Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ron Paul in Manhattan

Glenda McGee and I drove 2 1/2 hours to Manhattan to hear Ron Paul speak at the Webster Hall rock club on 12th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Sharad Karkhanis, editor of Patriot Returns, joined us. My friend City Councilman Dan Halloran from Queens (the only elected Libertarian in New York) introduced speakers Peter Schiff and Ron Paul. Previously, I had not realized that Peter is the son of Irwin Schiff, the tax protestor. A degree of disorganization marred the event. Webster Hall only provided one bartender even though about 25 people were waiting to be served. The speakers were late, and Ron Paul did not appear until 10:30, even though he had been scheduled for two hours earlier. Also, the organizers treated the event as a rock concert, with loud music playing while the crowd, which was jammed elbow to elbow onto Webster Hall's dance floor, waited.

That said, the event was wonderful. At least several hundred enthusiastic Paul supporters were present, and the room was filled to the escape doors. Most in the audience were young, many in their twenties and thirties. College students worked as volunteers and were in the audience. I met an NYU Student against whom a professor had discriminated because of his pro-Paul views. The palpable energy inspired me. Here in rural Olive, most of the Republicans are oldsters. It was wonderful to see a dynamic group of youngsters, far greater than the number that was active in the Libertarian Party in the 1970s or that had heard of the ideas of von Mises and Rothbard back then, hollering to abolish the Fed. While Schiff was speaking someone from the audience kept hollering "Austrian Economics!" and, What about von Mises?" from the floor.

While waiting for Paul, Dan Halloran did an able job of keeping the audience interested. As well, Peter Schiff gave an insightful talk about monetary policy from the pro-gold and anti-Fed point of view. Attacking the Federal Reserve Bank and the current monetary system, Paul spoke about monetary issues, and mentioned, without excessive emphasis, the risk of world government. The audience cheered when one of the speakers said that the only other good candidate for president is Gary Johnson.


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