The end of the beginning

Ron Paul

Ron Paul has “officially” thrown in the towel.

HOUSTON — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Thursday night he is ending his campaign but will keep spreading his message by working to help elect libertarian-leaning Republicans to public office around the country.

“The campaign is going to shift gears. It’s going to accelerate. It’s going to get much bigger,” Paul told The Associated Press in an interview before a rally where he was making the announcement. “To me, it’s a technical change.”

Paul formally announced the move — his new “Campaign for Liberty” — in a speech to supporters attending the Texas Republican Party state convention. He said he expected many at his Thursday night rally and other supporters from around the nation to attend an alternative mini-convention he will host Sept. 2 in Minnesota to coincide with the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Freedom is very popular. Not only is freedom popular, freedom works,” Paul told supporters.

No problem with that message. It’s the one that follows that sounds a little… well… hippyish…

Hundreds of people rushed into a Houston hotel ballroom to hear Paul speak. They listened to a guitar player perform peace and freedom songs and gave loud cheers when Paul said the U.S. needs to bring home the troops from the Middle East.

“The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind…” Mind you, I have nothing against acoustic guitar music but this is a little Joan Baez for my tastes. We all want the troops home but we also need a stable Iraq before that happens… and we’re showing good signs of achieving that.

But then Paul goes on to strike a couple of major chords with me.

He repeated his stances on other major issues, speaking against the United Nations and the income tax.

Those are two key points that have a direct correlation to individual freedom and our sovereignty as a nation and I couldn’t agree more on those issues. The IRS and the UN are two bureaucracies that are an affront to our liberty and it’s time for them to go the way of the Edsel. You’re not going to hear this platform out of John McCain or any other Republican candidate.

Paul didn’t have a ghost’s chance in 2008 but hey, 1.2 million votes ain’t shabby for a Republitarian. And he still has lot’s of money in the bank — which he now intends to use in spreading the Libertarian gospel across the land:

Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign spokesman, said Paul is beginning a “Campaign for Liberty.”

The presidential campaign still has about $4.7 million in the bank, which can now be used for the new effort, Benton said, describing it as a “permanent campaign.”

“We’re going to work with the grass roots,” Benton said. “People are really eager to continue and grow these efforts.”

Watch the Libertarian movement closely, folks. Unlike Obama’s catch-all use of the word, REAL change may be on it’s way in coming years.


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