On August 24-26th, the weekend before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, supporters of Ron Paul have organized the P.A.U.L. Festival (People Awakening and Uniting for Liberty) to celebrate and honor Paul's campaign, legacy, and libertarian message.
The event will feature speeches from many heavyweights in the libertarian movement, like Thomas Woods, Lew Rockwell, Scott Horton, Walter Block, Adam Kokesh, Peter Schiff, Gary Johnson, and many more. There will also be beer and entertainment, including music from libertarian bands and those who support Paul's message.
In 2008, Paul held an alternative convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota just across town from the GOP convention in St. Paul. Paul invited the presidential candidates from nearly every third party to speak, have an honest debate, and Paul later rocked the crowd of almost 10,000 with his usual points stressing constitutional government, peace, and individual liberty.
The P.A.U.L. Festival in Tampa should be even louder and more crowded than the one in 2008. As I mentioned before, there will be many great bands performing at the event that will undoubtedly entertain and excite the crowd. In addition to these performances and speeches, here are five songs that should be played at the festival, the louder the better, that also help capture the spirit of Paul's campaign and remind the GOP that despite their open hostility, the Paulian movement represents the real future of the party and the country.
1. "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival:
Perhaps the biggest reason that Paul has been ignored, booed, and smeared by the press and the mainstream members of both political persuasions is his firm defense of peace and a defensive foreign policy. More than anything, this is why he would never be let near the levers of power. It is also why, coincidentally, Paul has gained such a large following. Every time the U.S. was beating the drums for war against the current third-world country that posed "an existential threat" to our very existence, Paul eloquently and forcefully opposed it and has been proven right over and over again.
Before the Iraq War in 2003, Paul argued that the litmus test of any war should be the willingness of any politician voting in favor it to go and fight themselves or to send their sons and daughters. I think that's a pretty good standard and one that would change our foreign policy overnight. Paul's defense of the constitutional processes of declaring war, and of standing up for veterans in general, is why he received such huge support from the U.S. military. Creedence's classic antiwar protest song perfectly captures this.
2. "A Simple Song of Freedom" by Bobby Darin:
Paul would be the first one to tell you that he doesn't wow crowds with slick-tongued rhetoric, talking points, and audience flattery like most (all?) other politicians. He is "the imperfect messenger of a perfect message," and that is a huge part of his charm. He is the anti-politician, with suits that don't fit, no teleprompter, no notes, but armed solely with a knowledge of history, economics, and liberty that would make Thomas Jefferson blush. Many of the ideas behind libertarianism are complex, but the concept of individual liberty and why it should be expanded to the greatest extent possible is not.
3. "Dr. No" by Payday Monsanto:
Another of Paul's key issue is the drug war. Not only it is an issue that denies individual liberty, creates a vast and violent black market, is littered with government corruption, and has helped contributed to our growing police state, it is incredibly discriminatory to minorities.
Ron Paul's support is one of the most diverse and unique in modern political history. At a Ron Paul speech, one can find a businessman in a three-piece suit standing next to someone with dreadlocks. He says the same things in a stump speech at UC Berkeley that he does at Texas A&M University. So it's only fitting to put a fantastic rap song in the mix, with a great beat and sharp lyrics to annoy the stuffy GOP establishment.
4. "Stop Loss" by Marc Watercus:
On a similar musical theme, here is a great grassroots hip-hop song that would strike at the heart of warmongering Republicans. The song is by Marc Hall (AKA Marc Watercus), an Army Specialist and Iraq War veteran who was justifiably upset when he was "stop-lossed" after he had finished his Army tour. After he sent this song to the Pentagon in protest in 2009, he was jailed at (the ironically-named) Liberty County Jail in Georgia then sent to Kuwait to await a military trial.
Hall is just one of over 100,000 soldiers that the Pentagon has "stop-lossed" since 2001, and his passionate plea is a great example of Paul's spirit of dissent, civil disobedience, and the frustration of so many soldiers over three, four, and five tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
5. "Bastards of Young" by The Replacements:
This song from one of the most underrated bands of all time perfectly captures the essence of Paul's support from those under 30. We are the ones that are asked to fight the Pentagon's aggressive wars, bear the burden of decades of inflation and debt, and face a weak employment field that isn't expanding anytime soon.
Although this song was written in 1985, the lyrics are still as relevant as ever. Front man Paul Westerberg sings about "the ladder of success" that is missing the first rung; a generation that feels like they are little more than "income-tax deductions;" and finally, in the strongest verse of the song, about how the state and its corporatist allies turn our priorities and relationships backwards: "...the ones that love us best, are the ones we'll lay to rest, and visit their graves on holidays at best. The ones that love us least, are the ones we'll die to please..." Combine this with pounding drums and loud guitars, and you have the perfect Paulian protest song.
"Universal Soldier" by Donovan
"The Anarcho-Capitalist Theme Song" Randy Goble
"What If? (Remix)" by Ron Paul