Wow! What a good time the Rally for the Republic was. I arrived on Saturday to do some pre-rally exploring and found the local police-state to be overwhelming, yet friendly. It was the kind of thing you were warned existed only in evil countries such as the Soviet Union when you were growing up. Yet here it was, on the streets of Minneapolis in the United States of Amerika. Cops dressed in military costumes everywhere you looked and in very large numbers. Creepy.
Monday I ran into libertarian greats such as Angela Keaton and Anthony Gregory. We had lunch and some beers prior to attending the Celebration in Blaine. Good music was heard with Aimee Allen being the highlight of the night with her Ron Paul song. I suspect a good 1,000 – 2,000 were in attendance despite the very odd location. The neocon rag Reason was represented by the human rat himself, David Weigel. He was right in front of me talking to Angela when I wanted to blurt out: “Hey Weigel, are you here to trash Ron Paul again?”. Sure enough: here, here and here.
The after party was held back in Minneapolis at Clubhouse Jäger owned by a Ron Paul supporter. Steve Dore played and hundreds of Ron Paul supporters packed in. I stayed until about 1am hoping Ron Paul would show, but didn’t. I did have the honor of speaking with the founder of the Revolution, Ernie Hancock. Great guy. Butler Shaffer was there as well, although I didn’t get a chance to meet him.
The big day was finally here. I arrived early and checked out the vendor booths. The first booth you ran into as you traveled up the escalator was a very pathetic Libertarian Party booth that was basically a Bob Barr booth paid for by the LP. I guess the LP doesn’t have any other candidates. Holding my nose, I took the traitors’ free bag so I would have something to put all the free junk in and walked away before I caused a scene.
After making my way up to the Antiwar.com booth to chat with Ms. Keaton, rumors were flying that Bob Barr was going to be the “Special Guest” scheduled for 2:50 pm. I was pissed, to say the least. I found as many Campaign for Liberty officials as I could and expressed my outrage. They assured me that Barf wasn’t going to speak, and he didn’t. However I guess Barf did make a brief appearance outside the arena next to the moron holding the huge “Ron Paul Sucks” sign.
The Rally began a little late with about 1/3 of the seats full. The media presence was huge – far greater than any other Ron Paul event I have attended. My favorite speeches were given by Doug Wead, Jesse Ventura, Barry Goldwater Jr. and, of course, Ron Paul. By the time Ventura spoke 2/3 of the seats were full and by the time Ron Paul took the stage the place was packed. I actually ran into Ron Paul’s brother (very nice guy, just like Dr. Paul) when we arrived back in Dallas waiting for our limo. He said that there were 12,000 in attendance, which by my observation is very accurate. Later in the hotel I watched a replay of the day’s Repug events where the arena was half-empty.
The hotel across the street was swarming with neocon turds attending the Repug’s convention. Black suits, worn by uptight assholes donning McCain pins, infested the streets. The war party maggots were visibly irritated by the huge Ron Paul presence. Although I suppose they felt safe knowing that hundreds of cops, state police and secret service agents were there, miles away from the Repug’s snore fest, to protect them from the evil Paulites.
I hear Ron Paul attended the Jimmie Vaughan after party at the Annex, which I did not attend regretfully.
This was the climax of about two years of an unprecedented grassroots campaign inspired by a relatively radical message, not a moderate one (hint to Barf and the LP), which made Ron Paul a rock star.
If you missed this historic event, you can watch it here.