Brian Doherty: Paul Festival: The Fight for the Ron Paul Grassroots' SoulSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Sat, 08/25/2012 - 15:25
The Ron Paul grassroots are celebrating their final hurrah, at least during the actual political career of their inspiration, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), at Tampa’s Florida fairgrounds this weekend. (Paul will be holding his own farewell rally on Sunday.) Day one of the Paul Festival showed a movement less unified, present, and excited than it wants to be. But most of them are still sure that, whether or not the Republican Party will continue to be the horse they ride, they’ll keep up a fight for political liberty that’s turning out to be more complicated and difficult than many expected.
The event was thinly attended on day one; my estimate is no more than 800 were present at any one time. The festival occupied two linked huge hanger-like buildings. One was filled with exhibitor booths of appeal to the Paul world—the Free State Project, Ron Paul candy bars and T-shirts, the Independent Institute, the Libertarian Party, and purveyors of hard money and soft beef jerky.