autoDogmatic Reports On SC Ron Paul Rally

Aaron, one of the bloggers over at autoDogmatic and the founder of the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter, recently attended a Ron Paul rally in South Carolina, particularly looking for freaks and fringe groups.

He found none:

You see, I went in expecting an audience which was somehow “not normal”, indescribably; maybe quirky or geeky; paranoid; socially-awkward; heavily biased towards “fringe” types. You know, internet people.

Well, if these were “internet people,” we apparently need to rethink our notion of what the internet consists of. Because this audience was America.

That is perhaps the most succinct way I can put it. It was as if 2,000 of my nicest neighbors were brought together in one place.

No trace of “fringe groups”; this was as far from a “circus” as you could get.

Now, I always knew that Ron Paul was supported by “regular people” (though I’m not sure I consider myself one). But after reading mainstream Ron Paul “expose`” articles like this one, I expected to see a few more conspicious “9/11 Truthers”; ranters-on about the Bilderbergers, “gold-bugs,” whatever. Pick your clique. I don’t mean to diminish these groups — in fact I sympathize with all their views somewhat — but they are simply considered “fringe” in the popular conception. You aren’t supposed to associate with them.

And there was no sign of them at the rally.

Ok, I saw one young man with a “Kissinger – war crimes” t-shirt (which I’m actually sympathetic to), and maybe one guy with a 9/11 Truth t-shirt. That was it.

I think I may have seen fewer such “fringe” themes displayed at the Ron Paul rally than I might have seen walking down the street on a typical day.

What’s the signifiance of all this? Well, to me, the above is incredibly encouraging. It means the support for Ron Paul, and more importantly the ideas of his campaign, is broad-based. “Average Americans” — middle-class, hard-working, honest folk — buy into Ron Paul’s freedom message big-time. They just need the chance to hear it.

And that means the sky is the limit for the “Ron Paul Revolution.” It means anywhere you find an honest American, you’ve found a potential Paul supporter. The only limit is how fast the message can travel, and once again, the internet appears to be breaking records on that front.

This is a positive sign. One of the typical criticisms of Ron Paul is that only freaks and weirdos support him. Some of the commenters at this site have certainly shown that some of those people support him, but don’t prove that only those people support him.

The simple fact is that there are a lot of people in this country who are sick and tired of pulling a lever to choose between big, intrusive government, and bigger, more intrusive government. There are a lot of people out there who may not agree on everything, but agree that they’re ready for a new message. They’re not getting that from any of the mainstream candidates on either side.

I’ve said that I don’t think America is truly ready for freedom, at least as Ron Paul and many libertarians understand it. But America is changing. I really see the internet as a liberating force in America, and the internet is inherently libertarian. The internet’s weight behind Ron Paul has been the difference between him being a third-tier nobody candidate and a second-tier candidate rapidly gaining name recognition.

But Aaron’s experience reminds me of something. “Internet support” no longer means a bunch of freaks and weirdos, sitting in their pajamas in their parents’ basement, hoping to someday make a friend. That might have been true of the internet of 1997, but the internet of 2007 is a cross-section of America. Ron Paul’s message is reaching those people.

I can’t say whether Paul will win the nomination, or win the presidency. Like co-blogger Doug, I support Paul but I think the chances are low. I don’t know that America is ready for him. But when I see the effect he’s having at this early stage, I think that maybe, just maybe, America still has a chance. I support Ron Paul because I want to advance freedom, and that’s something that I want to do whether he makes it to the Oval Office or not.

  • bret

    The chances are high. Get busy, get to work, spread the Message. It sells itself.

  • James

    Hi Brad,

    Seriously. Paul has a real shot at the nomination. Its about a return to tradional republicanism, just what this country needs.



  • Darel99

    Finally someone from other then Doug offers an honest view which supports the pro liberty ideals and not only provides supporting information but doesn’t offer a negative views or try to find little things to question or doubt Ron Paul’s future as Doug rants about with each of his posts.

    I would suggest who ever runs the show at replace Doug with Brad… Can someone second the motion?

  • Bob Lewis

    Ron Paul needs every supporter to get the word out and start putting up banners etc. Get involved and take back America from the lobbyists.

