“My grandfather told me about this Congressman from Texas.”

Ron Paul

Every so often, a political candidate comes into the already established house to rouse officials and voters. Ron Paul is such a candidate. Perhaps the only congressman to hold a steady and unflinching voting record as an anti-war, pro- gay rights candidate, Ron Paul has been making headlines as this year’s most surprising candidate for the Republican primaries. Sitting among Tea Party hopefuls such as Michelle Bachmann and fellow independent John Huntsman, Ron Paul has always been seen as the least credible contender, the outsider, the small poller. Strong of his strong percentage in Iowa and his most surprising second place in the New Hampshire voting polls, Ron Paul, who is almost impossible to label politically, could perhaps be the third way to defeat Obama and lead the United States towards the alternative to dual party politics. Criticised for his pro-life stance on the left, and for his anti-war position on the right, Ron Paul is a mystery. Loyal follower Bobby Wilbert is helping us shed some light on America’s new political figure.

Tell us how long you’ve been supporting Ron Paul and how you came to favor this candidate.
I have been “following’ Ron Paul since the mid eighties when my grandfather told me of these Congressman from Texas who were exposing The Federal Reserve: Henry  Gonzalez (first Mexican American from Texas to become a Congressman) and Ron Paul. Being in high school at the time, I was like, what the hell is “The Fed”? As for when I came to favor him, I was living in a one-bedroom garage apartment in January 2007 reading some non-establishment newspaper from DC and it said Ron Paul was running for president to educate voters on the Fed, etc. I ordered some stickers and painted downtown Jacksonville with them.

You recently expressed criticism re: the issue with the newsletter. Explain how it made you feel and what you thought you should reconsider.
I first heard about the newsletters in January 2008 on the eve of the 2008 New Hampshire primary when Drudge posted two pieces about them. I was in a consumer law unit meeting at legal aid, and as I read it on my dumb-phone, my heart dropped. I was shocked. I talked to Ron Paul five or six times at events about them and was convinced that he does not hold any racist views. Then in December 2011, the issue came back up. He was on Hannity’s show and told Hannity that he has “no idea” who wrote them. This is what led to my criticism: I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t know who wrote them. I am still struggling with this issue.  I want Ron Paul to come out and say who wrote them. Recently a piece said some one associated with Forbes wrote them.

One of Paul’s main concern is the Federal Reserve: how it operates, how it used, and how it should be used – ie not at all. Can you elaborate on that and explain how Paul’s point of view stands out against other candidates on both sides of the spectrum?
As he said in his speech in New Hampshire last night, Ron Paul is the only candidate who talks about The Fed and the negative effects it has on  middle class and lower income Americans.  Seniors and savers get killed with 0% interest rates (ZIRP) as do savers: I have a 401(k) with $12,000 cash in it and it earns 11 cents interest per month. And The Fed lies about inflation–says they ain’t none, because they define inflation to exclude food, energy and education–and who needs those to survive, right? Obama thinks Big Ben is doing a wonderful job destroying the dollar and Romney–the “Bain” of Ron Paulers–thinks the Federal Reserve is necessary and may not need to be audited. Bernie Sanders gets The Fed since he is an honest, independent politician.

Paul chose to run in the GOP race, but felt really out of place next to personalities such as Bachmann and Perry. What were his other options? Do you believe he had better run as a third party candidate?
Now that he placed well in New Hampshire, I don’t see him running independent or third party. I hear that major players in the GOP have told him to stay in the GOP or his son Rand’s political career will be over in 2016. Ron Paul says he won’t run third party since he won’t get into the debates in the fall–but he would. Remember John Anderson in 1980 when he sued on this issue and won at the US Supreme Court?

What do you make of Paul’s appeal amongst progressives? 
I think this is fertile ground that must be nourished. Being a leftist-libertarian, I have yearned for a left-right alliance. Ralph Nader gets this point and has reached out. An independent  run by Ron Paul in 2012 could get this movement going and make a real impact on the future of  American policy. A platform against war, against the drug war, for gay rights, against crony capitalism, for protecting American jobs, a reformed tax code, and the end of Too-Big-To-Fail ideology would draw a lot of people in and get the message out as well as votes. Ron Paul attracts a hell of a lot of college students and their energy need to be harnessed. Willard Romney  does not attract them, and Obama has let them down. Romeny will lead to Obama’s reelection.

Paul was the first elected official in Congress besides Bernie Sanders to express himself on Occupy Wall Street. How would you align his views on those of the movement?
By taking action to end crony capitalism and and ending the banking system as we know. End the Fed=kill the big banks. Replace the system not with a gold standard but with competing currencies. I also support Ellen Brown’s ideas [my liberal side coming out–give me debt free greenbacks like they has in the Pennsylvania colony but not like th Mass. ones] as detailed in one of my favorite books, Web of Debt.

Lastly, on the day following the Iowa win – do you think Paul can remain a serious dealbreaker in other states?
Yes–even more so after New Hampshire’s second place finish.
What drives me crazy is that Ron Paul supporters too often marginalize themselves and then blame it on others. Since the New Hampshire primary, many media outlets including the New York Times have asked if Ron Paul’s supporters will support any other GOP nominee.  The Paulites shout our in near unanimity “No One But Paul.” This led Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint of SC to tweet: “@JimDeMint I don’t know a single Ron Paul supporter that will vote for anyone but Paul. If Paul isn’t the nominee, I expect Obama wins.
But the Paulites with complain when the GOP disregards them after they act this way.  Why should the GOP care about them if they stated that they will only vote for Ron Paul? If he doesn’t get the GOP nod, Paulites are useless to the GOP. This Cult of Personality for Ron Paul is disturbing. As Bruce Springsteen warned us–having faith in a person or your government is dangerous. If Paulites really care about liberty, they will rally behind the message and stop worshiping their chosen messenger.

MORE: How Ron Paul is affecting the Republican Primary // Paul’s Role at the 2012 RNC // Can Ron Paul beat Obama?

 Bobby Wilbert is a bankruptcy lawyer based in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a graduate of Salisbury University (summa cum laude), the University of Mississippi and Tulane University, where he graduated with distinction with an L.L.M. in Admiralty Law. Today, he is a member of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Predatory Lending Unit, where he handles primarily Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in order to save the homes of low-income clients from foreclosure. Actively involved in local and national politics, Bobby is distinguishing himself as an independent, thoughtful, informed and educated voter fighting for the rights of low-income and middle class citizens. He has been following Ralph Nader and Ron Paul’s career since the beginning. He is also a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.
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About K
bastard banshee. devious lawyer. Lucille Bluth. probably jetlagged.

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