Comment: Al Gerhart Hindered the Liberty Movement in Oklahoma

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Al Gerhart Hindered the Liberty Movement in Oklahoma

A few comments on Qadoshyah's post.

Some background: I participated in the process at every level, including being elected a national delegate in the parking lot of the OK state convention (and attending the convention in Tampa).

First, Qadoshyah's rundown above is just about exactly how I would characterize what we went through trying to deal with the national campaign through Mr. Gerhart in Oklahoma. I obviously can't vouch for their private interactions, but I had my own exchanges with Mr. Gerhart over his demand that we release the names of the people we were planning to elect as delegates so he could "vet" them (which I interpreted as code for booting anyone he didn't like). I informed Mr. Gerhart that the Ron Paul movement in Oklahoma was in a better position to assess the merits of its delegates than he was (him not being a Libertarian and all).

Well it turns out that our process worked beautifully. In the three districts Mr. Gerhart wasn't able to interfere with (not that he didn't try: he issued a hit piece on one of our delegates the morning of the convention), we swept the districts.

He absolutely tried to split the vote in our 5th district convention. Luckily the people he tried to set up as his own delegate slate voluntarily refused to run at the convention out of solidarity with the Ron Paul movement. If Mr. Gerhrt's plot had succeeded, we wouldn't have won a single delegate (instead we won every single vote for every single position).

And the simple fact of the matter is that EVERY SINGLE ONE of our delegates (the ones Mr. Gerhart tried to sabotage) did their job in Tampa. We got nine delegates (three from each of the three districts we won). Three of them were bound to Romney per state law, and their votes were disallowed. Six of them were unbound, and Ron Paul got six votes from Oklahoma. So the implication that allowing Mr. Gerhart to veto our delegate choices would have been better just doesn't hold any water.

Secondly, Al Gerhart, from what I can see and read in his newsletters, is not a Libertarian, and he doesn't hold the same values as Ron Paul or the Ron Paul movement. He is an abrasive, vicious person. He antagonizes and berates people (whether they're on his side or not), and he compiles an invective-filled newsletter that is not only filled with ad hominem attacks on people but the kind of anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-immigrant vitriol that far more resembles the hatemongering wing of the Tea Party than the Ron Paul movement or Libertarianism generally.

He was never a good fit for the Ron Paul movement. I think he would have been much more at home running Michele Bachmann's campaign in Oklahoma than Ron Paul's.

I think a lot of the trouble in Oklahoma stemmed from that alone. People interested in learning and meeting about Ron Paul had to go through Mr. Gerhart to get there, and Al Gerhart doesn't remotely represent the values of Ron Paul or the Liberty movement. This is not a hate movement, and the people who didn't want to be part of the hateful sham that the national campaign became in Oklahoma naturally coalesced around each other (if you want to call it grassroots, that's what it was).

We organized ourselves, we educated ourselves, we expanded ourselves, and we got Dr. Paul nine delegates, thirteen alternates, and three electors when he was entitled to NONE of each. And we did this despite the fact that Ron Paul's own state coordinator was sabotaging (both intentionally with his spite and unintentionally with his horrid interpersonal behavior) Ron Paul at every turn.

So, I suppose those of you who aren't in Oklahoma have no reason to believe me over Mr. Gerhart, but that's life. If you won't believe what I'm telling you, at least this much is indisputable: the Oklahomans who navigated the process and showed up in full force in Tampa (even dozens who had no chance of being seated) were OURS. The people who dedicated their lives and their money and their time to go down there and fight the sham were OURS.

WE did that. The national campaign did nothing for us and worked a lot against us, and that simply MUST BE considered a reflection on the state coordinator.