  • Robert Moore

    My wife and I drove 6 hours to participate in the GOP lunch in Spartanburg and then the rally in Greensboro. This was the 1st event like this that we have ever attended.

    Seriously folks, while at those events I felt so proud to be an American I got a little choked up. Just seeing all of those people with a similar resolve to take the government back gave me a sense of hope for our great country. It was truly inspiring!

  • Texas Little El

    As the ‘Front’ runners on the GOP side continue to shoot themselves in the foot, Dr. Paul’s message will sound less “Radical”. (As the NY Times likes to put it)

    Giuliani’s I’m Mr. 911, anti-gun, pro-war message is already wearing thin on American’s. He also has campaign staff that are damaging is credibility.

    Willard (Mitt) Romney problems extend from his flip flopping on issues and no popular appeal.Much of his campaign is funded by himself.

    His dog carrier story hasn’t helped and now that his top aid Jay Garrity has been forced to step down amidst accusations he impersonated a State Trooper; this could spell a loss of GOP appeal.

    John McCain….. I don’t think I even have to go here but Ed Failor / Iowa / Campaign staff loss has damaged this candidacy to death.

    Other than Fred Thompson, who still hasn’t decided to run yet, the last of the Presidential contenders are on their last legs.

    Each have under $600,000 cash on hand, very little grassroots support, and no web presence.

    Duncan Hunter and T. Thompson are out after Ames. I see no reason to continue that speculation at all.

    If Tom Tancredo or Mike Huckabee can place in the top 3, this might keep their campaigns alive for another quarter at best, but having enough wherewithal to make it through to January is going to be a tough road for these men.

    I figure at this point the GOP candidacy is a three way race of Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.

    I just wonder how the GOP base will respond to wit h two of the top contenders being on their third marriage a piece? This says a lot about commitment on the parts of these two men.

    I should say one thing that might help the Ron Paul campaign. Dr. Paul needs to remind the voters that his changes won’t be instantaneous. That it took us decades to get to this point and it will take a while for many of these reforms to come to fruition.

    He might also want to set a time table for which items he will take care of first so the voters in America know where he means start when elected.

    Bringing troops home from Iraq and reducing the Worldwide Base levels around is something that he, as Commander-in-Chief is well in his rights to initiate.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Suzan

    If we work hard to spread Dr. Paul’s message of freedom, he will win the Presidency and restore our Republic. The time is now. Remember, the British never thought we’d win our independence from them.

  • Greg Martin

    Keep spreading the word…….it’s our only hope to save our country and our freedom.

  • Tom Lundy

    Ron Paul could very well be the next president. If Ron Paul is to become the next president, it would require a seismic social shift in what Americans believe the roll of government (politicians and bureaucrats) should play in our lives.
    Seismic social shifts have happened many times in our history.

    A good example happened during the last few weeks of the 1980 Carter, Reagan campaign. It seamed that Americans realized, almost overnight, that the government (politicians and bureaucrats) wasted our hard earned money and they had, had enough. This awareness was a seismic social shift and like all seismic shifts they happen in a relatively short amount of time.
    We could very well be on the verge of another seismic social shift. It is a very exciting time.

  • goldenequity

    Who IS Ron Paul?
    Why would he get this much support?

    Do your OWN homework.

    NOBODY explains Ron Paul
    BETTER than Ron Paul himself!

    Here is an interactive audio archive of
    Ron Paul speeches and interviews as a resource in chronological

  • Kevin Metzger

    I am hopeful America wakes up even if it is one person at a time…as long as it is in time to get Ron Paul elected! I lost a good paying job back in 2003 and now I work for half that amount! It took almost four years to get up to half that amount, too. It shocks me to see how many Americans can be so complacent in this country when we see our neighbor take an economic hit as long as it doesn’t bother “me”. It should bother us all!
    We need to assess what is going on around us and we need to do something NOW before every job is exported out of the U.S.A., except for burger flipping! The list goes on how our corrupt government does as it pleases with complete disregard to the rights and needs of those who elect them and pay taxes.

