Day Three: Meeting Ron Paul
I first heard about Ron Paul five years ago, from the internet. Someone had posted a video of him as the only republican saying that we needed to bring our troops home from Iraq. Before that I was already libertarian minded. I believed that people should be able to marry whomever they wanted. That the free market could help the poor more than the government could. But when I learned that a politician had been saying this stuff for 30 years — with the voting record to prove it, I was hooked.
For the next five years I spent almost every single night researching these ideas. Researching the pros and cons. What if I was wrong? What if I was right? Trying to make sense of all the issues, staying curious and skeptical the whole time. I worked tirelessly for him during his campaign on Maui.
And for the first time – I would finally get to see him!
There were thousands of people packed into the stadium, with cameras swooping across the crowd. It was like watching a rock concert, only instead of music, we were listening to ideas. And at the end of the event, Ron Paul took the stage!
Luckily I had jimmied my way down to the front of the crowd, onto the floor, right up to the stage. If I were any closer, I would’ve been tying his shoes. Ron was just like I’d imagined him. Nice, intelligent, and likable. He gave a good long speech. One of the best parts was when he talked about how to win an argument.
Arguments are won, he said, usually not by people shouting. Often, it’s just the opposite. It’s the soft spoken argument that can be most effective. And if truth and logic are on your side, then you’ll win every time. It really gave me courage, because I consider myself to be a soft spoken guy.
I thought of the times they laughed at him. When they ridiculed his military policy. They asked “So you’re basically saying we should take our marching orders from Al Qaeda?”
His reply, “No. I’m saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution.” It was one of the greatest things he ever said, and he did it in such a calm and firm way.
It made me feel good that he told us all that soft spoken arguments can work. But you have to have the courage to say them. And it certainly takes lots of courage to stand up for what you believe in.
Afterwards, we all went to Whiskey Joe’s, to have dinner with Ron Paul. Well – all 1000 of us! It was a huge party. With media, guests and security. I got interviewed at one point on TV. I’m not sure what it was for, but they asked me what it was like to be a delegate.
“Being a delegate,” I said, “Is like being a mini-politician. We’re elected. We go through a political process. We have to be interviewed, and serve on committees, and we have to try to persuade people. So in a real sense, we are all mini politicians here, and we’re all on fire for Ron Paul. Just think what it will be like when we all go back home and run for something!”
The interview went well, but I wanted to meet Ron Paul. I squeezed through the crowd. Finally I saw him. There was a line of people to shake his hand! I got in the line, and got my picture with him. I didn’t really say anything, but he said, “Thanks for being here.” I guess I didn’t know what to say!
But it was important for me to get that picture, because maybe someday, I’ll use it when I run for something.
Anyways, I didn’t really get to talk to him, but I got my picture taken with Ron Paul, and that’s enough for me. I’ve listened to Ron Paul so much over the past five years that it really wasn’t a big deal for me to meet him, because I already knew him so well. It was like shaking hands with an old friend. And as great as Ron Paul is, the ideas he shares, the ideas that all of us as Ron Paul supporters share, are even greater.