Ron Paul's We are the Future Rally drew an overflow crowd to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa Sunday afternoon. Event organizers at the Sun Dome, which seats over 10,000 people, had to turn supporters away to watch the event on television screens in overflow seating across the street.
In 2008, Ron Paul's bid for the Republican Party's presidential nomination catapulted the ten-term US congressman (TX) from obscurity into the national spotlight.
Paul's philosophy of limited government, individual liberty, and rule-of-law resonated with a large and passionate segment of American voters. His platform of fiscal conservatism, foreign policy restraint, and civil libertarianism offered a fresh and interesting combination of policy positions to voters who felt out of place in the conventional politics of the two-party system.
A maverick who criticizes his own party with as much zeal as he criticizes Democrats, Ron Paul was shut out of the Republican National Convention in 2008, and held a separate rally in the same city.
After a second failed bid for the nomination despite a stronger showing in 2012, Ron Paul refused to speak at this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa because his speaking slot came with two conditions: the speech would be vetted and approved by Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign, and Ron Paul would have to endorse Romney for president.
So taking a page out of his 2008 playbook, Ron Paul's We are the Future Rally held down the street from the Republican National Convention showcased his growing political movement, its platform, and its plans for the future. Reporting live from the Ron Paul rally Sunday afternoon, IVN contributor Tom Brown said, "It's about Ron Paul, but it's more about bringing the liberty movement forward, past Ron Paul."
The overwhelming theme and message of the event, as emphasized by its name, is that Ron Paul's supporters and their ideas about government are the future of the Republican Party and the future of the country. Brown reports that the message is more than merely rhetoric; the Ron Paul movement has detailed plans to continue pushing for its political philosophy and platform.
Brown says Paul supporters at the We are the Future Rally are being encouraged to get more involved in local politics, continue working within their local party apparatus, educate more voters about their philosophy of government and rights, and continue fighting to advocate for the political reforms they would like to see.
Near the end of his live report from Ron Paul's We are the Future Rally, Brown revealed a powerful idea behind the energy and passion of Ron Paul's supporters, an idea that Independent voters and all Americans across all party lines can take to heart regardless of their differing political views: "Leaders are not your congressman, your senators, your president. They're followers. You're the leader."