What It's Like to Meet Ron Paul

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 - 4:03pm

PeakProsperity.com readers know that we deliberately take a non-partisan approach on the site. We ask that folks leave their belief orientations (political, religious, etc.) at the door before entering, in order to create a space for rich fact-based discussions on the topics we cover.

That doesn't preclude us, however, from addressing the impacts created by developments within the political system. Obviously, the decisions made in Washington, D.C. can exert major influence on the economy, our energy systems, and the environment.

Ron Paul is one of the very few politicians that "gets" the economic predicament we face and has not shied away from loudly delivering the warning message to Congress and the American people. He also has been a leading defender of freedom and our social liberties for the nearly 40 years he served as an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

His positions were frequently unpopular with his peers within the Washington political machine, both without and within his party. But he stuck true to his convictions with impressive consistency over the decades, and many of his warnings some of which now appear prophetic are resonating with an increasing percentage of the populace that is realizing the dangers of out-of-control deficit spending, an unsound monetary policy, and ever-greater intrusion by the government into our personal freedom.

For his willingness to raise these important topics and his perseverance in delivering the message in the face of great resistance over the years, I admire him. So, I was thrilled to have to chance to meet Dr. Paul this past weekend.

Before, I had wondered often what it would be like to meet him. For those wondering the same, here's what the experience was like for me.

First Interaction

Dr. Paul and I had exchanged a few emails in advance of the weekend, coordinating a short meeting to discuss an opportunity I was asked to brief him on. He asked me to find him once I arrived at the conference.

I expected that "finding him" would mean finding his entourage and working with his handler to find a minute or two to speak with Dr. Paul later on.

Instead, he arrived at the event alone. No entourage. No handler. No personal assistant. Just a man representing himself on his own. Which was extremely brave as, as you might expect, he was pretty much instantly swarmed by admirers. This lasted for the entire 2-day length of his stay at the conference.

After waiting a few hours so as not to pile onto the initial crush, I joined the line of those waiting to talk with Dr. Paul. When I was finally in front of him, I introduced myself and asked him if his schedule the next day might still have a minute free for our talk. I was half-prepared for him to politely decline the meeting entirely given the obvious high demand for his presence by others at the event.

Instead, he said "Now's as good a time as any. Should we go sit down?"

So we did. And it was wonderful. He was gracious, thoughtful in his words, and gave me his full attention the entire time about 15 minutes.

We concluded our business talk about 5 minutes in, and then spoke for the remainder of the time about PeakProsperity.com (he wanted to learn more about what we do) and, later, the state of the healthcare industry (I come from a family of doctors, nurses, and therapists). On the former, he agrees with the need for the greater personal resiliency that PP.com advocates. On the latter, he thinks that the medical system is in shambles and getting worse for both practitioners and patients, and that willingly or not, the system will move to a network of competing private practices in the end (but not without years of pushing in the other direction first).

While we talked, we were interrupted several times by folks introducing themselves and asking for pictures. Some of these intrusions were borderline rude, IMO. But Dr. Paul, again, was gracious with each, giving his full energy to the brief interlude before turning back to our conversation. I'm sure part of that willingness to glad-hand comes from whatever place within him allowed him to stand his years in politics. But it was clear he appreciated how excited these people are to meet him and that he wanted respect that admiration by reciprocating in kind.

Second Interaction

Our first meeting ended with an action item for me to provide Dr. Paul with additional information. So I printed out a document with the details and slipped it inside a copy of The Crash Course book, which Chris personalized for him.

Again, I found Dr. Paul in the hallway surrounded by admirers. I waited my turn and handed him the book, which he seemed pleased to receive.

I then tried to explain to him that I had also slipped the summary information he had requested into the book, as well. I think I botched the explanation, though. I was trying to be concise out of respect for his time, and think I ended up giving too little context. I realized later that he met about 300 people after our conversation the day before and likely needed more helpful reminders about what we had discussed.

So, I could tell he hadn't quite followed what I said, so I started elaborating, which just made things feel worse. I sensed he was wondering if I was trying to pitch him something, and in my brain I was saying ("Nooo! The last thing I'm trying to do is make you uncomfortable!"), but my words were much more clumsy. So I stopped myself as quickly as I could.

But, if he had any discomfort, he hid it well, shook my hand warmly, and thanked me. Again, the word that keeps coming back to mind as I think of how he handles himself is: "gracious."

Third Interaction

Dr. Paul was the keynote speaker for the big Saturday night dinner at the conference. I brought my laptop with me to live-blog his speech, which you can read here (it's at the bottom).

A few things struck me about the experience. First, his appeal to the audience was, for the most part, universal. He's beloved by the anti-Fed, anti-NSA crowd that attends these types of conferences. And even though he lost the 2012 primary and has since retired from government, I think a lot of the audience thinks of him as their President. They're willing to follow wherever he leads.

As to his speech, it was good. Stirring. Lots of red meat for those looking to be outraged. He's very good in front of a crowd, in a non-narcissistic way. He comes off as having assumed the podium only because no other politician is speaking truth on these issues, after which he'd rather get back to the more important job of delivering babies (which, to clarify, he used to do before taking political office, but he's been long retired from the practice, as far as I know).

His speech wasn't all that linear, though. It could have benefited from having a clearer thread from beginning to middle to end. And I'm sure folks were left wanting more specificity about what we can all DO about the problems of misguided, overstepping government he raises. Though, in Dr. Paul's defense, there are no easy or at least, no easy to implement solutions here.

It dawned on me that he sees his role as a modern-day Paul Revere to wake up the populace to the threat it faces, and spark it to mobilize in its own defense. And while he has policy recommendations to offer (end the Fed, limit government, protect freedom, return to sound money to name a few), he does not plan to spearhead the devising and implementation of the solutions that must come. Instead, he is a pioneer blazing the trail and planting seeds, but it's up to others to step into the leadership roles involved in putting his recommended policies into practice.

And that makes sense to me. For certain, his 'Paul Revere' efforts over the past 40 years alone have been heroic and deserve immense respect. And at his age, his ride is mostly over. It's not realistic to count on him to lead in the coming battles, too. That's our role in history, should we decide to assume it.

Of course, the poor man was mobbed after the speech. And I was a guilty party in that, I must admit, for while I almost never do this, I did want to record having met the man. 

I sense I'll likely tell an inquiring grandchild in the distant future about Dr. Paul and his part in awakening many of us to the risks of our current course. When I do, I want to have some proof ol' grandpa isn't just telling another fish tale:

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3 Comments

thebrewer's picture
thebrewer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 7 2012
Posts: 110
Big Fan

Adam,

I am a big fan of Dr. Paul myself, having read several of his books including "End the Fed" (Well worth the read BTW) and am also a fan and supporter of his son Rand. He seems to have a similar zeal for the mission his father started and I think (hope) he will accomplish great things.

Thanks for sharing this experience...wish I could have been there!

 

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
I loved his statement about Obamacare

"If you ever see a piece of legislation, look at the title. It will tell you everything you need to know if you just read it as the opposite of what it's named. (Lots of laughs about the "Affordable Care Act.")".

Priceless!

As we've already said, it ain't affordable and it ain't about care.

 

 

annie.grace's picture
annie.grace
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 26 2013
Posts: 7
You lucky man!  I hate

You lucky man!  I hate politics but love Ron Paul!  First heard about him last year, then found out I could follow him on the Daily Paul website, which is where I ran across the Crash Course and ended up here.  My world sure has changed drastically in this short year and a half!  Just shows how much influence one person standing up for their convictions can have.    

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