View Full Version : JBS: 10,000+ Gather in Minneapolis to Rally for the Republic

09-08-2008, 06:37 AM
10,000+ Gather in Minneapolis to Rally for the Republic

The John Birch Society (http://www.jbs.org/)
05 September 2008

Texas Congressman Ron Paul lost his bid to be the Republican Party’s candidate for president in 2008, but you wouldn’t know it from the huge crowd that turned out at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday, September 2nd, for his Rally for the Republic.

The program included a slate of speakers and musicians who kept the crowd enthused for nine hours.

By the time Ron Paul spoke at 7:45 p.m., at least ten thousand people had packed into the arena to celebrate the culmination of his presidential campaign and the launch of the Campaign for Liberty. A number of attendees had to leave beforehand in order to exercise their delegate duties at the Republican National Convention.

Before the event got under way, Congressman Paul conducted a brief press conference in which he declared that the Rally for the Republic was being staged to celebrate the freedom movement and to satisfy the enthusiasm for its message. He also pointed out that it was being staged as a call to the Republican Party to return to its roots of limited government, personal responsibility, and protection of natural rights.

Finally, the Rally was also serving as the official kick-off for the Campaign for Liberty (C4L), an outgrowth organization from his presidential campaign. C4L is dedicated to defending and promoting the principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Congressman Paul then fielded a number of questions. One person asked where the country was headed. Dr. Paul responded that the country was headed for big trouble, because all branches of government had lost sight of constitutional principles.

Another questioner asked how Ron Paul’s movement might detract from support for Republicans. Paul retorted that the freedom movement was more likely to detract from Obama, because young people like his freedom message.

Perhaps the most important inquiry was, “Where do you go from here?” Paul stated that he was not trying to start a third party but, rather, he was trying to gain more influence through the Campaign for Liberty, by means of education, grassroots lobbying, and other forms of political activity.

Tucker Carlson, MSNBC’s Senior Campaign Correspondent, acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced the various speakers.

In opening the program, Carlson explained why he admired Ron Paul:
1. Paul is not interested in developing a cult of personality. He basically says, “I’m for freedom, adults disagree, and that’s okay.”
2. He’s a nice guy and is kind to people around him.
3. Unlike most politicians, he has absolutely zero interest in controlling others.

The series of speakers criticized Republicans more than Democrats, which probably was a reflection of the frustration Ron Paul supporters feel over the cold shoulder Paul received from his own party during the primary campaign and during the national convention, which was taking place at the same time across the river in St. Paul.

The speeches ranged in style from the highly intellectual, such as that of legal expert Bruce Fein, to the Joe Six-pack, red-meat delivery of ex-professional wrestler and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura.

But the speaker who got in the most applause lines (other than Ron Paul himself, who spoke at least twice as long as everyone else) was John Birch Society President John McManus. A bank of lights above the stage went on whenever a speaker delivered a line that was likely to fire up the audience, and lit up the floor area of the arena, which served as a kind of mosh pit containing people enthusiastically waving “Rally for the Republic” signs.

His speech mixed humor with serious lessons on the U.S. Constitution and the accomplishments of the John Birch Society, such as turning back the drive for a dangerous constitutional convention.

The John Birch Society’s booth on the main concourse was also very popular with the thousands who thronged the arena. In addition to having a superb location between the main entrances, the physical appearance of the booth itself was second to none, and the professional quality of the presentation made it by far the most popular booth in the entire venue.

After the early-evening break, Barry Goldwater, Jr. stepped forward to give some introductory remarks, reminding the audience that the GOP had made a Contract with America back in 1994, and then spent the next twelve years becoming everything that it had campaigned against.

Finally, the moment that everyone had been waiting for had arrived, and Ron Paul made an entrance resembling that of a national convention, complete with signs, balloons, and cascades of confetti.

After the thunderous rock-star-type reception, Paul spent a full hour forcefully delivering his message of freedom. He recalled his roots as a country doctor and his reluctance to enter into a life of politics. “I lost my skepticism,” he said. “I hope you lost your apathy.”

The roar from the crowd made it clear that they had. And, he added in admonishment, “Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it.”

Congressman Paul also recalled many of the challenges of his presidential campaign, including exclusion from some debates and dismissive media coverage. But he also touched on some of the successes, such as the popularity of his message among young voters, despite his being one of the eldest candidates in the race.

Congressman Paul then launched into a recital of many of the themes of his campaign: opposition to the war in Iraq, withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations, ending federal income taxes, removing our military from foreign soil, and abolishing fiat money, to name a few. In fact, the most popular chant that the audience launched into throughout the day was, “End the Fed!”

The crowd obviously loved what they heard, and left recharged, with the hope that Ron Paul’s campaign was not ending, but entering a new phase. The John Birch Society’s swarmed booth at the end of the evening was evidence of that enthusiasm.

“I firmly believe that our day is coming,” Congressman Paul concluded his comments to the crowd, and added with assurance: “Ideas spread; you can’t stop them.”