Sunday, April 8, 2012
Local Ron Paul Supporters Keep The Faith
DALLAS MORNING NEWS | Steve Blow | April 7, 2012
And for what?
Surely they know Mitt Romney has the GOP nomination just about sewn up. And besides, Paul is one of the few Republican candidates who never even flirted with front-runner status.
Yet the hardcore, never-say-die Paul supporters go right on campaigning like it’s a week before Iowa. I wondered why, so I sat down with a few of the local diehards one evening last week.
Sal Ayala probably hit it on the head when he said they don’t think in terms of a political campaign. “This is a movement,” he said. “It’s a cause. It’s not going to die.”
And they sure don’t see the 76-year-old Paul as just another candidate. “He’s something that we haven’t seen in a long time — a philosopher statesman,” Ayala said.
Dallas County’s Ron Paul headquarters consists of a couple of borrowed back rooms in a Richardson office park. Like the campaign itself, the HQ has a certain make-do, seat-of-the-pants feel. Supporters brought folding chairs from home to furnish the place.
Mignon Dietrich, a 29-year-old Flower Mound resident, made quite a journey to become a Ron Paul true believer. “I thought he was a kook in 2008,” she confessed. “But it turns out I was completely wrong.”
She came to the father through the son. Interviews with new U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky so impressed her that she gave ol’ Dad another look. Even read his book, Liberty Defined. And so she was among the 80 people waving signs on Dallas street corners last weekend.
Ayala, a 33-year-old Oak Cliff resident, made his own unusual journey to the Paul camp in 2008. He grew up in a Democratic household and began the last presidential campaign season as a Barack Obama supporter. But the more he began to read and think for himself, the more he was drawn to Paul’s Libertarian views.
“My first test was, who did I feel was talking to me as an adult, not sugarcoating things? Ron Paul passed that test,” Ayala said.
“He would restore our faith in individual liberty and free markets,” he said. “Together, those are the genesis for the prosperity of our country.”
Regina Imburgia, 55, of Old East Dallas has led much of the local Paul campaign. She believes Paul is the only candidate to embody the Barry Goldwater brand of Republicanism she grew up with. “Smaller government, closer to the people,” she said.
Paul’s positions can certainly seem kooky. He wants to abolish the Federal Reserve System . He would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and income taxes. He scoffs at the war on drugs and would stay out of all foreign wars. By closing many federal agencies, he promises a balanced budget in three years.
His local supporters say it’s not his positions that hurt him but the lack of respect from the news media and the Republican establishment. “If he had a level playing field, he would be blowing everyone else out of the water,” Imburgia said.
Ayala said Paul’s radical honesty scares all of Washington, Republicans included. “He’s kryptonite to everything that Washington has come to stand for,” he said.
The three Paul supporters have such low regard for the Republican Party these days that none would commit to voting for the party’s nominee in November, assuming it’s not Paul.
“If you have nothing but the lesser of two evils, it’s evil still,” Imburgia said.
Posted by Ron Paul U.S.A. at 12:13 AM