Paulites Gather to Rock Out Minneapolis, Challenge GOP
BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 3 2008
Ron Paul supporters gathered in droves in Minneapolis yesterday just 10 miles across the Mississippi River from where the official Republican National Convention is taking place. The occasion? A highly-charged "Rally for the Republic" meant to send a clear message to the Republican establishment assembled in the Twin Cities this week. Now, the Texas congressman might be best known to us for developing a devoted digital following. But wandering through the Target Center last night it was difficult to doubt Paul's ability to rally the masses off the Interwebs.
Featuring speeches and musical acts, the event's marketing hook was a direct challenge to the Republican party: "Calling the GOP Back to its Roots." Yesterday's event was also intended as a kick-off of Campaign for Liberty, a brand new online-based community dedicated to such Paulite principles such as abolishing the Federal Reserve and a non-interventionist foreign policy.
With a rather dry atmosphere down the road in the Xcel Center last night for the party's official RNC celebration, the energy that Paul managed to gin up was a notable contrast.
Speakers included Jesse Ventura, Barry Goldwater Jr., and, of course, Paul himself. But one real star of the show was Los Angeles singer Aimee Allen. While you may have never heard of Allen, she's a big hit with Paulites for her original tune "The Ron Paul Revolution Theme Song, which, quite frankly, rather rocked. From the floor to the nosebleeds, the crowd sang along with her word for word:
Ron Paul! Save our constitutional rights
Ron Paul! We're not gonna give up the fight
Ron Paul! Start a revolution
and break down illegal institutions
We don't want no war no more
bring our boys home to our shores
We don't want big government
Or the Bilderberg group that pays for it
The Federal Id means a police state
and Mr. Jefferson's rolling in his grave
when our names turn to numbers like 666
according to the gospel on implantable chips
The Patriot Act took our liberties
And there's no judge and no jury
Tapping our phones, breaking down our doors
waging on the people a civil war!
We work 3 jobs and bring home no pay
The IRS takes it all away
and we struggle, slave to pay the rent
So, Ron Paul for President
Allen brought the house down with that one -- twice. The singer, it seems, is an advocate of sharing free content online. Posting the MP3 of the song to her MySpace page, she explained her thinking on her blog by invoking a clever blend of participatory culture and Objectivism: "So I just put it up as a free download... As Ayn Rand says, 'The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.':)"
The halls of the Target Center were lined with booths filled by the John Birch Society and gold standard proponents, while people milled about in t-shirts bearing slogans like "End the Fed" and "Gold is Money." One of the more popular shirts in evidence seemed to be one that stated "Ron Paul: the Evolution of the Revolution" -- a testament to the belief that Paul represents the true standard bearer of the Republican revolution of earlier days.
And while the 19,000 seat Target Center certainly wasn't full to capacity, Paul turned out a healthy crowd. "Rally for the Republic" was a demonstration of Paul's ability to tap into the online energy of his presidential campaign -- excitement that helped him to "moneybomb" his way to rather startling fundraising numbers -- and convert that momentum into an evolving movement.