Thousands packed the Quad last Thursday evening to attend the campaign rally of Dr. Ron Paul (R- Texas) where he spoke about the “fight for liberty.”
The republican presidential candidate’s emphasis throughout the night was promoting liberty and reducing the power of the government.
”We really need a revolution because we are not moving in the right direction. This country has drifted off so it’s time to change the direction. We have to argue the case for freedom,” Paul said.
For 45 minutes Paul criticized the war in Afghanistan, the Federal Reserve, the Patriot Act and the actions of the Drug Enforcement Administration in overriding states’ drug laws.
“Federal Reserve is an instrument for the growth of big government, as well as an instrument for undermining liberty. The more government does, the less liberties we have,” Paul said.
Paul also spoke about the need to repeal the Patriot Act — stating that American citizens should not have to sacrifice liberty for safety.
Paul was received with cheers of “President Paul” and the crowd chanted “End the Fed” throughout the evening. An estimated 3,000 people showed up to hear Paul speak with some perched in trees to get a better view of the candidate.
Mike Pinter, third year chemistry graduate student and leader for the Youth For Ron Paul at UC Davis, was happy with the turnout and hoped people enjoyed Paul’s message.
“I really think he is polishing the way he presents a lot of his policies and philosophy. Obviously, the foreign policy, drug war and civil liberty stuff is on the forefront, but just the basic message of liberty, I think is really starting to resonate with people,” Pinter said. “The way he presents it makes a lot of sense.”
Paul’s libertarian, small government campaign is unlike both President Obama and republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, according to Pinter.
“Both sides of the political spectrum are being financed by the corporations that are destroying this country through the help of the government of course,” Pinter said.
Yet, not everyone in attendance was moved by Paul’s visit.
“I think it was kind of weird that [Paul] came here. I mean, most people are unregistered or registered democrat, so he’s not going to get much out of this at the primary. I feel like Ron Paul is kind of a silly figure. I don’t know if people are taking him that seriously,” said first year environmental policy analysis and planning major Thea Walsh.
However, senior civil engineer major Brandon Jones was impressed by Paul’s campaign approach.
“The other political candidates are pretty party politics. He seems to be a lot more moderate, which I like,” said Jones.
Paul has been appearing at colleges and universities across the nation, including California universities such as UC Berkeley, UCLA and California State University Chico — with a minimum of 5,000 people in attendance.
Paul is one of two republican candidates left campaigning for the GOP nomination. According to the New York Times, 1,144 delegates are needed to secure the nomination. Mitt Romney currently has 847 delegates and Paul has 80 with 962 delegates remaining.
The California republican primary will take place on June 5.
MICHELLE MURPHY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.