Quantcast
Connect with us

Ron Paul’s fans celebrate his work near RNC site

Published

on

Ron Paul may not be speaking at the Republican convention but several thousands supporters gathered in Tampa on Saturday as part of a festival celebrating the libertarian-leaning Texan politician’s career.

With Paul stepping down from politics, and after repeated unsuccessful runs for the presidency, the event was part of a series of rallies aimed at galvanising his support base for a future without the retiring 12-term congressman.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Paul Fest was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds, a half hour away from downtown Tampa where in a few days Mitt Romney will be nominated as his party’s candidate to battle President Barack Obama for the White House.

But though Paul and Romney are – officially – in the same party, finding anyone with something positive to say about the former Massachusetts governor was difficult at Paul Fest.

Certainly Lou Anderson, 56, a government worker from Oklahoma was not going to vote for Romney come the November election. He replied with a firm “no” when asked if he would support Romney.

“I don’t know what to think of him. I don’t trust him,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mark Schmidter was the same. The fervent Ron Paul supporter from Orlando is a registered Republican and goes to his county GOP meeting every month. But he is not voting for Romney.

“No way. The party is bought and paid for by the corporations,” said the 65-year-old roofer.

Instead the crowds gathered at Paul Fest (the Paul stands for People Awakening and Uniting for Liberty) indulged themselves in the usual wide variety of causes that Paul himself has long espoused and mix both the extreme left and right.

ADVERTISEMENT

They range from wanting to legalise drugs and bring American troops home from abroad to scrapping the welfare state, slashing the government budget and getting rid of the Federal Reserve.

In a hall full of stands and stalls there was a hugely disparate group of people hawking different wares and causes. There was one stand of Oath Keepers – an organisation of police and soldiers who believe the government might one day turn on the American people – and two stalls devoted to ending America’s foreign wars.

One company had set up shop to sell the idea of investing in gold and silver, reflecting Paul’s belief in returning the dollar to the gold standard rather than setting its value against other currencies. Another stand flogged t-shirts bearing the phrase “Who is John Galt?” which is a reference to a novel by libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand. Yet another group sold Ron Paul chocolate bars under the slogan: “Liberty Just Got Sweeter.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The three-day event featured a lengthy roster of bands, singers and speakers.

Paul himself is not set to appear, though he will be giving a major speech at a different Tampa rally on Sunday afternoon. That moment will mark the likely end of Paul’s career on the national stage in American politics.

He is stepping down and his campaign’s efforts to crash Romney’s Tampa coronation by amassing delegates using arcane party rules has largely been thwarted by Republican leaders and lawyers.

ADVERTISEMENT

In lieu of an appearance by the man himself, the crowd at Paul Fest was treated to an appearance by Paul’s brother, Wayne Paul.

The younger Paul sibling won cheers with a call to the classic Paul themes of cutting government spending and ending the taking on of debt.

“We have started a revolution and we are going to finish it. It is about freedom and loving liberty. That is why we are here today,” he said underneath a banner that read: “Thank you, Dr Paul.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Paul movement without Paul might face an uncertain future, but it can point to numerous triumphs.

Largely dismissed as a crank in 2008, Paul’s 2012 run was a different affair, attracting larger support and media attention.

It was also bolstered by the emergence of the Tea Party, which embraced many of Paul’s small government ideals. Now some of his beliefs, like auditing the Federal Reserve and going back to the gold standard, are becoming increasingly embraced by Republicans.

ADVERTISEMENT

The movement also benefits from a large number of young and enthusiastic activists.

Though the ageing Paul often comes across as a gleefully cantankerous old man, the acts on the stage ranged from rock to rappers to country and the crowd was predominately young.

The gathering was also set to provide a venue for a bit of Hollywood glamor in the shape of a speech on Sunday by Harmon Kaslow, who is the producer of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two.

ADVERTISEMENT

The movie is the second part of a dramatization of Rand’s most famous work and will be coming out later this year.

Kaslow, who converted to Rand’s beliefs after signing on to make the film, will show clips to the Paul Fest crowd. “It changed my life. It has been an incredible experience,” he told The Guardian in an interview.

© Guardian News and Media 2012

ADVERTISEMENT

[Image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore, creative commons licensed.]

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2012

Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

Published

on

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

Continue Reading

2012

British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate

Published

on

Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.

The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.

In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.

Continue Reading
 

2012

Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6

Published

on

President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.

Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.

Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image