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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From the Campaign Trail, Ron Paul Presents Honesty, Sincerity

On Tuesday evening, Sept. 27, Congressman Ron Paul gave a speech at the Story County GOP chili supper in Nevada, Iowa. Prior to the event, A.J. Spiker, vice-chairman of the Ron Paul Iowa campaign, called and offered me five minutes with Paul for an interview for the Iowa State Daily.
Upon arrival, Mr. Spiker informed me I'd get my interview after the congressman got a chance to meet everyone and right before he gave his speech. I took a seat near the podium and patiently awaited my turn while the long line of people snaked by, also awaiting their turn to talk to Dr. Paul, and get an autograph or their picture taken with him.
That Ron Paul's supporters love him is obvious. I've met many congressmen before. I've been to a senator's birthday party and even rubbed elbows with two presidents. So I've had plenty of contact with politicians, campaigns and supporters of many candidates over the years.
But none of the campaigns or supporters seem to love their guy like the folks pulling for Paul. A young girl stood up before the whole crowd prior to the congressman's speech and read a report she wrote for her grade school class on her hero, Ron Paul. Her message: I believe in Ron Paul because he believes in me. Powerful stuff.
Then when A.J. Spiker walked over and knelt next to me, I figured something was wrong. The life of politics is one of change, and I assumed my interview was bumped off schedule due to time constraints. But what Mr. Spiker asked me was to become one of the highlights of my political involvement. "Would you be willing to ride with Congressman Paul on the way to the airport?" A silly question in hindsight.
Ron Paul finished his speech, interrupted several times by the enthusiastic crowd, and hurried out the door to catch his plane. Spiker looked at me and gestured toward him. "You're on, get going" was the unspoken message. Rushing to catch up, I followed the congressman to his waiting car. "Here," Paul said, "you hop in this side. I'll go around." Say what? A congressman deferring his seat to a regular guy like me? Someone get me the weather report in Hell, quick.
We got in the SUV and took off. "So," Ron says to me, "what did you think of the speech? Was it OK?" Yes, I told him. I enjoyed it very much. "I hope so. You know," he said with the wave of his hand, settling himself into the backseat, "I feel like I repeat myself a lot. I feel bad that I have to say a lot of the same things all the time, but the message of freedom is important." Clearly this was a humble man I was dealing with here, with a refreshingly human touch of insecurity.
Congressman Paul and I talked casually, like old friends. We chatted about what I was doing in school, what I wanted to do in the future, some of his past trips to Iowa State, and the fast pace of the campaign. We pulled into the Nevada McDonald's. "I'm so hungry" Ron said. "We haven't had time to eat today." Paul had stopped in Dubuque, Clinton and Muscatine before arriving in Nevada.
As we sat in the parking lot waiting for the congressman's value meal, a couple walked by. Illuminated by the dome light overhead, they could see Paul sitting there. The man peered in at us and did a double take, quickly tapping the woman's arm and pointing. The two grinned and waved excitedly, and Paul leaned forward between the front seats and waved back, no doubt making their night. Like I said, Paul's people love him, and it just goes to show that his people are everywhere.
For half an hour, I had private, unscripted access to the libertarian star; the man who seems to be setting much of the Republican agenda these days (auditing the Federal Reserve, ending the war, states' rights, the restoration of individual liberties, etc., are all classic Paul-isms that the "establishment" Republicans are copying). I asked him about the economy, a nuclear Iran, military spending, abortion, Medicare and Social Security, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, gay rights and even the space program.
The information I collected was much more than that expected from my scheduled five-minute interview and far too much for a single article in the Daily. And rather than do injustice to a rare honest and sincere man, I have been given license by my editor to split my report on Paul up into several parts, to allow the congressman to speak for himself instead of reducing him to irrelevant and uninformative sound bytes.
So stay tuned!

Barry Snell, Iowa State Daily

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About DD for Liberty

We render unto Caesar, but we write Caesar's laws.
We should write and uphold laws that go no further than protecting your God given right to life, liberty and property, the pursuit of happiness.
I am a wife and mother that wants the best for her family. The best as I see it is for Government to get out of the way.
God is our protector and has equipped us with all the faculties and means necessary for a productive and free life and I need no man to tell my family what is best for them.
I am a Patriot and Libertarian.
I am a fan of the greatest Peacemaker Jesus.
Taxation is theft.
If you seek security over liberty you deserve neither.
My favorite quote:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”~Samuel Adams

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