I wonder if the individuals who packed the UC Ballroom last Monday truly appreciated the diversity of the crowd around them. This may have been the largest–and most varied--assemblage of one-issue true believers.
Just walking past the long line of Paulistas en route to the press conference in the opposite part of the UC, I noted advocates of absolute gun rights and absolute parental rights along with those who want to end both the war in Iraq and the war on drugs. I saw pro-home school, anti-abortion, pro-hard money, anti-Federal Reserve, pro-isolationism, anti-foreign aid, and other kinds of folks there. The far left and the far right standing together.
My question is: have all of these folks looked at the Paul platform in its totality? Or is his agreement with their individual issues enough? I get the point that "freedom" is an issue that touches all parts of the political spectrum and that Paul fans can say (with some legitimacy) that he’s the one candidate who can truly bring together people of diverse viewpoints. However, I must wonder how that would translate when the time came to actually govern?
Paul’s press conference (and I use that term loosely) also was unusual. How many times does the Missoulian not get a single question in because Paul advocates hogged the floor, asking multiple questions to "Doctor Paul"?
I admit that Paul fanciers have a right to establish their own alternative, advocacy, media efforts (largely on-line and through distribution of DVDs) but I felt like an observer watching disciples asking the master to affirm specific articles of dogma they’ve already heard a jillion times. As a result, I learned less about the leader and more about the followers.