On Wednesday, Republican presidential contender Dr. Ron Paul delivered a rousing speech in defense of liberty to a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Maryland-College Park Campus.
The crowd roared with support as Paul promoted his “hands-off” foreign policy, and chants of “End the Fed” drowned out the Texas Congressman as he decried the boom-bust cycle perpetrated by the Federal Reserve.
Apart from these familiar campaign themes, Paul praised America’s “exceptionalism” and warned that we cannot impose it at the point of a gun. Said Paul, "The exceptionalism that we once had is no longer with us. The idea that you can spread exceptionalism through force is completely wrong. Why don't we have a third option? Why don't we just mind our own business?"
According to a spokesman for the university, there were nearly 1,700 people listening to Dr. Paul’s speech and many hundred more who were denied entry after the facility reached its legal capacity.
Judging by the size of the crowds that consistently pack into auditoriums to hear Ron Paul speak, it would be difficult to believe that he presently trails the other three GOP presidential candidates in the predicted delegate count. While Paul has not won any of the state primaries (the results of which mean next to nothing), his popularity among a diverse group of Americans is as impressive as ever — especially on campus.
A member of the faculty at the University of Maryland has an opinion regarding Paul’s appeal with students. Donald F. Kettl, dean of the School of Public Policy, reckons that it is the philosophical roots of Paul’s libertarianism, the timeless values he espouses, as well as his inimitable flair for public speaking.
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