Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fresno Freedom

I just got home from the second monthly meeting of the Fresno Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group, and let me tell you, it's quite a rush to be there. There were probably about twenty of us there, every last one of us excited about promoting Ron Paul's candidacy for president. We've got people coming from as far away as Oakhurst to see what they can do to get the word out there. Many thanks to Michael Varin for organizing this group.

We've got such a range of ages and affiliations, from old Republicans who recognize the party's traditional message in Ron Paul's message and voting record, to the teenage sons of a fellow who brings his whole family (and a friend of one of his sons!) to the meetup. We've got independent voters who've never participated before. We've got well-to-do local business owners and poor guys (heh, like me). We're all united behind this man who dares bring a true message of freedom to a presidential election, and does so from a highly credible position.

First off, this isn't some Lbertarian, Green Party, Constitution Party, or Independent guy. Ron is a long time Republican, a congressman of ten terms who has never lost an election. He's the only candidate on the Republican side to be against the war (and has been since the beginning, and even before), and even among Democrats, is the only credible opponent of the Iraq War (given how certain Democratic candidates, like Barak Obama, would simply shift the troops from Iraq to places like Darfur and Iran). Simply put, the challenge for Ron Paul isn't winning the general election. I believe that between public disgust over the Iraq (not a) War, fascination with his well spoken message of liberty, his general reputation for actually doing what he says he'll do while campaigning, and the very real possibility that the Democrats might nominate Hillary Clinton, Ron is a shoe-in for the general election.

The challenge is the primaries. There are still a lot of Republicans out there who fervently believe that support for the Iraq War is the litmus test of Conservatism. This is, in my opinion, a preposterous notion, because, as Dr. Paul points out on a regular basis, the Republican Party has a history of winning elections where they campaigned as non-interventionist peacemakers, up to and including George W. Bush's 2000 campaign promising a "humble foreign policy." Just because one Republican started this war, doesn't mean another one can't step forward with the words "the whole thing was a mistake."

As to our meetup group, the people of Fresno can expect to start seeing us around town within the next couple of months or so. There is talk of street corner demonstrations, giant signs hung off the back of trucks, guerrilla flyer posting. I'm hearing things about holding movie showings to show Dr. Paul's speeches, liberty oriented documentaries, movies like V For Vendetta and The Matrix. One fellow has space to put up a huge sign in Oakhurst. I myself will be wearing a T-Shirt I recently purchased (it's being shipped right now) at every opportunity, as well as continuing to promote this campaign on a personal basis.

In other matters, Liberty Dollars are really fun. Over the past week, I've managed to spend forty liberty dollars: two one-ounce Silver Liberties. The Bobby Salazar's on Blackstone and Shields has taken them from me twice now, and I just spent another one at Perko's on Bullard and Highway 41 (where we held the meetup group). I'm about to pick up another seventy: two $20 Silver Liberties and three $10 Silver Half Liberties.

All if this is so exciting!

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