    I am not a fringe group representative. I am just an average American who hates to see our wonderful country go down the drain. That is why, I, too spent four hours in a car to go see Congressman Ron Paul in South Carolina. My son made me aware of him and I have to agree Congressman Paul is “right on” when it comes to our politicians ignoring or destroying the Constitution right under our noses! America really needs an honest, straight shooter. America needs to be aware of what is really happening to our rights and take action! There aren’t too many truthful politicans in this country anymore, but Congressman Paul looks to me like he is more than a politican. He’s a Statesman. If he keeps it going, and keeps it honest, then I believe he’ll be a candidate for the presidency.

    We need to talk to others… know, “word of mouth”. Time is getting short. I’ll keep spreading the word. I hope you will all do the same…and one person at a time, the nation will know who this man is. This is a revolution many wouldn’t mind joining when they understand the truth. Thank you!

  • Langston

    Thank you! I was there. That portrayal is accurate. America loves Ron Paul and Ron Paul loves America.

  • Paul

    Good for your son Kevin Metzger, and good for all for the other posters on here.

    Yeah, I have difficulty seeing any of the supposed “top tier” candidates going anywhere. Let’s face it, the establishment brought in the “yet to declare” Fred Thompson, because THEY, the establishment, were not happy with these clowns called the “top tier”. They are terrified of Ron Paul, though many experts are saying he is the only one who could beat Hillary or Obama. Ol’ Fred might have name recognition going for him, but his background is not so nice, and the oldster with a young trophy wife thing may seem awkward to some. I know he seems to top many of the online polls and such, but I sometimes wonder if there’s some monkey business going on there. But he’s a stuffed suit regardless. Ron Paul can take down any of the candidates, Rep or Dem, in a debate on issues. wouldn’t most everyone love to see Ron Paul go toe to toe with Hillary? I chuckle just thinking about it! Let’s make it happen!!!

  • Buckwheat

    How did I know without reading the byline that this post wasn’t written by Doug Mataconis?

    Because the author didn’t use the adjective “long-shot” before Ron Paul’s name!

  • Eric Burke

    Some pics of the Spartanburg and Greenville events along with the “Spam Spartanburg” food drive for the local Children’s Shelter.


  • NH

    Well I’ve been accused of being a young geek living in my parents basement. I think that’s a compliment — considering I’m an old retired 60 year old schoolteacher living in my own house.

    I just happen to be interested in the same things as the young geek is. :-)

  • Tom Jefferson

    I think what we urgently need is a man of principle and integrity in the White House. His ‘radical’ positions are simply based on actually following the Constitution. It has just been so long that everyone in America seems confused about the structure of our United States as stated in the Constitution. Everybody in America please re-read Constitution and then Ron Paul’s ‘wacky’ ideas will make perfect sense.

    Ron Paul’s campaign slogan is “Hope for America”. And I do have hope for America. Most anyone who hears Ron Paul’s message becomes greatly inspired and wants to take action to pass on his message to anyone who will listen.

    I believe we can overcome in a similar way that Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and our Founding Fathers who faced tough odds and succeeded in bringing positive change to the world.

    I am not a religious man but I often catch myself praying for Ron Paul and America.

  • Sfp

    I’m a 26 year Air Force veteran. I’m one of those “nut jobs.” And I’m proud to be a nut job that is supporting Ron Paul.

  • PR Stein

    Radical is leaving the country to the hands of those already responsible for much of the destruction to the constitution, our liberties and freedoms. Can we really afford to waste one more year waiting to see if status quo can bring about results? Return the military to the United States of America where they belong.

    Don’t let the media determine your vote by telling you about “long shots”. Vote yes for Dr. No!

  • martin

    I do hope I’ll get a chance for anyone at all who can put a stop to the situation where the Feds spend $1.30 for every $1 they collect. A Ron Paul presidency won’t do much without at least a hundred new faces in Congress, perferably many more. We’ll need some kind of ‘RP approved’ list for the congress-critters. If that extra trillion bucks worth of debt spending just vanishes we’ll be looking at the second great depression and RP will get the blame. We’ll need some kind of credible ‘spending detox’ plan too.

