BY: Irene Lenhart

Were you at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Sunday 4/22/12 for the Ron Paul Rally? Did you see me? I was the person in the raincoat with an umbrella....oh never mind.

Kidding aside, 4300-plus heard the weather report, dragged out their parkas, umbrellas, and rain boots, packed up their enthusiasm and headed into Philadelphia to the symbolic location of Independence Mall. THIS is the dedicated following that Ron Paul has amassed. Apparently, rain cannot stop the desire for freedom and liberty!  Had it been a warm, sunny day I am certain the number in attendance would have doubled.

As our own New Jersey Senator, Mike Doherty (R – district 23) came to the podium to add his support to the Ron Paul Campaign, a large black SUV pulled to the curb. The crowd, seeing Ron Paul, began to chant “President Paul, President Paul.”  Senator Doherty acknowledging  that the  crowd was here to see Ron Paul, graciously shook hands with Dr. Paul and stepped aside.

Ron Paul, with his wife Carol at his side, looked out at the exuberant, albeit soaked crowd and said:

“You have to be a true believer to come out today!"

Ron Paul spoke on his economic and foreign policies, the ineffectiveness of our war on drugs, and his true belief in personal liberty and freedom from a continually enlarging government.  You can find these and all his other policies on the Ron Paul 2012 website.

As I chatted with people in the rain and listened in on other conversations, I found a universal thread that seemed to reverberate across the Mall lawn, HOPE. Not the Obama hope of 2008, but REAL hope which will restore liberty and freedom for their children and grandchildren.

I remember when I was young, getting ready to start a family. There were those 'crazy' people who would say to me, "I would never bring a child into this world." I was so naive I had no idea what they were trying to tell me. I was never politically active and I paid little attention to the news; I was busy raising my family. Many years later, I started listening, reading and understanding what is going on in America. I now know that things need to change. I can only hope that it is not too late.

What really resonated with me at the rally was the number of young people that came out in the pouring rain with babies in strollers, toddlers in Ron Paul T-shirts, and pre-teens holding umbrellas that they decorated with 'End the Fed', and 'Ron Paul 2012'. These are young people paying attention, and educating their children. They will not have to say, as I did, that they were busy raising a family, because they are actually out there doing something! It may take years, but I think the Ron Paul Revolution is reaching people from all walks of life. I believe that I can speak for the staunch Ron Paul supporters, "We are not crazy, Ron Paul and his ideas are not crazy. Those ideas are perhaps the only way to restore America.”

Do I believe that Ron Paul can win the Presidential nomination? I want to, but I am not naive to the fact that 'We the people' do not really hold the power to choose. Can I have hope for our children and grandchildren that this freedom movement will make a difference? You bet I can!