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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ron Paul endorses Eric Smith for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction. Plus: I got to meet Dr. Paul!

Ron Paul, Republican candidate for President, spoke at Carmichael Auditorium at UNC Chapel Hill yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Also speaking on the program - having received Dr. Paul's endorsements - were Eric Smith, who is running for North Carolina's Superintendent of Public Instruction and B.J. Lawson, candidate for North Carolina's 4th Congressional District. Since I am the treasurer for Eric's campaign, and also 'cuz I've always wanted to meet Ron Paul, I absolutely had to attend! :-)

It was just as noon hit that I was leaving Reidsville, and on the way I stopped at the Barnes & Noble in Burlington to buy a copy of Dr. Paul's new book The Revolution: A Manifesto, currently ranked #1 on Amazon. It was the only copy on the shelves and one of the associates told me that it had been "selling hard". When I got to Chapel Hill I spoke to Eric via cellphone and he told me that he had stopped at that very store to get a copy and we figure we'd missed each other by less than 20 minutes!

Lots of people showed up to hear Dr. Paul. One guy told me that he'd driven all the way from Asheville (which would be around 4 hours drive time). The program for the event had a Photoshop image of Ron Paul as Iron Man from the new movie (complete with stylized "Ron Paul" done like the Iron Man font).

I must apologize for the quality of some of these pictures. The lighting in Carmichael Auditorium seemed to be strange: some pics turned out great and others taken from the same spot, I had to do some work with image levels etc. to make them better because they were so dark.

The first to speak was Paige Michael-Shetley, the Chairman of UNC Students for Ron Paul:

And then Eric Smith got up and spoke for a few minutes about the platform he was running on as candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. It was much the same speech as he gave at the Wake County Republican Convention a few weeks ago:

Eric was followed by B.J. Lawson, who spoke much about how he ended up running for Congress after hearing about Ron Paul and what he stands for:

And then, following Lawson's remarks, Dr. Ron Paul himself took to the podium!

Ron Paul spoke for about 45 minutes on a number of subjects, but especially foreign policy and economic freedom. The kinds of things that - though I'm admittedly a Ron Paul supporter I have to candidly observe - I've never heard John McCain or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or George W. Bush discuss. Certainly not with such eloquence and uncluttered presentation as Ron Paul did yesterday. It was like listening to one of the Founding Fathers, the way he spoke of individual liberty and why there needs to be less government as opposed to more.

Here are some shots of the crowd that came to listen to Ron Paul. This was a very enthused bunch but you know what? I don't know if it's because they were stoked about Ron Paul himself, or if it was more about his message of individual freedom that brought them here. Compare that to the footage we've seen of rallies for Obama and Hillary: those seem more like demonstrations of egotism. In contrast, Dr. Paul came across as probably the most humble candidate for high office that I've ever seen.

After Dr. Paul concluded his remarks, there was a "meet & greet" session where everyone could get their photo taken with him and he could autograph their books or yardsigns or whatever. While we were in line I couldn't help but take a picture of my feet standing on the floor at Carmichael Auditorium, 'cuz this is the same floor that Michael Jordan used to play on...

Here's Eric Smith along with Ron Paul:

And then finally, after wanting to meet him for a way long time (we're talking at least ten years now) I got to shake hands with Ron Paul! He also signed my copy of The Revolution:

On the way back home I couldn't help but think: more than seven years ago I almost met George W. Bush. That was the night that I saw first-hand how much an arrogant control freak Bush really is. Bush has since gone on to be the most wasteful and destructive President in American history. Yesterday I got to meet someone who couldn't be more a polar opposite: Ron Paul, who not only speaks of having less government and more individual opportunity, he believes it.

George W. Bush and Ron Paul. One is destroyer and the other is liberator. One is pro-war and the other is pro-life. One is a big-government socialist and the other is a classic capitalist. One believes in an American empire and the other believes as the Founders did that we don't go looking for fights. One preaches fear and the other preaches hope.

I certainly know which man I respect the more!


Anonymous said...

I really like the back ground. It becomes you. HA HA HA.

What is Ron Paul doing at Carolina.

Maybe he has turned from the Dark side. maybe you should do the same Chris (Duke Boy)


Chris Knight said...

You're still mad that I got your baby boy a teddy bear wearing a Duke shirt, aren't you? :-P

Lee Shelton said...

As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Lucky!"