Ron Paul: Challenging Dogma On The Campaign TrailSubmitted by Marc Clair on Wed, 05/09/2012 - 12:55
“The Revolution is alive and well. Armies cannot stop us, and the government cannot stop us…the seeds have been planted. There is no way they can silence the freedom movement today” – Ron Paul, May 4th, 2012, University of California San Diego
We know full well by now that The Revolution will not be televised, so I decided to brave Southern California Friday afternoon traffic and head down to UC San Diego to see a Ron Paul rally in person. (Side note: Next time somebody uses the “BUT WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS?!?!?” argument in an attempt to crush my libertarian views, I will simply point to California and say “Anybody but these guys”). I last attended a Ron Paul rally at USC in 2008. At that event, Dr. Paul gave a speech to what I would say was somewhere between 100 and 200 people. Even arriving nearly an hour early at UCSD I saw far more than that gathering. After I had positioned myself at the front of the stage and found my Loyal Democrat friends who I’d convinced to meet me there (“hey, it’s free” can be an effective argument), I turned and saw that the crowd had swelled massively behind me, and all I could see was a sea of bodies and Ron Paul signs. It was clear to me that, as Dr. Paul would exclaim not long after taking the stage, that the Revolution is indeed “alive and well”.
We’ve covered several Paul rallies including huge gatherings at UCLA in Los Angeles and in Ron Paul’s hometown of Pittsburgh. Other than a topical reference to the 4 day imprisonment of Daniel Chong by the DEA for the crime of smoking marijuana to point out the cruelty of the War on Drugs, this speech was very similar to those Paul has given at previous rallies. The nice thing about having a philosophy that you understand and believe in is that it’s incredibly easy to remain consistent, and you don’t need a teleprompter to do so. What struck me most about Paul’s speech was that, while technically a “campaign” speech, at no point did Dr. Paul say anything like “vote for me” or “make sure to register Republican”. It’s almost as if the actual election is the last thing on his mind. Not only does that speak to the humility of his character, but it’s also because Dr. Paul knows that freedom will never be achieved merely at the ballot box. Rather, it is achieved by changing the hearts and minds of the people, and challenging status quo dogmas. Of course, this didn’t stop the crowd from breaking into chants of “President Paul! President Paul!” numerous times.
Somehow between hosting massive rallies of young people and sweeping the delegates at the Nevada and Maine State Conventions, Dr. Paul still finds time to head back to Washington DC and challenge old dogmas in the middle of the snake pit we call Congress. Just yesterday the The Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, chaired by Ron Paul, held hearings to examine proposals to reform or abolish the Federal Reserve System. Four years ago the Federal Reserve was hardly mentioned in political debates, and now Ron Paul is holding hearings where his suggestion and title of his bestselling book “End the Fed”, is being seriously debated on C-SPAN! Dr. Paul’s opening statement below: