Rally for the Republic: A Tale of Two Cities
By Mark Anderson
This is truly a “tale of two cities”—cities that are physically close together—and yet, for a time, were so far apart politically that it evaded comprehension. St. Paul during the Republic National Convention (RNC) in some glaring ways represented Orwell’s chilling 1984, while the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis represented the passionate spirit of 1776, as this AFP reporter and other observers confirmed while on assignment.
Although the Target Center in Minneapolis was filled Sept. 2 with more than 10,000 people who believe the Paul rally marked a crucial turning point for their embattled country, any impartial observer could plainly see that today’s version of the Republican Party’s Rockefeller wing at St. Paul’s Xcel Center would hasten the country’s seemingly unstoppable march toward a police state at home and imperialism abroad.
Indeed, the black-suited garrison surrounding the RNC could not conceal its thirst for head-busting with relentless arrests of protestors, even in their homes and hangouts as well as on the streets of St. Paul—before and during the Sept. 1-4 convention. At this writing, reliable numbers are hard to come by, but local and foreign press and various citizens said that numerous 25-member platoons of well-armed riot police unwaveringly stormed homes and various venues, handcuffed demonstrators face down for 45 minutes and confiscated computers and political literature, strongly suggesting the crackdown was political. While hundreds were reportedly arrested, relatively few were charged.
Inside the sterile RNC confab, those who uttered a peep of protest, especially during Sen. John McCain’s speech, were whisked away. Some inside clutched signs that read “You Can’t Win an Occupation” and “McCain Votes Against Vets” and managed to get on camera for an instant.
However, the Rally for the Republic across the river—an opening salvo to herald Dr. Ron Paul’s long-term Campaign for Liberty—was incomparable in its atmosphere of respect for various viewpoints, a keen sense of what’s ailing the republic and a grasp on how to cure it—all led by a man who, in his keynote address, said that he still sees himself as a country doctor who, once upon a time, decided to run for Congress.
Paul, who represents the 14th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, explained that his move to drop out of the GOP presidential running, while not a universally popular decision, set the stage for this event. The aftermath could change the “body politic” for good by reorienting a determined and growing segment of the populace toward the truth about their nation and what to do about it.
Thanks to this rally, a sizable cross section of Americans, heavily populated by the younger set, will be even more inoculated against the relentless government-big media propaganda machine that keeps the masses jailed in a world of “two” parties actually operating as two wings of the same ruling class and dedicated to economic, cultural and political consolidation on a continental and global scale. By definition, that means merging America, Canada and Mexico into a North American Union, complete with the proposed NAFTA Superhighway that would tear apart homes, ranches, dreams and the economy at large; by definition, that also ultimately means the end of the United States itself as an independent nation.
The Rally’s films, speakers and musical performers provided attendees with more than eight hours of information, inspiration and entertainment. Independent American media and some foreign press, including BBC and German press personnel, worked the event properly. But several low-key reporters, apparently from more mainstream media outlets, never left their laptops to listen to a single speech; they mechanically typed away in a backstage area, as if they already knew what to write.
But nothing will stop the independent and foreign press and the attendees from spreading the word, reflecting the insights of several speakers who declared that ideas cannot be stopped by anyone, including municipal goon squads awash in Department of Homeland Security dollars that transform responsible local police into corrupt franchises of the post-9-11 federal police system.
Among the more colorful speakers was former Minnesota Mayor Jesse Ventura, who AFP interviewed privately in addition to covering his floor speech.
“I am not a Democrat and I am not a Republican,” Ventura said, hardly needing the microphone. “I think these two parties are destroying our country.”
The applause that followed his words and those of others thundered; but unlike RNC-goers who like to do deep-knee bends, the Rally attendees did not ridiculously sit and stand every few seconds.
Ventura, who lightly hinted at a presidential bid in 2012, added that America has an official national debt of more than $9 trillion. He said that Democratic and Republican incumbents do not comment on it “because they’re both equally responsible.”
On the First Amendment he assailed those who misconstrue it. “Popular speech doesn’t need to be protected; it’s unpopular speech that needs to be protected.”
As for the Second Amendment, he said it’s Americans’ guarantee that they can rise up against tyranny—not to be secure to go hunting. Those who wonder how Americans could possibly resist a federal onslaught, he said, need only look at Vietnam’s rural land dwellers who resisted the American military. “We threw everything we had at them,” he said.
Not shying away from 9-11, Ventura asked: “Why has the U.S. Department of Justice not charged Osama bin Laden for 9-11? Where is the grand jury, the evidence and indictment?” He noted that bin Laden is only charged with sundry items, including an embassy bombing in Africa. And, touching on an issue over which some Rally attendees will disagree, Ventura opined that the U.S. border fence project is a bad idea. Now a part-time resident in Mexico, Ventura said that some Hispanics entering America “came here to help their families just like we help ours.”
