The shocking popularity of Ron Paul at CPAC

An article in the Guardian gushes about YAL, C4L, and Ron Paul at CPAC.

One of the volunteers is Jeff Frazee, who turned 26 years old this month and could pass for 18. He heads up Young Americans for Liberty, a collegiate companion to the CFL that held its own student conference last weekend, with the aim of starting 100 chapters by the end of the year. They’ve launched Young American Revolution, a magazine featuring articles from students and writers for conservative publications like the American Spectator and Pat Buchanan-founded American Conservative. The cover story, illustrated by a painting of Ron Paul rolling up his sleeves to box with Barack Obama, is about how Paul is inspiring young people. An interview with Paul ranges from his plans for 2012 to his investments in precious metals.

“I never had to use my gold coins,” says Paul. “But it didn’t hurt me [to have them].”

Fifteen thousand copies of the magazine are being distributed at the conference, many at the YAL booth, next to a wall of balloons that attendees can puncture with darts to win either paper money – “fiat money” – or candy. It’s an educational tool to teach students why paper money is worthless compared to gold.

“Everyone gets it,” says Frazee. “The idea of printing up money doesn’t work. There’s a value in candy, and there’s no value in paper money.”

In previous years, Paul found a sea of critics at CPAC. George Bush was president, the Iraq war was being hotly debated in Congress and the enthusiasm for an old-style, isolationist conservative obsessed with the monetary system was limited. On this Friday in 2009, though, Paul is a superstar. The line for his speech snakes out of the main hall, up a flight of stairs and past a registration desk.

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