Chad Perrin: SOB

16 September 2008

A Preview of McCain’s Police State

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 12:03

I received the following description of Republican National Convention goings-on, as recounted by someone who accompanied the Oklahoma delegation, in an email today:

A preview of McCain’s police state

On the way up to Minneapolis, I must admit that I voiced my indecision as to which Presidential candidate would be worse? McCain or Obama. My experiences at the RNC made it QUITE clear for me that McCain would not be better than Obama. Not to say Obama would be any better, but it would be tough to be worse than what I saw of McCain.

I’m sure you have all heard about the raids of private homes, the tear-gassing, the unwarranted arrests, etc. that occurred outside the RNC venue. But what many did not hear about, and what really doesn’t come across fully unless you are there to experience it first-hand, is how McCain’s hired hands terrorized and intimidated even the RNC DELEGATES! I spoke to a couple of non-Ron Paul supporters who voiced how they were disturbed by the heavy-handedness on display at the convention. Let me relate just a few of my own experiences as well as some of those with me at the convention.

First, I was amazed by the sheer number of McCain’s hired thugs. They each wore a colored-coded ballcap (I wonder where they got that idea?) with “McCain” emblazoned on the front, except for one color, black. The black hats had a white star on the front, and this was a very special designation: the Ron Paul handlers. These were assigned to monitor and handle the Ron Paul people specifically. I don’t know about you, but I feel honored. That goes to show just how far we have come as a force in the Party and how afraid they are.

Getting back to the size of this goon force: I estimated that on the floor of the convention alone, there were 150-200 red hats. The red hats were charged with things like spotting troublemakers, starting chants (to overpower anyone saying something “off-message”), and generally keeping things under control and filling in with paid enthusiasm where the rank-and-file left off. Think about that number for a moment, 150-200. That’s almost one for every ten delegates on the floor. And when McCain finally spoke, the floor was flooded with other paid staffers as well to help further bulk up the applause. They also had what I call “morale officers” posted behind the delegations and they would say things like, “come on, Oklahoma, you can do better than that” and then urge them to cheer and clap louder for the speaker. It was a tightly managed production, and what struck me was the lack of confidence McCain must have had in his ability to inspire genuine support from Republicans in attendance to the point he thought he had to have a hired army on the floor to boost morale as well as silence opposition.

There were also hired hands with white hats. These were the ones who would deliver signs. You know those homemade-looking signs you saw people holding? Those weren’t homemade. They were made by RNC staff and then distributed to those in the audience. One of the most absurd examples I saw was when they handed a “Hispanics \<heart> McCain” sign down a row with no Hispanics in it. If you saw one of those signs on TV, that most likely wasn’t a heart-felt statement from someone of Hispanic descent in the audience, but rather a convention-goer dutifully hefting the message the Powers That Be have ordained for you to see. It was all very deceptive.

Back to the black hats. The black hats, as I said earlier, were intended as Paul-control. Several of our very own Paul delegates were harassed by these thugs. One of ours had some of her McCain-provided signs torn (because they believed she had modified them to promote Ron Paul) and had her belongings ransacked. Another of ours had some of his flyers on REAL ID confiscated summarily. And on another occasion, he was told to submit his bag to be searched by someone without any security credentials. When he refused on the grounds that he had been presented with no security credentials, he was told that his badge was CIA-issued. Our delegate replied that he would not believe that unless someone with actual security credentials could confirm this man’s authority to search his bag. Sure enough, a security officer was summoned and confirmed this man’s authority. This indicates he may have been telling the truth when he claimed his badge was CIA-issued. If that is true, it is very chilling since the CIA has no domestic authority and it is indeed illegal for them to operate domestically.

Many (if not all) of our Paul-supporting delegates had colored-hatted goons tailing them everywhere they went. One even reported being followed to and from the bathroom. I was not a delegate but was given the opportunity to sit with the alternates, and once they saw I was not standing and cheering when I was supposed to, we had a yellow hat (quick response team) assigned to stand by our row who watched us closely the entire time. In fact, each aisle on the second tier of seating had at least one red hat standing at the bottom looking up at everyone seated there as if to say, “we’re watching you”. I could feel the hot breath of Big Brother on my neck the entire time. I refused to compromise my integrity by applauding a criminal, but I also knew that made me a target. We knew our every move was being watched, and we could have our belongings confiscated at any time and be thrown out if not arrested.