The Rally, emceed by MSNBC Senior Campaign Correspondent Tucker Carlson, featured several other speakers, including: Conservative Caucus Chairman Howard Phillips, Barry Goldwater Jr. (who introduced Dr Paul for his keynote address), former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, local congressional candidate Barb Davis White, and, among others, author Bill Kauffman.
Kauffman, perhaps the most poetic of the speakers, called on Americans in coffee shops and at their kids’ ballgames, in their homes and businesses and from every walk of life, to keep their hopes up and prevent what seems like an inevitable slide into tyranny. He also reflected that while Paul reads the Constitution, “John McCain reads an atlas, looking at which country to bomb next.”
Ms. White did the invocation, noting: “Thank God ... as we watch babies live, freedom unfold—and Homeland Security die.” Much applause followed. And while decrying the modern day socialism and fascism that America’s ruling class imposes, she also thanked God for “Dr. Paul and his leadership.”
Phillips—long an important leader of the U.S. Taxpayers Party that became known nationally as the Constitution Party and offered an alternative for those disillusioned by the present “two-party” system—reflected: “Ron Paul always got reelected because he always explained what he was doing,” with some Conservative Caucus input.
Phillips lauded Paul for always reintroducing H.R. 1146 to get the U.S. out of the United Nations, and other efforts to: suspend the federal gas tax; oppose federal funds for the Trans Texas Corridor; assert that human life begins at conception; oppose mental health screening for schoolchildren; and, of course, end the Federal Reserve System.
“End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!” was loudly chanted countless times by the audience throughout the program.
“For the first time since the 1920s, the IRS and the Fed have become real issues, thanks to Dr. Paul,” Phillips said, adding that Paul’s House Concurrent Resolution 40, which has at least 48 co-sponsors, calls on Congress to formally oppose the North American Union. Phillips suggested that audience members not only call their congressmen, but also call big-media news anchors and commentators and demand that they ask candidates about the NAU and make it a campaign issue. He said NAUwarroom.com is a good website for updates, adding that Americans can take heart that since the Irish avoided their nation’s entry into the European Union by recently voting down the Lisbon Treaty “by a significant margin,” then the NAU scheme can be beaten.
Another speaker with a knack for humor, professor Tom Woods, called the RNC “the ‘snorefest’ down the street,” where those with “deep thoughts” would never contemplate ending the Fed or other real issues.
“The Fed—the central bank—is the lifeblood of the empire,” said Woods. “If you want to stop the war machine, you have to stop the money machine.” He said Rep. Paul is the only one who has told Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that he is “stealing from the poor,” while other Congress members slavishly “wave incense in his face” and pretend the Fed can do no wrong. Woods also could not resist adding that McCain and Obama will only compete to see who offers Americans the most painful top income tax rate.
“Oh, boy! We get to debate between 35% (McCain) and 39.5% (Obama),” Woods said.
Notably, at the RNC, McCain showed pictures of himself in Arizona with Barry Goldwater Sr., but the presence of the late Senator’s son at Rep. Paul’s event shows where the Goldwater family places its support.
Paul himself concluded the speaking portion of the event, noting that real freedom brings people from many walks of life and viewpoints together.
“I wanted to be president because of what I did not want to do,” Paul said. “I don’t want to run people’s lives. I don’t want to run the economy.”
And when naysayers would tell him that this approach would make him a “weak president,” he said: “Resisting power requires strength.”
While noting that not a single cent of tax dollars was spent on his Rally, he said the RNC and DNC rallies each required more than $12 million in taxpayer funds.
Paul, who did not speak at length, said it’s time to stop believing various falsehoods and rise up to become “universal champions of liberty.” On the revolution that bears his name, he added: “It’s growing and even if they tried, they can’t stop us.”
“Yeah!” the audience roared. Meanwhile, Tom Petty’s song “Won’t Back Down” thundered as thousands of people slowly began to file out and head back to the communities from whence they came, ready to truly change the nation while keeping in mind that Paul told them: “We have a sense of urgency here; we have to move rather quickly.”
That means more and more inspired people will run for office themselves at all levels, and work harder to influence the system in countless ways, including challenging unfair ballot access laws, wresting control of televised debates from the big parties, media bias, and various other barriers erected by the ruling elite.
Email Corresponding Editor Mark Anderson at [email protected].
About the AFP Team: AFP Corresponding Editor Mark Anderson would like to thank his son, Evan, and AFP stringer Jason Littlejohn for their assistance in covering this huge rally, shooting video, gathering information and taking pictures.
(Issue # 36, September 8, 2008)