Paul visits Shreveport, rallies support from citizens, students

January 30, 2008

by Lyndsey Lovelady

Presidential candidate Ron Paul met with some of his campaign supporters, including several Tech students, Jan. 21 in Shreveport to discuss his platform for presidency.

Lauren Jones, a junior sociology major, attended the rally.

Jones said she had always considered herself a Democrat, but after researching Paul’s platform and past affiliations as a libertarian, she now considers herself a libertarian.

“I’ve always been pretty strictly Democrat, just because I have liberal views,” Jones said. “But, I’ve never agreed with their economic plans.”

Jones said through listening to what Paul had to say, she realized she has mostly libertarian beliefs.

She said the Shreveport rally was mainly successful with the elderly and college-age groups.

“We had a turnout around 300 people and about a fourth were college students,” Jones said.

“There wasn’t a big mixture of age groups, there were some senior citizens and then you had a few middle-aged supporters.”

Jones said she believes Paul’s popularity among college students can be contributed to the Internet resources his campaign has available.

Also, Jones believes his popularity can be attributed to his views on important issues, such as Social Security; Jones said he discusses the concerns that will affect the future of this generation.

“We’re kind of beginning to see that what we need is less government,” Jones said.

She said the involvement of college students in the political process is the key to winning the 2008 election for the Paul campaign.

“It is great for college students right now to inform your peers,” Jones said.

“Talk about it as much as possible and let everyone know what’s going on.”

Andrew Axsom, Louisiana field director for the Ron Paul campaign, said he believes Paul’s extensive collegiate following is due to Paul’s apparent sincerity.

“The same is true for myself as for college students; we’ve lost faith in the system,” Axsom said.

“What it really boils down to is that he is an honest man, and he’ll give the exact same speech in front of any crowd.”

Axsom said people have realized that Paul differs from the other candidates.

“People see that Ron Paul is something different because he’s not exceptionally rich and most of his campaign contributions have been from the middle class.”

Matthew Pacobit, a senior electrical engineering major, said although his political affiliation is Democrat, he believes this Republican presidential candidate is the genuine article.

“I was curious to hear what [Paul] had to say. I’m a Democrat and he’s a Republican, but I actually believe in what he said,” Pacobit said.

“I’ve had a couple of friends talk about him and I was really kind of curious to see if he was the real deal.”

Pacobit said he was stunned to see so many collegiate supporters in attendance.

“There was actually a good number of Louisiana Tech students there,” Pacobit said.

“I was actually surprised at how many of the young people were supporting [Paul].”

Christopher Kilpatrick, a senior communication de_sign major, said he attended the rally because he wanted to take the opportunity to meet someone who may become the next president of the United States.

Kilpatrick said he feels the civil liberties of Americans are the most important issue.

“Our current administration has been taking away our liberties, but Dr. Paul is a very strict Constitutionalist,” Kilpatrick said.

“He does not believe that the federal government should do anything outside the realm of the Constitution that will take away our liberties in any area.”

Kilpatrick said he believes Paul can take the current state of the economy and change it for the better.

“I think he has a good shot of turning around our economy because it is bad at the moment,” Kilpatrick said.

“Some people just have talking points about the issue, but I feel he’s taking unique approaches to it.”

Kilpatrick contributes Paul’s college-age following to his newer brand of free thinking.

“He has a lot of fresh ideas, which is cool, because he’s an older man,” Kilpatrick said.

“I’ve heard Ron Paul talk about it and he’s surprised himself that college students are getting behind the Constitution, because it’s not necessarily something you hear a lot of college students talking about.”

Kilpatrick said he feels Paul’s ideas are refreshing in light of the policies of the current administration.

“I think people are just so upset with George W. Bush and his policy,” Kilpatrick said.

“I think Ron Paul wants to take it in a completely new direction and I think it’s just a breath of fresh air.”