This morning Brett and I went to a local farmer’s market with a few others from a Houston meetup group. It was interesting. When we first got there, we just kind of jumped in.
It didn’t take long for the guy who runs the market to come and tell us that it was privately owned and they don’t allow political parties inside. He was actually really cool. He knew quite a bit about Ron Paul and generally, he supported him. We talked with him for a bit about how the market was doing in response to the drought. Then, he mentioned that he’d been hearing talk about new laws that would require all family farmers to possess a CDL in order to operate their own tractors on their own private property. Not even that, everyone on their farm would have to have a CDL as well. If you haven’t heard about this yet, the UN plan for Agenda 21 would give the federal government even more control in regulating local farms and their business. Basically, the Department of Transportation has reclassified tractors and other farm equipment as Commercial Motor Vehicles. This is just another way to push out small, local farmers to make more room for big farm corporations.
After talking with him for a while, we moved on to the entrance of the market. We figured this would be the best spot to start testing the waters. There were a lot of people that were familiar with Ron Paul and had a good idea what he stood for. Whenever someone would tell me that they loved Ron and had been supporting him all along, I felt like I had met another undercover member of a secret society. It was as if knowing eyes could tell it all. That was extremely exciting for us.
What upset me the most about the day was not the people that didn’t know who Ron Paul was, or even the people that didn’t like him, but the people who were convinced that they were NOT voting for him without knowing a single thing about him, or even knowing anything about the person that they were supporting. The unfortunate thing is that this is the norm for a lot of people. You know, I really can’t be mad at the people who don’t know who he is. It wasn’t long ago that I was no different from them. And, like everyone else, my ideas are developing more and more everyday. I’m still learning too, and what a learning experience this was.
My favorite experience for the day was a young guy, maybe in his early thirties. I spotted him walking down the sidewalk and I started my spiel. “Hi, how are you. Are you familiar with Ron Paul?” He stopped and told me that he knew who he was.
“Yeah, he seems like a pretty cool guy. But he’s not really good for me, I work for the government. I’m a teacher.” I started planting my seed.
“Well, just because he doesn’t support federal education doesn’t mean that your job or worth as a good teacher would be compromised. It would change quite a bit, but for the better.” Ron Paul doesn’t support education at the federal level. Something has happened to our education system, something bad. Tons of money is dumped into public education while we see very little benefit in the outcome. It kind of reminds me of a dreaded trip to the DMV. You know that you are going to be there forever and a day and that the people that work there aren’t going to give a hoot about you. They deal with way too many people in one day and they don’t make enough money to try any harder. There is no incentive for them to be more efficient or help people quicker. At the end of the day, they are making the same amount of money whether they try to help as many, or as few people as they want. Therefore, service is sl0w and tedious, and so is most government funded sectors, teachers included.
Now, I’m not saying that as a person, he doesn’t have incentive to be a good teacher, especially because he is young and has young kids himself. But think about when you were in high school. How many teachers did you have that really cared, and invested themselves in making you a better person? I had some, no doubt, but they were few and far between.
What Ron Paul supports is an idea that instead of just automatically districting kids to schools we give their parents a choice in where they want them to get their education from. For example, here in Texas, school districts get a certain amount of money based off of how many kids are districted to go to their school. They get this money whether the kids have a good experience or not. Ron Paul would like to change this. He believes it would be much more effective to allow the kids to choose which school that they want to go to, and therefore, which school will be given money for that student. What this idea does is make schools and teachers compete for students. So, all of the students are going to want to go to the best teachers and it will really weed out a lot of the bad ones. Good teachers will become much more valuable and bad teachers will not.
I really enjoyed talking with him, he was so open to listening to new ideas. For the most part, people were. I found that the easiest way to gauge people was to ask, if they weren’t supporting RP, who were they interested in. This was an easy way to figure out what their interests were. Basically, I would just try to exhaust every angle from that point on, anything to keep them listening to me for just a minute longer.
After spending a few hours in front of the market in 104 degree Texas heat, I can honestly say I was pretty spent. I realized that there was definitely a lot of work to do. Maybe I just changed one or two opinions today, but maybe they will change one or two opinions themselves, and so on and so on.