Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Ron Paul Youth Rally that was held on the UCLA campus here in Los Angeles. I attended with a good buddy who is a fervent Ron Paul supporter as well as friend, web designer and Lions of Liberty photographer, Tommy John. The rally was organized as a “youth rally,” however it was an open event, so youngish early 30s gents like ourselves could still attend. Let me tell you first and foremost – I was absolutely dumbstruck by the sheer turnout that this event had. I knew going in that they had changed the venue on campus to a larger area to accommodate the demand but when I arrived I was honestly taken aback. The video shows some of the line, which stretched literally farther than I could see and after walking a good half mile to reach the end, I gave up and waited to jump in with Tommy, who had gotten there earlier.
The crowd was beyond energetic – the atmosphere was more that of a rock concert than a political rally, with people clad head-to-toe in Ron Paul shirts, holding placards that bore his face, campaign materials or even homemade slogans such as “End the Fed” and “Down with Big Government.”
It truly was a “youth” rally – I would estimate 70% of the crowd were college aged students, which is a powerful sign that Dr. Paul’s movement is indeed resonating with the younger generation and thus will only be gaining momentum over the coming years. This would be a topic that the good Doctor would touch on in his speech, which didn’t concede that he wouldn’t be becoming President, but was a definite tone of the importance of keeping the revolution towards the restoration of liberty, small government and the Constitution moving ahead. Of course, there was also a huge push from organizers and Ron Paul himself to make sure that these youths registered Republican to vote in the primary and assure that Dr. Paul would gain delegates to bring to the convention.
Upon entering the stadium, it was immediately apparent just how many people had turned out. Virtually every seat was full when I finally sat – in the video at times it may look less crowded because they didn’t allow attendees to sit in the section next to mine for security reasons – as you can see the stage is set apart, and no audience was allowed behind the podium. The crowd was already cheering, chanting and abuzz with the excitement of seeing the figure of Ron Paul in person, and when he emerged, it was to massive applause and cheers of “President Paul.” Ron addressed the massive turnout immediately, referencing an event the night before in Chino, CA, which drew 6,000 supporters (but was described in media outlets as drawing “hundreds.” Last night bested that by (according to various accounts) either 2000 or 4000. In my estimation it was roughly 8,000. This LA Weekly report, which sites students climbing trees to watch, captures a bit of the mania surrounding the event.
I took manic notes on my iPhone as Ron spoke, which I’ll convey here, in addition to taking video where possible. I apologize for the bit of shake – my camera is small and it’s tough to hold it steady in a packed stadium. I’ll provide bullets of his speech points below with my comments in parenthesis.
- Ron’s message has echoed so strongly do to the consequences and impact on the people that the government abandoning liberty has had.
- The use of force regarding foreign policy can’t achieve results – change must be voluntary and be made by following an example set in good faith (this theme will be revisited in more detail later).
- Interventionalism is a failed economic model (domestically). Meddling and trying to set a fixed economic model cannot hope to succeed in a turbulent and changing, real-world economy. Keynesian economic theory does not work and has only gotten us into deeper trouble.
- The U.S. is currently the biggest debtor in the history of the world. We have the most cash owed to other countries in a record setting amount. The printing of money to cover debts must stop. (The crowd chants “End the Fed very loudly” – Dr. Paul jokes, “If we aren’t careful, Bernake will hear us!”)
- Printing money destroys the currency, which impacts the middle class first and foremost, while feeding the rich, who don’t feel the impact and most often benefit from the bailouts. “It should have been a depression for them (the companies which were deemed “too big to fail,”) and not us,” Ron says.
- We must have a government that believes in the Constitution and in restraint. Once the government learns to live within its means and scales back, we can get the economy back on track. You cannot solve a problem by doing the same thing to fix it that caused it.
- Our government produces nothing. Only people produce. However, the government, despite producing nothing has found that it can monetize debt, which encourages more big government.
- Thus far 4 trillion dollars have been spent on the recent undeclared and unconstitutional wars. These wars allow the government to strip away our liberties at home under the pretenses of “safety.”
- Terrorism has given our government free reign to bomb anyone at any time for no reason. Under the guise of “Preemptive” war – war to stop war.
- There will be 30K drones in the sky above Americans within a few years. This is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment. Our government isn’t supposed to spy on us. They are supposed to protect our privacy!
- People must demand to know what the government is doing. Whistle blowers are punished unfairly.
- U.S. is in a perpetual war for perpetual peace.
- 911 gave Americans the horrible laws called the Patriot Act, which punished and stripped the liberty from U.S. citizens while Saudi Arabia, where 17 of 19 attackers were from, had nothing happen to them.
- When Dr. Paul asked a Senator if he thought the Patriot Act had anything good for Americans in it the man said no, but he still voted for it. When asked why he said “We just got attacked – if I vote no I have to go explain why to my constituents.” Ron then sad “well, that is your job.” If the Patriot Act was named the “Repeal the 4th Amendment Act” he wonders if it would have had so much support.
- The Government has no business knowing what everyday Americans are doing especially when the Gov itself is so secretive.
- 40k laws have been passed so far under Obama (huge elongated boo from crowd)
- Ron wants to be the first President to repeal 40k laws. (massive cheer)
- The NDAA strikes down the rule of law in America. No trials are allowed for those accused and guilt is assumed.
- The NDPO has renewed the presidential powers to declare martial law during wartime, but Obama extended this to include peacetime.
- The Department of Homeland Security reportedly ordered a half billion rounds of ammunition. For what?? We are not supposed to have a national police force.
- Undermining personal liberties under auspices of government keeping us “safe.” Raw milk for example. (big cheer) People should be allowed to make their own choices, good or bad, and be forced to live with the consequences of those choices.
- Ron would allow anyone who wanted to to make all the hemp rope they wanted. (laughter from crowd)
- It all comes down to state’s rights. If a state decides that marijuana is safe and legalizes it for medical use, it should be able to do so without government interference. People should be able to put whatever they want into their own bodies. As a doctor, Ron Paul doesn’t think drugs are good for anyone, but if you do it to yourself and aren’t harming anyone, that is your prerogative. Punish those who affect others but stay out of the business of those who don’t. Personal and economic liberty. Do what you want with your body and your money.
- The government can’t tell you what liberty you have or don’t have because they didn’t give it to you. It’s a born in right.
- The government wants to save everyone but that does more harm than good. People gave greater incentive to be productive if they don’t have a hand out all the time. This doesn’t mean we aren’t humanitarian by denying them these handouts. When you expect the government to take care of everything but people are still starving and the economy has crashed, what then?Only freedom delivers the maximum economic stimulus.
- Government doesn’t create wealth and produces nothing. A free society produces more. When someone gets money for nothing there is no self respect. No drive, If that money is earned it facilitates growth.
- Liberty is a young idea. Maybe that’s why so many young people like it. Freedom is a new concept historically.
- The Revolution is here and when an idea’s time has come, nothing can stop it. (massive applause and chants of “Ron Paul”)
- People have to understand why liberty is important, why sound money is important and why foreign policy and the Keynesian economic model doesn’t work. it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and others. (Please read my article about this very topic, written several months ago). We have a responsibility because of the knowledge we have to share it.
That about wrapped it up. Ron left to insane cheers and applause from an impassioned crowd. It was a very powerful scene. Our photographer and web designer, Tommy John, was accepted as one of the media from Lions of Liberty and was able to meet Ron Paul in person after the speech. As you would imagine, he said the good doctor was kind, patient and exceedingly gracious.
The revolution is very alive and very well, even here in Liberal California.