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Post details: Seeing Is Believing

Seeing Is Believing

Seeing a politician live is worth reading thousand political manifestos. They can disguise their souls in carefully polished speeches, but body language always gives them away.

This Thursday, Ron Paul was giving a lecture on Foreign Policy at the Robert Tuft Club in Arlington, not far from where I live, so by 8pm that evening I was standing in a tightly packed banquet room of Boulevard WoodGrill, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the most enigmatic figure of this presidential campaign.

On the surface, Ron Paul looks like an archetypal un-president: humble, with a boyish and fragile smile, soft-spoken. You'd expect to find him feeding the birds in a park, rather then running for the most powerful office in the known Universe. But underneath the veneer of a frail man there beats a passionate heart of a surprisingly tenacious warrior. Those who underestimate him will be surprised. His mild manners may seem at odds with your stereotypical image of the Commander-in-Chief as an energetic guy with a massive jaw-bone, but his simple message is finding an increasingly receptive audience.

  • the federal government has outgrown its original blueprint to the point of loosing functionality, local affairs have to be managed by local people rather than by an army of centralized bureaucrats

  • democracy should be exported by an example and free trade rather than by use of military force; keeping an excessive force overseas drains away the resources that are needed at home

  • frivolous spending leads to massive debt and severe devaluation of the currency, the current fiscal policy slowly erases the middle class

Ron Paul's lecture was delivered off-the-cuff which gave it a pleasant air of authenticity. He spoke passionately and with conviction, yet his tone never slid to being pompous or self-serving. His arguments were clear and well grounded in logic and common sense. Most importantly, he obviously spoke his mind - a welcome respite from other Capitol denizens who constantly check and double check the effect their utterances might have on the constituents. In this presidential campaign, Ron Paul is the one who put candid back in candidate.

In short, if I met this guy on a train I would never guess he was a politician. And that is a rare compliment inside the Beltway. I'd probably think he was a gardener. One that has a rose named after him.



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