  • M Chance

    The message of Ron Paul and his ideals has appeal to so many of us….I campaign for the Congressman all the time…when I wear my Ron Paul bottons….some young person says….you know about him?…sure do.. I say.. and then they ask if I have any more buttons…I’m down to two for my grandsons and need to order more…we all have smiles on our faces when we talk about him and the hope that comes alive…after too many years feeling defeated. I hope many more writers get a chance to see and listen to Dr Ron Paul…the next President of the United States. I feel great when I read all the positive comments in regards to this article…Thank you for making my day

  • Tara

    I, too, drove the four hours to hear Dr. Paul, and it was worth the time, effort, and expense…In fact, I think I would even say the trip was priceless.

    Don’t worry about Fred Thompson, the not-quite-candidate. I’ve been researching him, and he seems to suffer from I-don’t-recall-itis, a common malady of today’s politicians. Apparently, he was a big-time abortion lobbyist not so long ago (90’s), and also filled out a questionnaire on which he marked several pro-choice responses. Of course, he doesn’t remember any of it…how CONVENIENT. I believe the voters will see right through this deception.

    It’s Ron Paul all the way to the White House!

  • Will

    I’ll be raising some funds for Ron Paul.

    We all should raise a little fundage.

    We want to quadruple in the third quarter. I will make sure that my second quarter contribution is met AT LEAST ten times over.

  • Andy

    Fred Thompson cannot speak on his own. He will get ripped to shreds at the debates, that is why they are keeping him as reserve. As soon as McCain bows out he will be in, like a reserve on the touchline. However, Americans are getting wise now to the usual political maneuvers. This is Ron Paul’s nomination to lose right now. The main stream media is becoming less credible each day that passes. The election will be decided on the internet – not on FOX news. This election will not be televised.

  • zenpiper

    This was a great page to read–the turnout in Spartanburg, SC–and the touching testimonials of those who were lucky enough to attend. I hope there will be a video on YouTube soon.

    I liked the comment by the person who was chocked up at the experience; I felt that way too just reading about it.

    A while back someone wrote a very good column, referring to the disenfranchised voters, probably us, as a “remnant.” That, in the polls and in national opinion we do not count for much, if at all. And yet, the “remant” is enormous; it is a giant that has been dormant for decades, because there was no good reason to wake up from a very bad dream. But now we have a reason, fellow remnants, to pop out of bed and blow the trumpet.

    Last, the weirdo thing. In Great Britain they are called eccentrics, and they are cherished. I honestly think that everyone, deep down, is a weirdo of some kind. I hope this is true. There was a great line of David’s in the movie DAVID AND LISA: “If you’re normal, who wants to be normal?”

    I salute you all. Well done.

  • bret

    Yeah, it was great to be there.

    I agree with the commenter who recommends replacing that Doug Mataconis turkey with this guy.

    Look folks, there comes a time when you have to stop doubting and start taking action. Stop being so afraid of failure. You only fail if you do nothing. Remember, the goal is not the presidency – ultimately, who cares about that, it’s a drop in the bucket – the goal is spreading the MESSAGE of Freedom and liberty. The longer and better we can spread that message, the more people will take it to heart and live it, and the better off our country and the world will be in the end.

  • C Bowen

    Good find, Brad.

    I think the point is that Paul’s brand of libertarianism is a defense of the bourgeoisie where as fascism and communism are inherently anti-bourgeoisie. This is a critical point in both a tactical understanding and philosophical understanding of the challenges a consensus position must seek and it relies not on the notion that a Central Government the enforces “rights” (which came into being with the French Revolution as a school of thought) but in older traditions of republican virtue.

  • Mike

    People, it is time to get to work!!

    Check out these numbers for Ron Paul:

    Sign up in your area and get involved!

  • somebody

    Whether or not he wins is one issue. Just having him exist in the primaries as the “crazy uncle” of classical conservatism is already an accomplishment. The Neo Republicans are more and more being forced to look at themselves in the mirror.

  • Greg Burnshaw

    I wasn’t in Spartanburg, but I’m headed to Pittsburgh. Dr. Paul feels like a good mix of Ross Perot, Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson,

    Vote RON PAUL; true American patriot.