Contrarian Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s Rally for the Republic just got underway over at the Target Center in Minneapolis. MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson kicked off the event just under an hour late, though Carlson was ready and waiting in the wings before he was scheduled speak. One Ron Paul supporter, who asked not to be named, suspected that the planning for the slow-moving event may have been turned over to the hemp activists–a reference to Paul’s opposition to the “war on Drugs”–a few of whom I saw smoking a joint outside the building. (Maybe they’re also responsible for turning me into a journobot with a name tag reading “Bennton.”)
Paul, a staunch anti-war advocate, organized the event as a contrast to the official Republican National Convention. His supporters did not seem dissuaded by the lack of institutional support, lining up outside the arena in the rain to get a chance to see the politician. I talked to one supporter named Michael Marasco who had walked 300 miles from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis to spread Paul’s message of “honesty in government.”
Generally, the rally was an anti-government demonstration in support of a politician. I asked many of the supporters, “What can government do right?” Some supporters yelled, “Nothing.” Others got hostile with the questioning. In general, though, most people gave me one unified answer: “as little as possible.”
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