I just got back from hearing Ron Paul, John Dennis, and Matt Gonzalez speak at the "Principle over Politics" rally in beautiful downtown San Francisco.
Matt Gonzalez, former Green Party vice presidential candidate and the man who should have been the mayor of San Francisco, spoke first. Gonzalez is a Lefty, so I didn't agree with everything he said, but his outspoken criticism of empire, the Federal Reserve system, the police state, and centralized power and wealth were making a lot of libertarian heads nod.
Up next was John Dennis, who is the Republican nominee for Congress attempting to defeat Nancy Pelosi. A tough task indeed, but he lit up the crowd with his passionate defense of peace and limiting the size, scope, and power of the federal government.
After Dennis, was the main event, Dr. Ron Paul. I have been a Ron Paul fan since I discovered his speeches and writings in high school, and to see him in person was absolutely surreal (and I got to shake his hand!!!).
For a little over half an hour, he reiterated the things he has been saying for decades: the revolutionary power of decentralized private property ownership, free markets, peace, the crimes of the welfare-warfare state and the war on drugs, ending the Federal Reserve, and that the revolution of liberty is a war of ideas. Ideas are more powerful than armies, as the great Mises reminded us, and his message continues to spread more and more every day.
It was also a beautifully diverse crowd: Left, Right, Libertarian, black, white, asian, young, old, hippies, and suits. After all, liberty is universal.
Here are some pictures I took of the event:
UPDATE: I took video of all the speakers on my phone, but wasn't able to upload it. But thanks to USTREAM (via LRC), here is video of the entire event. Enjoy: