It was this day, August 13, 2011, that brought me the confirmation I needed in order to dedicate my being to discovering how deep the rabbit hole goes. The vehicle of psychological transportation I chose to kick off my journey towards enlightenment was the “Ron Paul Love-olution.” The speeches Dr. Paul delivered that day justified my decision to join the movement and progressively become a full-time liberty activist. The following is an account of my introduction into the liberty movement, originating from Congressman Paul’s life work, and my head-first dive into the rabbit hole;
The day started fairly early, around 5 AM. Originally, my friend Brittany was under the impression that she would be picked up at 9 AM. However, the more I reviewed the schedule of events, the earlier I realized we would have to leave. So with the largest iced coffee I could buy, I arrived at her house minutes before 6 AM, hoping the XL brew would overcome her disbelief of the hour. With the vision of meeting the new iconic figure in my life, I drove the whole five hours as time effectively as possible with four hours of sleep under my belt. We approached Iowa State University just before 11 AM and right in time to hear the doctor himself give a brief speech. From my seat close to the front, I was introduced to the sounds of the “love-olution” from a passionate performer known as Jordan Page. Among hundreds of red-shirted Ron Paul supporters, Jordan belted his tunes in the name of liberty on-stage with the Paul family. According to Jordan, that day was truly special because he experienced an open-hearted embrace from Ron like no time before in his career of opening for Dr. Paul’s rallies.
It was a special day for me as well. Not only did I get to listen to the doctor share the messages of individual liberty, but I was fortunate enough to snag his signature while he departed from a FOX news interview. Once I noticed this opportunity, Brittany fumbled through my backpack for my copy of Dr. Paul’s newest publication, Liberty Defined. She handed me the book that inspired me to make this Iowa trip and I then extended my arm out in front of Ron’s pathway with my book in-hand. I watched as Ron grasped my hardcover book, littered with yellow sticky notes, and autographed the first page. For the rest of the afternoon, I felt as if I was perched on a cloud comforted with excitement and appreciation.
Brittany and I then toured around the campus, visiting booths and other candidates’ campsites. The Santorum camp was in the far back with a long line for their free barbecue while the Bachmann camp was probably still busy busing-in Iowans from all over the state for votes. Little known fact about Ron Paul’s site, his campaign raised the most money out of all of the Republican candidates for the event with over $30,000 and therefore, they were given the first choice as to which site to use. As a result, the Paul people had the largest site on campus, sitting right in the front entrance of the event. Ron’s camp was filled with various booths for liberty-related organizations, free food from the grill and even activities for the kids including an Uncle Sam bounce house. But most importantly, Ron’s campsite had a sincerely genuine and uplifting atmosphere, as are all Ron Paul events.
During the main event in which each Republican candidate gave a speech, Brittany and I were eating sandwiches at Jimmy Johns since we were not allowed access into the auditorium without tickets that were only given to Iowa residents. In retrospect, I saved a few hours of my life by enjoying time with Brittany rather than trying to mute bogus rhetoric from each politician, except in Ron’s case of course. On our way back into the event, a Santorum volunteer attempted to give my friend a flyer. At first, she seemed as if she was going to grab it, but just before she did, she must have remembered my hatred for Santorum just in time and shrieked in horror before walking away. This moment was hysterical at the time and I wonder what the Santorum supporter must have thought after Brittany yelped in her face before instinctively grabbing the flyer. We then were able to catch a speech from Barry Goldwater Jr. as well as another one from Ron. While Ron was speaking, I sneaked over to Carol and asked her to sign my book under her husband’s signature.
On the way back home that Saturday evening from the straw poll, I took Brittany to a driving range at a nearby golf course. It was her first time and she always said how much she was interested in trying it. My clubs were covered up in my back seat the entire day as a surprise thank you for Brittany joining me on my initial journey of self-awareness through Ron Paul. She was not attracted to the freedom message as of yet, but she was interested in participating in an activity that I greatly enjoyed. And for committing her whole day to do something I am deeply passionate about, I knew she deserved something she desired in return.