Now the bad.
This may ruffle some feathers, but so be it. This ruffled mine. This is the Show-Me state. We didn't show very well, and I'm awfully glad Doctor
Paul is as down to earth as he is. Nevertheless, I felt awkward, if not a little ashamed of how this was all handled. Let me show a couple pictures I
took that may help illustrate what I mean.
Okay, I've put a lot of thought into how to be fair..and put this in a balanced way. Hmmm.. Well... I can only go so far in being politically correct
here, no pun intended. This is United States Representative Ron Paul, not someone running for City Council or the School Board. He's running for the
I had to wonder to myself if those were special blue folding chairs or did those just come from the pile of the rest of butt breaking industrial
folding chairs? Which classroom was missing their podium? Ummm..... Hey, I hope no one forgot to invite him out to a quality dinner at the Waffle
down the street and maybe a quick trip to the Wal-Mart
for some local color?
This is a man we all hope and would like to see elevated to the most powerful office in our nation and among the top 3 most powerful men in the world.
He has spent a good part of his life as a Congressman. I suppose I expected a little more than a set up thrown together in a haphazard way. Sound
checks were happening with feedback when the place was almost full and the first part of his speech was with a microphone which had some kind of
problem. The second one worked.
By contrast, I happened to have some pictures on the same SD card from the Occupy protest camp in St Louis I'd shot.
This was just one evening in a fairly continuous line of live entertainment. Everything there was donations, hand-me down junk that could be given a
second life...and 3/4 of the labor was motivated only as much as the dinner portion had then figuring it was worth.
Above / Presidential Candidate's welcome to my beloved Ozarks.
Below / Occupy camp working on charity and duct tape
Yikes. If I have to elaborate more on the contrast this draws..I give up.
There was a much bigger issue though. Ron Paul faced the 'Priority Seating' and it was almost entirely packed by 7pm. MOST was gone 15-20 minutes
before that. The event was set to start at 7:30.
This is where those arriving anywhere near the time sat:
and this is what they got to see of the event:
From my perspective (upper level, far side..as other photos show perspective) this was rather disturbing to see once it became obvious the seating
that would view and not just hear the speech was so quickly filled. To the people who had nowhere left but there to sit because they actually got
there 45 minutes early (I added 15 minutes for the park and hike in time by that time but this was about it by around 7..maybe a bit after), I'd
imagine the feeling was a bit more......colorful. It was actually amusing to watch a few down in the front of that side yelling slogans or things
loudly enough to where I watched one of the Secret Service guys turn and look real hard at them. I suppose I'd have been emotional too....
So... All in all, it was mixed, indeed. Seeing Dr. Paul in person was priceless and the experience only reaffirmed my feeling that in the current
times, he is to some...was
to others..the last best hope our nation has before we go into economic collapse, I'll do all I can in my limited
position as a citizen to help his election, however unlikely it looks. I can at least live with it. I can't stomach voting for Dumber or dumber.
If he comes back though, perhaps we can at least go rent a roll of red carpet. I can't help but think that participation might be a bit higher if
there were more a sense of substance and structure. It all ..well.. It just had the feeling of a small town event. Greater Springfield has over
400,000 people as of 2010. This isn't Dog patch in terms of resources. Sometimes it sure feels like we earn some of the stereotypes though. Geeze..
Little things matter.