by Miriam Williamson
When Ron Paul’s name showed up on the list of potential Republican presidential nominees, grassroots efforts sprung up across the nation supporting the Republican Congressman from Texas and his Revolution campaign.
Some of these supporters were long-time Paul fans, while others were simply intrigued by his ideas and campaign.
“He was running on the ticket before I even knew who he was,” junior Vince Barrett said. “I guess I kind of got suckered in by the YouTube videos, and I just had immediate interest. I started reading a lot and got really into it.”
Although he was running for the Republican nomination, Paul has different ideas and policies than many modern-day Republicans. Instead, Paul claims to follow the more traditional, fundamental Republican ideals.
“I consider myself a Republican, but I don’t want to associate with the current administration,” Barrett said. “The Republican party doesn’t follow the principles they preach.”
One of Paul’s most well-known ideas is his advocacy for limited federal government control. He also backs freedom principles, which support the rights of individuals.
For some, Paul’s ideas made him the only viable choice, even though his name did not make the ballot.
“He’s the only person I could trust to vote for,” Barrett said. “He says the same thing no matter where he goes. I’m not going to vote for Obama or McCain because they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding for the issues we face.”
Paul’s consistency is a strong factor in many of his supporters’ faith in him.
“I read his articles and saw how consistent he was, even when it wasn’t popular,” said Cameron DeJong, an Elon alum and Paul supporter since 1996.
His differences from mainstream Republicans led many to deem him a third-party candidate, but Paul refused to run as such.
“Ron Paul said that if he didn’t win the primary, he wasn’t going to run anymore, so I saw it coming,” Barrett said. “I was following it very closely so I knew the indications.”
Since Paul’s name won’t be on the ballot come Nov. 4, his supporters must choose otherwise.
“Most Ron Paul supporters will either vote for Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr or they won’t vote at all,” DeJong said. “Some of those who may not vote will write in Ron Paul’s name.”
Barrett will be writing in a candidate, but it will not be his initial choice.
“I’m actually voting for Hunter Bacot,” Barrett said. “He asked for my vote, and I’m giving it to him. I just figured it’d be kind of funny to vote for him.”
Barrett said that although he will not be casting a serious vote for president, he will be supporting Paul’s ideals by voting for libertarians on the rest of the ballot.
Paul is on the ballot in two states: Louisiana and Montana.