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With the Gains Being Made by Ron Paul, How Can the Mainstream Ignore Him?


By Mark Anderson

NILES, Mich.—Indiana’s second largest “Ron Paul Meetup Group” handed out 2,000 flyers for his presidential campaign while marching in the annual parade and canvassing other parts of the Apple Festival here.

Standing at a busy intersection armed with flyers, signs and enthusiasm, members of the group “Michiana for Ron Paul,” named to signify their Michigan-Indiana orientation, conducted their second-ever roadside rally Sept. 30 on the festival’s last day.

Their first rally in late August by a large shopping mall in nearby Mishawaka, Ind., was covered by Fox 28, the Fox News TV affiliate based in Elkhart, Ind.

Group leader Nilson Clark—who, at age 20, typifies the youthful support across all socio-economic lines that Paul is generating—said his constitutional message deeply resonates with a growing number of Americans who reject “politics as usual.” This helps explain why Paul’s campaign, on the same day as the Niles roadside rally, reached the $1 million mark in national fund-raising. The campaign easily surpassed the initial goal of $500,000 in a week’s time to meet the Sept. 30 deadline for the end of the quarter.

“Dr. Paul was campaigning in New Hampshire with his wife, Carol, and their family when our $1 million goal was reached . . .” wrote campaign chairman Kent Snyder in an online news item posted at

“As the time drew near, they watched on a laptop as the counter reached the $1 million mark. They, along with staff, supporters and volunteers throughout the country then celebrated this extraordinary accomplishment: Over $1 million raised in seven days for the Ron Paul 2008 presidential campaign. Remarkable!”

The big media likely won’t be able to ignore or downplay Paul much longer. Paul himself noted in a news release that the kind of big-media publicity that his fund-raising success will spur will be considerable—far beyond what the Paul campaign could afford if it were in the form of advertising.

Paul leads all rivals in on-line support. MySpaceFriends reported that as of October 2, Paul had 66,055 voluntary responses to 39,215 for second-place John McCain. Inspired by this financial boost, “the meetup troops” are staying on course as their ranks grow.

“We have weekly meetings. We try to do activities two to three days a week,” Clark told AFP, explaining that besides town festivals, the Michiana for Ron Paul group blitzes local colleges and universities.

“We’re working with the Notre Dame college libertarians. We meet with them every other Tuesday.”

Michiana for Ron Paul founder Ben Thompson of Elkhart, 25, who started the chapter in June and already has more than 80 members, recalls that he was especially impressed by Dr. Paul’s economic outlook, namely the idea of flushing the Federal Reserve System.

“I was actually first interested in Ron Paul in 2004 when I researched libertarianism. I read Ron Paul’s stuff and I’ve been a big fan ever since. . . . I liked it when he said we should not have economic policy set by a secretive group of men meeting in a marble palace.”

Clark said he became a Paul fan over his foreign policy of non-interventionism as well as his economic views on getting rid of the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve.

According to Clark and Thompson, there are 1,000 Ron Paul meetup groups across the country comprised of about 48,000 people.

“We have 88 members and we’re growing daily,” Clark said, adding that the Indianapolis meetup group has 200 members and is Indiana’s largest. The Lake County group has 70-plus, the Bloomington group (where Indiana University is based) has 60-plus, and a Fort Wayne group has 30.

The meetup groups network via the Internet and other means and organize rallies for a bottom-up campaign that is taking on the elite global managers who for decades have tried to keep Americans in a state of fear and confusion with their left-versus-right, divide-and-conquer tactics that cloud the issues and discourage Americans from fighting back.

But the campaign of a bold 10-term Texas congressman and former Air Force flight surgeon has legions of supporters who are entering the political battlefield with a fierce determination to show the establishment that the American spirit is amazingly resilient.

The Michiana for Ron Paul meetup group, No. 209, has an information line: (574) 970-4727, or go to To find any meetup group for Paul, go online to Ten new Paul meetup groups formed between Sept. 28-30. The nation’s largest, in Austin, Tex. has 844 members. The Greater Chicago group has 670.

AFP reporter Mark Anderson can be reached at

(Issue #42, October 15, 2007)

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