I have admired Ron Paul since I was about 16 and first discovered what it truly meant to believe in individual freedom. He has always been a great example of integrity in his convictions.
I draw a large amount of inspiration from hearing him speak about the pervasiveness and universal appeal of liberty. However, the thought of a pseudo-personal interaction with this man that I admire had never really crossed my mind.
Multiple times at the rally, I remarked to my friends about how this seemed, to me, like meeting Santa Claus or some other mythical figure that the possibility of encountering in real life seemed silly. I anticipated a lot of excitement, a lot of quotable and inspirational moments, and to be absolutely, positively engulfed in the spirit of revolution that this man represents. What I wasn’t prepared for was how emotional and personal this situation would be.
The opening speakers said several great things about freedom, government, and the need for change. Although, when I heard several rumblings of “He’s here!” and “There he is!”, my heart started to flutter like boy falling in love. I stood on my tip-toes to try to see this well-aged but not worn old man, walking up to the platform with his wife.
When he came into view, the multitude of people began chanting “Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” When this started, I joined in, yelling at the top of my lungs. Though, I had to stop after the first couple of cadences because I had begun to cry and it was hard to get the words out.
I cried because this is a man that stands for some of my most dearly-held beliefs. I cried simply because I was getting to see this man speak in person. I cried because, despite the naysayers, I believe this man is one of the last, few hopes for this country’s redemption.
I cried because I was surrounded by thousands of people that were thinking the exact same thing at that very moment. I cried because there was unity and solidarity among those people.
I cried because, in that moment, the republicans, the democrats, the anarchists, the libertarians… everyone came together around a single idea.
The idea that everyone should be free to be whatever they want to be.