Why some Iowans love Ron Paul | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why some Iowans love Ron Paul

Posted by on Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Just went to a Ron Paul event at the Marriott hotel in downtown Des Moines. The ballroom in which the event was held was packed, perhaps 400 people strong, including lots of media, among them Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd, David Gregory and Joe Klein.

I spoke with several Paul supporters before the event, including Monty, a bus driver in his mid-50s; Dara, a 43-year-old grandmother who came from Seattle to volunteer during the caucuses, and Michael, a 28-year-old textile worker sporting a shirt that said “I am a stoner and I vote.” Each person with whom I spoke expressed great concern about the erosion of American liberties in general and in particular the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act. (I wrote about the act for the Indy on Dec. 14.) Not one of the Paul supporters with whom I spoke was at all enthusiastic about any other Republican in the field. When I asked them what most concerned them about a second Obama term, each one said that it would be more of the same: erosion of freedom, an erosion which each thought clearly pre-dated Obama’s presidency.

In short, at least among the sample of folks I talked to, there was very little sense of partisanship. This was reflected in Congressman Paul’s own speech, which lasted barely 10 minutes and touched on all of the familiar themes of his campaign: liberty is at stake because of an out-of-control government; American militarism abroad does the world no favors and is a standing threat to our own security; we live way beyond our means and are about to be inundated by a tidal wave of debt-induced inflation and instability.

In none of the talk was Obama the villain. Instead, the threat to the United States derived from entrenched habits and interests of establishment Washington. When Paul’s son, Rand, introduced him, he argued that both parties would have to give up cherished values to solve our debt problems. Republicans could not continue to support profligate Pentagon spending. And Democrats could not afford to continue supporting unlimited social spending. I’d say that the crowd cheered equally lustily for both statements.

The crowd was raucous: They love their man and genuinely believe he can win and that he, alone, has the perspective, wisdom and humility to solve this country’s problems. One thing that I hear a lot from Paul supporters is that they feel as though he is genuinely educating them about how the world works, showing them a way of understanding it that they had not previously fathomed. I don’t think even Romney’s or Gingrich’s most ardent supporters feel that they are being schooled in the same way. It’s an interesting aspect of the Paul phenomenon.

Tags: , , ,

Pin It

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

I should also add that it was professor Daniel Sherman who penned the letter that we all signed after some …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

The anthropology department had posted a similarly strong letter previous to ours. The progressive faculty network also signed a similar …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

Most Recent Comments

I should also add that it was professor Daniel Sherman who penned the letter that we all signed after some …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

The anthropology department had posted a similarly strong letter previous to ours. The progressive faculty network also signed a similar …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

I take anything I read in the INDY with a grain of salt, especially regarding alleged views on the police …

by MJKopechne on Durham Candidates Talk Gentrification, Policing, and Civil Rights at People's Forum (News)

Great idea! Especially involving young people. What has been done since? …

by Martha C. Brock on Parks Guru: Ideas for Dix Should Arise on Site, Not Be Manufactured in Traditional Political Settings (News)

Let's be clear on the law here. The only out of state ID that is allowed for purchasing alcohol is …

by Durham451 on Anti-Racism Activists Accuse Durham Bar of Being Racist (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation