" I can tell you that we are winning a tremendous battle ... for the hearts and minds of the American people who are sick and tired of what they are getting out of Washington, D.C."--Ron Paul
By Nadin Abbott
May 8, 2012 (La Jolla, California) -- Ron Paul may trail Mitt Romney in the delegate count 865-93 (after scoring the majority of delegates in the Maine and Nevada Republican conventions over the weekend). But to his legions of loyal followers, the Libertarian-leaning Republican presidential candidate is still a winner.
Thousands came to Warren Mall at UCSD on May 5 to hear Ron Paul. They were drawn from as near as the Campus proper, all the way to Apple Valley, beyond the Cajon Pass. When Paul came to the stage there were screams of “Ron Paul for President” as well as a flurry of signs waving.
Paul, a strong supporter of civil liberties, addressed the crowd on the case of Daniel Chong, a UCSD student arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and forgotten for five days in a detention cell. Chong wound up in Intensive Care with severe dehydration and is currently suing the government.
"If we need laws to restrain individuals in any way possible they should be state laws, it shouldn't be the federal government and it shouldn't be the DEA," Paul said, drawing cheers. "It is always difficult to sue the government when the government protects itself.” He added, “Any agent of government should be liable and be personally sued.”
Paul added, “We will not send anybody to Washington that does not believe or follow the Constitution of the United States.” He went on to state that “the government should be a limited government.”
Paul called for the federal government to go back to the Gold standard, adding that next year, the hundredth anniversary of the Federal Reserve, it should be dissolved. He believes the United States needs to get off paper money and that the Constitution does not establish a central bank, or legal tender.
As far as the wars we are in now, none are legal since they were never declared, Paul said. Our foreign policy should be of “friendship and trade with all.” The current diplomatic crisis with China will not lead to any military action, since we have trade with them, he predicted.
Paul also added that an economic trap was laid by Osama Bin Ladin with the 9-11 attacks. We have been forced to expand and spend well beyond our means; that is also placing the economy at great peril. He also said that at one time we stood down the Soviet Union, but we “went after a nation that someday may develop a nuclear weapon.”
As he put it, “The Soviets over-extended themselves, as empires almost inevitably do…Bin Ladin intended to cause our society to occupy others, cause (internal) dissent (like the 1960s) and over extend our economy.” In Paul’s view bin Ladin succeeded.
He went on to say that if we live an exceptional life as a nation maybe others will imitate us. But we cannot claim this when “we practice torture abroad. This is not the practice of a free people.”
As far as the war on drugs, Paul contends that it has failed. “If you do harm to yourself that is your issue,” said Paul, whose permissive policies on drug use have helped attract youthful voters. He also said that “you should be able to smoke what you want and drink what you want.” He emphasized that “the war on drugs has done more damage to our liberties” than the drugs themselves. It is time to end it, he sad.
He criticized the national media for not covering his campaign fairly.
Of the California election, he stated, "We are hoping for a surprise on election day to the point where maybe the mainstream media will have to cover what we are doing. We don't know exactly what will happen in that election, or what will happen in August in Tampa, or what will happen in November. But I can tell you that we are winning a tremendous battle ... for the hearts and minds of the American people who are sick and tired of what they are getting out of Washington, D.C."
Among the crowd of Paul supporters was Charity (who declined to give her last name), a Poway mother who brought her children to see a Presidential candidate. She agrees with Paul on issues, such as hias proposal to eliminate the Department of Education, a move viewed as radical by some. “There should be federal funding, but local control,” she said.
A group of about 50 counter-protesters from the Party for Socialism and Liberation passed out flyers outside the rally listing Paul’s quotes on race, as well as his stance on gender issues and worker’s rights. Most of Paul’s supporters who took the flyers put them in the trash. They were not happy that the counter protesters were there, but understood that the protesters rights are protected under free speech by the very Constitution that Paul himself so vigorously defends.
A lone Romney supporters braved the rally with a sign. Before the rally, some in the crowd started to scream epithets against Romney. A Paul supporter quietly mentioned that he may have to vote for Romney in November--a statement that was not well received by the loyal Paul attendees around him.