eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a sales tax will just create an even bigger black market? It’s seem like the wealthier people/corporations could still find “legal” ways around it. I suppose a sales tax might be an improvement over the current system where the taxes are extracted from us before we’re even paid. There may be slightly more individual control over how much taxes one pays if there was a sales tax instead, not much though.

    Ron Paul is correct when he says eliminating the income tax will simply return us to the national revenue levels of about 10 years ago. I think it will all have to be done incrementally, but to accomplish the elimination of the income tax (without replacing it with a different tax) it seems the government only needs to start cutting the needless spending, which there’s a LOT of. Is that so idealistic?

  6. It is all about strategy. Dismantle the federal reserve? maybe…I don’t know enough about the issue. But even proposing it puts you up against forces you don’t want to have to deal with. At least not at first. I think a better strategy would be to concentrate on other issues that voters have everyday experience with. A politician usually has to be just that, a politician, to some extent at least. OK, i just educated myself slightly on the subject of the fed, and it seems that it is a strange bird. Looks ok except for the fact that Member Banks (who subscribe to federal reserve “stock”) are the ones who elect 6 of the 9 directors of each federal reserve bank. These directors can not own banking stock, but there are sure to be conflicts of interest and other shennanigans going on. Just look at the FDA. Our government doesn’t seem capable of or willing to construct bureacracy in such a fashion that corruption has a hard time playing in. And most Americans don’t want to recognize how corrupt things are here. Doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling, does it? Go watch some sitcoms.

  7. But even proposing it puts you up against forces you don’t want to have to deal with.

    This is definitely true. But I think these “forces” already know enough about Dr. Paul to opppose him regardless of what he says. They’ve seen how he has voted the last 20 years in Congrees. That’s why he’s repeatedly censored in the news and not allowed much time in debates. He has integrity and that doesn’t fit in their system.

    I suppose Dr. Paul wants as much as anything to educate people, or wake them up enough so that they’ll educate themselves about the Constitution, the fed, Austrian economics, etc. If he can get enough support for his positions then the fight can be won but he most likely can’t win it himself.

    Definitely research the fed more. Watch “America: Freedom to Fascism” (it’s on my “movies & literature” page). Also read my recent post about the fed:

    https://nyletterpress.wordpress.com/2008/02/02/be-critical-of-the-federal-reserve/

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