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Views are my own. They do not represent the views of any organization.

Posted at Young Americans for Liberty.

Over the past three days, liberty lovers stormed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with messages of peace, prosperity and liberty. It was an honor to meet so many like-minded young people who are concerned about the future of our beloved country. Many were poor college students who traveled thousands of miles, missed class and spent hundreds of dollars just to attend CPAC.

It always brings tear to my eyes to be in a room of liberty lovers chanting “End the Fed!” Humble Ron Paul always looks so surprised to see our enthusiasm. He signed my End the Fed book right under his dedication which reads “To the young people who powered my presidential campaign and who are the heart of the anti-Fed movement.” I still remember the first day I learned about Ron Paul in February 2007. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that his presidential run would spark a revolution that continues to rapidly grow.

As one should expect, our presence angered the pro-war political establishment. These so-called conservatives were fewer in number than they were in previous years.  As I walked by proudly wearing my Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty stickers, I heard whispers “those Ron Paul are a cult I swear.” We apparently believe in “conspiracy theories” about the Federal Reserve. What happened when I asked about views on the Federal Reserve? I got blank stares. They were even unable to answer simple questions about the purpose of the Fed.

Never mind that most political movements have centered around one person. Back in the day, the establishment laughed at these crazy “Goldwater kids.” Reagan people got the same treatment. Ron Paul was one of the earliest supporters of Ronald Reagan. He led the delegation for Ronald Reagan at the 1976 Republican Convention. In those days, enthusiastic supporters of the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan were considered “nut jobs.” The establishment somehow considers “Ron Paul people” to be a “cult” since they simply disagree with us. It’s more about the ideas rather than one person. Most of us are willing to admit that Ron Paul is not perfect but he is by far the most principled member of Congress. He can’t be bought by lobbyists.

For the second year in a row, Ron Paul easily won the CPAC straw poll with 30 percent of the vote. Neoconservative blogs are attempting to marginalize the results by calling it “meaningless” and “unfair.” As Tom Woods says “Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll, as you know. But it isn’t fair, they say. He inspired all those people to come vote for him. Um, well, isn’t that the point?” I haven’t heard of one person claiming that Mitt Romney has cured their political apathy. He lacks substance and hasn’t brought any new ideas to the table.

In a desperate attempt to get some much-needed press, Young Americans for “Freedom” announced that they were removing Ron Paul from their board due to his non-interventionist foreign policy. Did it really take them this long to realize Ron Paul has always been anti-war? Ron’s views have never changed but YAF has. I would like to remind YAF that Ronald Reagan endorsed Ron Paul back in the early 1980’s by stating that “Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.” Ron Paul had already been in Congress for a few terms. Reagan was fully aware of his consistent foreign policy views.

The straw poll also showed that 84 percent of attendees claimed that the main goal should be reducing the size and scope of government. Which is difficult to believe since Mitt Romney came in second place. You know, the same guy who implemented RomneyCare complete with an individual health insurance mandate in Massachusetts. It’s clear that Romney is the antithesis of what conservatism is supposed to stand for: limited government, personal responsibility and free markets. Let’s not make the 2012 Republican primary into a political beauty contest.

We aren’t going anywhere. Our voices are only becoming louder. You can mock and ridicule us but the only thing you can’t do is ignore us. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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