Some Ron Paul delegates from another state reported that at one point they were surrounded by security, had their personal effects seized including books, flyers, pins and buttons, etc, and when they protested that Ron Paul was just another Republican, they were told, “this is McCain country?”.

Yes, the police state was on full display not only outside, but also inside the Republican National Convention. If this is the way McCain and his advisors handle possible dissent, by making sure no message can be heard but theirs, and by terrorizing and intimidating anyone who might hold a different opinion, just imagine what this man will do as President.

Of course, my thought is that this is probably not specific to McCain’s campaign, but rather probably a failing of the Republican party leadership as a whole. I rather suspect things would look the same on the other side of the aisle as well, if there were a Paul-like candidate shaking things up there the way Dr. Paul has done on the Republican side of things.


  1. I’m not native to the United States, nor do I live there… However this kind of behavior is sadly a tried and true practice in many parts of the world, my part (I’m sure) included.

    This is one of the few times, however, when familiarity has not killed surprise, shock or abhorrence. It’s always a sad moment when I’m reminded about how dangerous and how alien we can be.

    As I said before, I’m not a man of politics. I offer my comment as an off-topic but sincere reaction to the piece. Fred

    Comment by the_blunderbuss — 16 September 2008 @ 09:02

  2. Would the person who emailed you this be willing to talk more (via email) on the subject? This would be just right for A2.0.

    Now if only we can find someone who was there as a delegate or alternate from the DNC…

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 16 September 2008 @ 09:59

  3. It was a second-hand email on a mailing list, so I’m not likely to get further information from the origin of the email.

    I can probably put you in touch with someone who went there from Colorado, though, if you’re really interested.

    I don’t know anyone who even knows anyone that went to the DNC, as far as I’m aware, though. The most politically active people I know were all registered either Republican or Libertarian through all this dog and pony show nonsense.

    Comment by apotheon — 16 September 2008 @ 10:52

  4. Sure, that’d be great. If anyone can corroborate the above email, it’d be awesome for an article. Hrm. Might have to do some digging and maybe join some mailing lists myself. Thanks!

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 17 September 2008 @ 02:05

  5. Shall I pass on your email address to a couple people who were there, then?

    Comment by apotheon — 17 September 2008 @ 10:50

  6. […] A Preview of McCain’s Police StateApparently the few dissenters at the RNC that we saw on TV were just the tip of a largely suppressed iceberg.Tags: republican convention mccain ronpaul dissent liberty Tags: convention,, dissent, etiquette, geeksaresexy, hotlinking, liberty, linklove, mccain, microsoft, performance, republican, ronpaul, synergyde, vista, windows, xp […]

    Pingback by Chipping the web: September 17th -- Chip’s Quips — 17 September 2008 @ 05:02

  7. Sieg Heil :-(

    Comment by Ole Phat Stu — 17 September 2008 @ 07:49

  8. Sadly, Gestapo tactics didn’t die with Hitler. What I found amazing was that Ron Paul — a 10-term Republican congressman and REAL Conservative was not permitted on the floor of the convention nor were his delegates counted.

    I loved seeing the videos from The Rally for the Republic on YouTube. Ron Paul is a fascinating and brilliant thinker. I might do a write-in because he really makes sense.

    Comment by Kay Dennison — 17 September 2008 @ 08:15

  9. In 2004, I followed a course in an American university as an exchange study. The teacher was brilliant and he showed us by practical exercises that compromise was the key to power.

    If you understand that particular pivot point, you understand everything in the US federal system.

    That’s how people are still voting for one of two parties: in the end they vaguely prefer one over the other because their own compromise with it is going to fit better. Actually people end up rather vote against the other party because it represents an idea that doesn’t fit in their compromise.

