Ron Paul spit Libertarian fire at a youth rally Wednesday night in front of the packed westside stands at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium.
For those familiar with Paul's platform, it was standard fare from the Texas congressman, who, unlike presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, has preached the same message for decades.
Teenage and twentysomething whites locked arms with their Latino and Asian brethren, forming an amen chorus for all of Paul's high spots, during a nearly 50-minute speech that made only vague references to an official campaign, thanks to GOP voters who have pretzeled themselves into voting for the flip-flopping Mormon with great hair.
Among the faithful was Tahmina Habi
, a 25-year-old Irvine
resident (and genuine Muslim
babe!), who came out of the closet Wednesday night. (Many of her friends and family presumably didn't know she was a Paul disciple.)
"I think everybody just found out today," she said. "I think he's brilliant.
Habi supports Paul because he wants to repeal the Patriot Act and scrap the Internal Revenue Service. She wouldn't have been disappointed by Paul's performance. After circling the stadium in a black Chevrolet SUV as Queen's "Princes of the Universe" blared at the crowd, Paul took the stage on the field, sporting a blue Oxford shirt, dark blue jeans and white kicks, and rattled off a list of Libertarian talking points, and repeals he would issue if America ever elected him president.
"Some people think the election is coming to end," Paul said. "The revolution is just getting going." The crowd roared, aaaaaand, he was off!
Paul on the Federal Reserve System, as his fans screamed "End the Fed!": "That sounds like a wonderful idea! Where did you ever get that idea?"
On foreign policy: "For some reason, there's still a lot of people in Washington that don't quite understand that we are less respected and less liked when we invade countries, bomb countries, occupy countries, tell other people what to do, bribe their dictators. So there's another option and the American people are hearing about it, they're understanding it, and that is why now, 75 percent of the American people have come to our viewpoint and said it's time to come home, get out of Afghanistan, bring the troops home."
On civil liberties (and getting rid of the Patriot Act): "There's been a systematic attack on our civil liberties and we have to stand up and say no more. The purpose of government is to protect our liberty, not to destroy our liberty."
On entitlement programs: "An entitlement isn't a right. You have a right to your life. You have a right to ownership of your life. You have a right to your liberty. You should have the right to the fruits of your labor. But entitlement means that you're entitled to somebody else's life, or someone else's' productive effort, somebody else's wealth? No, you don't have that."
On healthcare: "Of course, once we get in the repealing mood, we'll repeal that Obamacare as well...we want to advance the cause of liberty to such an extreme that we want to return to the times when we were allowed to drink raw milk if wanted to."
On ganja: "And if...an individual happens to be ill and have heard that growing certain substances in the backyard could help them, let them do it."
On government regulations, related to what Americans inhale, eat and drink: "What happened to us? Why are we such wimps? Why don't we take our liberty back?"
Paul also took swipes at the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, and said he wanted to repeal the 16th Amendment.
"I really never expected a whole lot in my political career," Paul said. "Matter of fact, I didn't even expect a political career. I just wanted to get a few things off my chest."
Though wildly enthusiastic, many in the audience tempered their zeal with the reality that Paul really has no chance of winning the presidency.
Jonathan Warner, a 22-year-old Rancho Cucamonga resident, holds a slim hope that Paul will land in the Oval Office, but supports him anyway, because of "what he's done to the Republican Party, and awakening the masses" to what he considers the destruction of constitutional principles.
A 26-year-old man named "Fred", from Chino, was caught in an act of PWB -- Paul-support While Black. He chuckled and said, "You talking to me because I'm the only black person here?"
Yup. The only one I noticed on the way to the parking lot. While smoking a cigarette, Fred said he gets hassled by some in his family for supporting Paul, as they chalk it up to "the weed thing" and scoff at the idea that he can relate to conservatives and Libertarians.
"But I'm a supporter of Ron and his platform," Fred said.
After his speech, Paul was hustled away by handlers who said he had to catch an airplane. I sidled up to a young female reporter who appeared to be a college student. Paul's handlers looked at me, then her, and let her ask a question. Oh well, tits over wits.
Still, not to be stymied, as Paul turned and started to walk away, ol' Dulaney asked the question that was on every Orange Countians' mind: "Mr. Paul, have you had an In-N-Out burger?"
"Pardon me?" he said, looking puzzled as he walked away.
Then, a handler spun his ass off.
"He eats it all the time, actually," the spin doctor said.