Several months ago, I began to think of ways in which I could improve the political climate here in the Shenandoah Valley. When I came up with the answer, it seemed so obvious. Why not bring Representative Ron Paul to the area? After all, there are a growing number of folks in the area, especially younger voters, like the students of James Madison University, that hold Dr. Paul in high regard. In addition, to the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been here in recent times; he didn’t have a campaign stop here during his presidential run in either 2007/08 or 2011/12.
So, with these thoughts in mind, I contacted Representative Paul’s office in order to arrange for him to speak in Harrisonburg. Working in tandem with Madison Liberty, a JMU student group devoted to the principles of individual freedom and limited government, the idea of bringing Ron Paul to the Valley was transforming from a dream into a reality. It was an exciting prospect!
And then came additional bits of favorable news. The students of Madison Liberty secured a good location at JMU for Dr. Paul. Plus, I was told that Ron Paul himself was interested in coming here. I could get the necessary paperwork within days. Only one hurdle remained. Securing the funding for the event.
Now, I had expected that it would cost a good bit of money for Ron Paul to come to Harrisonburg. One had to consider issues of transportation, lodging, and whatever he sought in the way of a speaker’s fee. Nevertheless, I was stunned by the amount quoted to me.
As indicated by the title of this piece, I would need $55,000 for this event. Yes, you read that figure correctly. If he can make this kind of fee, then I suppose I can’t speak ill of it. After all, free market principles dictate that he should charge whatever he is able to get. Unfortunately, in the process, this kind of money will exclude many, myself included. Part of me wishes that I could simply cut a check myself to cover the costs, but, like a vast majority of Americans, I don’t have $55,000 lying around.
Yes, perhaps my idea of bringing Dr. Paul to Harrisonburg might never amount to anything; a dream deterred. Nevertheless, hope remains.
In closing, should any wealthy conservative and/or libertarian read this post and care to generously contribute to this project, please let me know. Dr. Paul is and continues to be a hero to many of us in the liberty movement, myself included. Is it too much to ask to share him with the fine folks of the Shenandoah Valley? I suppose that’s the $55,000 question.