    That is typically what is happening with Ron Paul and the Republican Party. You are agreeing on some Republican ideas, agreeing more on Ron Paul, and then you go for more and more compromises until you end up voting for McCain.

    I would like to understand where this starts. Chad, where did you start making compromises ? Would you still give your vote to a Republican ?

    A huge majority of students in my class were dems. So when the 2004 presidentials happened, and Bush won, the class atmosphere was pretty bad.

    The teacher entered the room, and one of the students told him: “We lost”.

    The teacher looked him up and said: “Well, indeed you lost your vote. Yersterday I did not vote for Kerry.” He continued: ” I did not vote for Bush either. I voted for the representant of the ecological party. I made no compromise.” Then he said again: “Is a vote about winning or losing ? Is 50% of the population overruling the other 50% ? A vote should make no compromise, it should be expressing a choice”.

    Then in the amphitheater, people took some time to recount that they voted for Kerry primarily to defeat Bush. Whatever Kerry could have said was OK for them as long as he was less threatening than Bush. They had voted for him, for winning, when they should have kept their voice for expressing themselves.

    Elections are coming up, people! Make up your minds, don’t go there to “win”!

    Comment by Antoine Toulme — 17 September 2008 @ 09:48

  10. I would like to understand where this starts. Chad, where did you start making compromises ? Would you still give your vote to a Republican ?

    A better question for me would be where my compromises stop — and the answer is that they stop at the point where I have an inkling that the candidate in question would act in a manner that contradicts my own principles. Even on matters where Ron Paul and I disagree in principle, the manner in which he would adhere to his principles prevents him from acting in a manner that actually counteracts my own principles. For instance, as things currently stand I cannot condone a candidate who actively pursues federal legislation that would make a criminal of someone just for seeking an abortion. Ron Paul is “pro-life”, but his answer to the question of legality is that the Constitution makes abortion legislation a state matter — and I can agree with a state sovereignty interpretation.

    I guess you could say that I’ll “compromise” only to the point that I don’t require a candidate to actively pursue all the same principles of governance as I do — but actively pursuing principles that contradict my own is out of the question.

    I don’t vote for Republicans or Democrats. I vote for candidates. I don’t give a flying fuck what party nominates the candidate; I’m a “principle over party” kinda guy. I tend to vote for the Libertarian Party candidate every time I get a chance because, until this year, the LP candidate for every candidacy has been the best option by far. Now that Ron Paul ran as a Republican and Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian, however, things have been turned around a bit — and I’ll probably be writing in Dr. Paul’s name this November rather than compromise my principles and vote for a neocon in disguise like Barr.

    No way in Hell am I voting for either of the two big lizards in this race (McCain and Obama).

    Does that answer your question?

    Comment by apotheon — 17 September 2008 @ 11:34

  11. Yes.

    Personally after seeing how far things went with Bush I am a bit afraid of the Republican Party, and seeing you getting engaged with it made me think you would fall for the red lizard. Actually I did not understand why Ron Paul ran for the Republican Party nomination in the first place. That doesn’t sound right. Shouldn’t he have run on his own ?

    I hope to see in my life time a candidate from neither of the two big parties be elected. I wish they had a go and could really explain their positions.

    Comment by Antoine Toulme — 18 September 2008 @ 01:42

  12. Personally after seeing how far things went with Bush I am a bit afraid of the Republican Party, and seeing you getting engaged with it made me think you would fall for the red lizard.

    Oh, hell no.

    Actually I did not understand why Ron Paul ran for the Republican Party nomination in the first place. That doesn’t sound right. Shouldn’t he have run on his own ?

    He’s what you might call a Goldwater Republican — a Republican in the spirit of 1964 Republican Party presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. I’d be happy to vote for a Goldwater Republican just like I’d be happy to vote for a Cleveland Democrat. I haven’t seen any of either running for President since my eighteenth birthday, except for Ron Paul (though Kucinich came close to being a Cleveland Democrat in some ways — just not enough ways).

    Comment by apotheon — 18 September 2008 @ 02:28

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