I may not agree with them all the time, and some of them may leave me nasty, ill-informed comments, but they are collectively an ingenious, passionate bunch of folks.
Avery Knapp is typical of the Paul Web supporter. A 28-year-old radiology resident, Knapp describes himself as a lifelong conservative who voted for President Bush in 2000 before growing disillusioned with the Iraq war and federal spending.
Bush “did nothing but increase the size of government. The Republican Party needs to move back to its core principles,” Knapp said. Many Paul supporters share Knapp’s disdain for what he called a “neo-conservative clique” and hope Paul can spark a Goldwater-style insurgency.
At 46, Kevin Leslie has never bothered with politics. After watching an interview with Paul during his 1988 campaign as candidate for the Libertarian Party, Leslie told himself, “If this guy ever runs for president again, I’ll back him.”
And about that picture…
Passengers on a plane leaving New York could see three words in 4-foot block letters painted on an East Village rooftop terrace as they ascended: GOOGLE RON PAUL. The entreaty to search the Internet for news of the Republican congressman from rural Texas is one of the more visible signs of enthusiasm from a do-it-yourself base of Web fans. Their support doesn’t show up in public opinion polls, but it’s unmatched among presidential candidates in its passion.
If any of the front runners had supporters with this much DIY passion, they’d be a shoe-in. Maybe that’s a sign that purely partisan-driven agendas are on the verge of dying out? Let’s hope so.
Again, though, I question whether or not that passion can turn into feet on the ground.
Example? The straw poll in Texas this weekend. Ron Paul’s website has been talking about it consistently, and they placed third…behind Duncan “Who?” Hunter and Fred Thompson…a guy who wasn’t even running.