Ron Paul rallies thousands in Sun Dome
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 00:08
Even a tropical storm couldn’t keep thousands of Ron Paul supporters from coming to a rally held at the USF Sun Dome Sunday.
The rally, dubbed by Paul “We Are the Future,” drew more than 10,000 people to campus, and featured a wide range of guest speakers supporting the six-term U.S. representative from Texas.
The audience greeted the charismatic 77-year-old who has won a spot in the hearts of the 20-somethings across the country with enthusiastic applause and numerous chants.
Paul started his hour-long speech by poking fun at the Republican National Convention but continued by addressing a multitude of issues.
He slammed the Federal Reserve, spoke of the importance of civil liberties, defended his foreign policy, called for an end to military intervention and advocated a return to the monetary gold standard.
“What is coming out right now is proof positive that their philosophy of government, whether it’s foreign policy, monetary policy or economic policy, is failing, and they need something different,” he said.
Paul also criticized the prohibition of illegal drugs and substances, saying Americans should be able to “choose what things you smoke, or eat or drink.”
Before Paul came to the podium, an array of speakers, including Loyola professor and libertarian Walter Block, former California senator Barry Goldwater Jr., and evangelical
Christian organizer David Lane warmed the crowd. Each speaker spoke of their individual appreciation for Ron Paul, his contribution to conservative libertarianism, and what they see as injustices by the “status quo” of both Republican and Democratic parties.
They also railed against the Federal Reserve, one speaker calling Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, “a traitor, a dictator,” and many of the speakers called for its abolishment.
Ron Paul’s wife, Carol, introduced nearly the entire Paul family on the stage, including Ky. Sen. Rand Paul, who spoke before his father finally came to the stage.
Paul addressed specifically the young adults in the audience.
“The young people certainly have the enthusiasm,” he said. “I think it’s the enthusiasm that really energizes a campaign. There will not be a true revolution unless the college campuses are alive and well with those ideas.”
Attendees held event signs handed to them at the gate and some supporters tied U.S. flags to the railings, while others waved anarchist flags. The rally buzzed with excitement for the future. Despite the Republican National Convention officially marking the end for Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign, the crowd already began looking forward, cheering “Paul 2016” throughout the rally.
Matthew Ashley, a resident of Minnesota, flew out to Tampa to support the presidential candidate he said is the most “constitutional person running for office today.”
Ashley, who is also running for office in the Minnesota House of Representatives, enjoyed the rally.
Teshia O’Keefe, a Ron Paul supporter, who flew in from New Hampshire, said the rally was the “grand finale of everything we’ve worked for in this election.”
“But the revolution continues,” she said.