A Day at the Fair
I recently had the distinct pleasure of working as a volunteer at the Ron Paul for President booth at the Washington County Fair in Pennsylvania.
It was a great way to get the message of liberty out to our fellow Americans and Iâ€™m encouraged by how receptive people are.
The booth is sponsored by our Western Pennsylvania Meetup group and we have been able to speak with hundreds of interested citizens during the week of the fair. It not only helps us get Dr. Paulâ€™s and our message out, it also gives us volunteers a chance to get to know each other better and bond together. This is especially helpful in a group as diverse as Ron Paul supporters are.
When I arrived at the booth one of our assistant organizers, Kari L., was holding down the fort by herself. Kari is a friendly and knowledgeable lady and that is very important in getting the message across to people. You must be able to answer peopleâ€™s questions and also be able to counter their arguments on specific issues and do it in a friendly manner.
We were joined later by Steve M. who is outstanding in his ability to approach people. Steve showed how standing up and reaching out to people passing by as opposed to sitting on your hands inside the booth is vitally important.
We had a nice display set up and ready to go with plenty of literature and bumper stickers to hand out thanks to Nick R., another of our assistant organizers, who has done a great job of organizing our activities at the fair. All of our materials were paid for with money raised by our local group.
Each of us was wearing a different Ron Paul t-shirt which we have for sale as a fund raising activity through our group. You can see our designs at our Meetup website and purchase them by contacting us. My personal favorite is the â€œAsk Me About Ron Paulâ€ design. Iâ€™ll post a blog entry specifically on t-shirts in a few days.
A very important factor in our success was that we initiated the contact. As people passed by we opened with a smile and a friendly hello, followed by â€œWould you like to know more about Presidential candidate Ron Paul?â€ We found it especially important to say â€œPresidential candidateâ€ instead of just Ron Paul since if folks thought it was just a local politician they were not very interested. Had we just sat there and waited for them to come to us the event would not have been anywhere near as successful as it was.
The reactions we got ranged from a shaking of the head â€˜noâ€™ to â€œRon Paul is the greatest! Tell me more and how can I join in helping?â€ The most prevalent reaction was for a person to listen and take some literature home with them. During the entire evening I did not see a single person drop the â€˜slim jimsâ€™ that we were handing out into the nearby trash can nor did I see any littering the fairgrounds as I left at the end of the day.
One reason for our success was we had members of more than one party present at the booth. Kari is a Republican, Iâ€™m a Democrat and Steve is a Libertarian. If a Democrat or an independent stopped then Steve and I could relate to them directly and they were much more likely to listen.
We also did profiling as best we could. For example, if someone came up wearing a camouflage hat with a Remington logo we stressed Dr. Paulâ€™s support for the second amendment. With military personnel we told then how Dr. Paul is the leader among candidates in contributions from both active servicemen and women and veterans.
There were plenty of good, long conversations with people about the issues as well as many â€œhere is the brochure, read it when you canâ€ encounters.
We also made sure to visit the Washington County Republican and Democratic Committee booths to say hello. We stressed cooperation with the Republicans and they very friendly and supportive. Each person at their booth would later visit us on their own and express admiration for our efforts and for Dr. Paul, as did some of the Democrats.
Our hope is that our efforts will pyramid. That the people we reached out to will become interested and begin spreading the message themselves. For the $500 cost of the booth plus materials I have to say it was money very well spent.