DES MOINES, Iowa — “Actually I have a theory about a lot of the intervention we’ve been doing around the world has to do with gold,” a woman dressed as “Death of Liberty courtesy of the Washington establishment” told me unsolicited Friday night.
We were at Buzzard Billy’s Bar, which not only features fried alligator but also sautéed alligator, and her costume and thoughts weren’t particularly out of place. She was one a few dozen people attending Rand Paul’s Halloween Costume Party.
There was a guy dressed as Guy Fawkes, an Obamacare surgeon and zombie Abraham Lincoln, who people screamed “tyrant” at when he stood in front of the crowd during costume-judging time. Rand Paul was also in attendance, supposedly dressed as $18 trillion dollars in debt, but that only really consisted of wearing a t-shirt with “$18 trillion” emblazoned on it.
Those in attendance gave all sorts of reasons for supporting Paul for president. Two Iowa law students said they support him because of his stance on the debt ceiling and because he will “uphold constitutionality.” A wounded vet said he likes Paul’s “non-interventionism.”
But Angie Davidson, Ms. Death of Liberty, was perhaps the most ardent Paul supporter in attendance.
“I worked on his father’s campaign,” Davidson, who is also chair of the Louisa County Republicans, told The Daily Caller. “He really stands for what I believe in: limited government, fiscal responsibility, bringing America back to the basis of what it was.”
She says she used to be a writer, but then she found out Homeland Security was monitoring her blog and decided to end her literary career.
It was after I finished my interview that Davis, who owns a soap-making business, that she came back up to me and told me how the CIA is manufacturing the threat of radical Islam and that America’s real reason for intervening around the world was its rapacious appetite for gold.
“I think that CIA is responsible for the formation of al-Qaida,” she said, repeating a conspiracy theory that Paul himself has promulgated but has no basis in fact.
Even former libertarian presidential contender Gary Johnson is too much of a “humanitarian interventionist” for her.
“That’s why I don’t like Gary Johnson,” she said. “Gary Johnson is a neocon.”
But while talking politics seemed to be a passion of many of those in attendance, this was Friday night and there was a contest to be won.
“We are not the generation where everybody gets a participation medal,” Steve Grubbs, a strategist for Paul who came dressed as the candidate he supports, announced before commencing the costume contest. “This is not a Bernie Sanders party.”
Defender of the Republic Obi Wan Kenobi came in first place and won “18 trillion” debt shirt similar to the one Paul was wearing. Davidson came in second place and won an autographed “Don’t Drone Me Bro” t-shirt.
Paul seemed amiable throughout the evening, talking with the attendees, but his face didn’t express tremendous enthusiasm. Perhaps that’s because his campaign is having some trouble. There have been calls from some Republicans for him to end his struggling campaign so he can focus on his Senate re-election campaign in Kentucky.
So whom would these Paul supporters transfer their allegiance to if Paul left the race before the caucuses? There was no definitive answer from the attendees, but when asked about Donald Trump, a great tormentor of Paul’s, all the attendees TheDC talked to had positive things to say.
“You know what, he’s one of the most honest men in politics,” Gene Nassif, the Drake Law student dressed as an Obamacare surgeon, said.
“I met Trump the other night and he was actually very genuine,” Davidson said.
“But his past is too rocky for me to even think of,” she added, before trailing off.