Subject: Ron Paul Rally in Philadelphia
From: William J. Eck
Date: Sun, November 11, 2007
To the Editor:
On Saturday, November 10, my wife and I went to Philadelphia to the Ron Paul
rally at Independence Mall. We figured parking might not be so easy, so we drove
from Somerset County down to Glassboro, New Jersey where my parents live, and
took a bus from there.
The weather was not pleasant at all, very humid and cold. I couldn't help
thinking that if the day had been more pleasant, the crowd would have been even
larger than it was.
We arrived at the site just before noon, and the area was already filling up.
struck a conversation with two women we met there, and found that they were from
a town close by us. We bought T-shirts and picked up bumper stickers, and made
our way to a point as close to the stage as we could get. It didn't take long
for the space behind us to fill up.
I have no idea how many people attended, but the yard was filled up as far as I
could see. The crowd was made up of people of all ages and colors, long haired
freaks, young families with children, twentysomethings, thirtysomethings,
fortysomethings, college kids, veterans of all ages. One of the things that
struck me was that everyone I met was polite and well-mannered. Many people had
made their own signs and banners; they weren't all "official" Ron Paul signs.
Some were homemade, but many people had gone to some trouble and expense to have
their signs made professionally.
The Rocky Lynne band ran through a sound check as the crowd gathered.
The rally started at one o'clock. Rocky Lynne again came up on stage to perform
the redundant task of warming up the crowd. "Anybody here to see Ron Paul?" the
crowd went nuts, chantingn"Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul..."
" I was invited to the Iowa Straw Poll to sing the national anthem , and during
the straw poll, all the candidates were given their fifteen minutes to speak
before the vote, and I'd heard a few things about Ron Paul, but when it came his
turn to talk, he said this: ' When in the Course of human events, it becomes
necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a
decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
causes which impel them to the separation....' That's when I became interested
in Ron Paul's campaign."
Not a verbatim quote, just the gist of what he said.
The band played about a thirty minute set, and then others took the stage.
At about 1:50, two assistants brought up a plexiglass podium, and the crowd went
berserk. Dr. Paul was introduced, to thunderous applause and chanting. He held
up his hands to quiet the crowd, which eventually quieted. He spoke for an hour,
not even glancing at his notes, with numerous interruptions for applause. I
found myself often on the verge of tears as I listened, overcome with emotions I
For anyone familiar with Dr. Paul, his message of personal
freedom, personal responsibility, and the connections between the country's
economic problems and its foreign policy, and the virtues of following the
Constitution are well known themes. But if Dr. Paul is preaching to the choir,
it's a big choir and it surely will get even bigger as time goes on.
As we left to catch our bus back to Glassboro, we passed by the area behind the
stage. We got there just as Dr. Paul was coming out to his car. He had very
little in the way of security, just a black woman who politely cleared his path
to the waiting car. As Dr. No came through the throng, he signed T-shirts and
shook hands. My wife managed to get a handshake, which thrilled her completely.
I tried to shake the great man's hand a few minutes later, but as he passed by
an arm's length away, I looked at his face. At that point he seemed a little
antsy, perhaps overwhelmed by the intensity of all that adoration. I thought of
the Rush song, Limelight: "Living in a fisheye lens, caught in the camera eye, I
have no heart to lie, I can't pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend." I
abandoned my trivial pursuit, figuring he didn't owe me a thing at that point.
To sum it all up, it was a wonderful day, and it gave me a hope for the future
that I haven' t had in a long time.
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