We’ve had a Ron Paul weekend in Kansas City! The Missouri GOP holds a large event each year called Lincoln Days at which candidates and organizations may present themselves to attendees, socialize, and conduct general business leading up to the caucuses and state convention. I coordinated the Ron Paul representation at this year’s event, held at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO on Friday and Saturday. Our Lincoln Days event was companion to the enormously successful Ron Paul Rally held across the street at Union Station on Saturday night!
We spent 12noon to 11pm Friday and 7:30am to 5:30pm Saturday interacting with fellow conservatives to discuss, represent, and educate about Ron Paul. Nearly twenty local volunteers helped man the table and mingle throughout the event in order to spread the message of liberty and constitutional conservativism. My special thanks to Casey, Ed, Cameron, Aubrey, Paul, Leslie, Tina, Kent, Brooke, Gabe, Gregory, Aaron, Claudia, Donna, Joyce, Mike, Jerry, and Regina for your help! Members of the Youth for Paul organization joined us Saturday afternoon to continue to advertise the Ron Paul Rally at Union Station.
The contrast between the teams and tables for the presidential candidates was fascinating. The Gingrich table had one part-time staffer with signs, sticker, and a sign-up sheet. The Santorum table had several volunteers/staff with signs and stickers. The Romney table had perhaps two staffers but at least two dozen volunteers across the building – the Romney volunteer with the most signatures at the end of the event won a large prize (I heard $500 cash or gift package mentioned by some, but I did not verify that). Most oddly, I had several of the Romney volunteers sneak over to me to say that even though they were dressed in Romney tees they were planning on voting for Dr. Paul. Go figure! The Romney table consisted of printouts of his name and sign-up sheets.
Our Ron Paul table, however, was purely volunteer and very issues-oriented. My volunteers were primarily out amongst the crowd interacting and chatting with folks rather than sitting idly, and they were driven by their commitment to specific issues. Many attendees commented on the most visible contrast between our table and the others: ours was educational! We distributed literature on Paul’s position and voting record on issues like national defense, pro-life, homeschooling, gun rights, securing our borders, how to balance the budget in three years, workers’ rights, and so on.
The most rewarding experiences were with conservatives who had either not yet fully committed to a candidate or who liked part of Ron Paul’s platform but were confused or disagreed with other parts. The overwhelming majority of these individuals entered with an inquisitive mind and walked away as Ron Paul supporters. One woman was a Santorum supporter who came by to discuss Dr. Paul’s pro-life and defense positions… and after talking fervently with one of our volunteers she thoughtfully took off her Santorum sticker, crumpled it in her hand, and donned two Paul stickers in its stead.
We transitioned from the Lincoln Days event over to the Rally late Saturday afternoon. Volunteers either went to their first and second row seats to wait for Dr. Paul’s speech or they stayed in the entry and worked for an additional several hours to sign-in attendees, distribute resources and literature, answer positional questions, and, later, to clean-up. I stayed out in the entry to distribute literature and answer questions, so I didn’t get photos from the thick of the rally, but the enormous Union Station plaza didn’t take long to fill… and the current count is nearing three thousand people!
Video of Ron Paul’s speech from Chris Wilson: