Kent Wayne Snyder, 1959-2008

Kent Wayne Snyder, 1959-2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Memories of Kent by Adam de Angeli

I look back with tremendous admiration at the life of Kent

Snyder, an American patriot whose words and actions may
have done more for this country than most people will ever
know. Kent passed away last week due to complications in
treatment for pneumonia. He was 49.

I had first met Kent in Iowa, one year ago to this day. The
Ron Paul Presidential Campaign, which in time would draw
hundreds of thousands of new activists into the Republican
Party, had been snubbed by the group Iowans for Tax Relief,
and the campaign, in response, held a rally of its own,
drawing double the number of attendees. The second time I
met him was October 9th, 2007 at the University of
Michigan, where Dr. Paul would speak at a rally that I
organized with the campus chapter of the campaign. A month
later, he was my boss, and we worked together from National
HQ until I returned to Michigan at the end of last March.

As Dr. Paul has said time after time, it was Kent Snyder who
convinced him to run for President in the first place.
Without him, the Ron Paul Revolution may have never even
begun. It's difficult to imagine where the Republican
Party would be if Kent had never urged Ron to run. It was
Dr. Paul's candidacy, so fiercely hated by the jingoistic
liberal media, that got conservatives re-focused on the
issues that matter the most: balancing the budget,
protecting American freedom, the right to life, and most of
all, respect for the U.S. Constitution. As the Paul
campaign brought hundreds of thousands of Americans into
conservative politics and broke fund-raising records, it
became a guiding light for the Republican activists (not to
mention, Congressional colleagues) in need of a winning
message. It was Kent that brought Ron's light to us, and
as chairman of the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign
Committee, it was Kent that guided us all.

What really impressed me the most about Kent was his gentle
nature. He never once raised his voice. He never even
frowned! Even during the campaign's peak, when everyone at
the office was running around full-speed, Kent kept his
cool. Even with full awareness of the forces that the Paul
campaign was up against, Kent always seemed at peace with
himself. He was on-task and determined, but he never let
his work get the better of him. When the national office
did something that volunteers in the grassroots didn't
understand, it was Kent they would blame for
"mismanagement." Kent took it in stride; it had no effect
on his admiration for the inventiveness and tenacity of the
grassroots. He put up with everything: pressure from Ron,
pressure from staff, pressure from grassroots, pressure
from opponents. None of it fazed him.

I heard something recently that I could compare it with.
Andrew Schlafly was in Michigan last week, and he spoke
about his mother, conservative luminary Phyllis Schlafly,
confronting audiences at college campuses across the
country that feared and hated her. He described how she
was never the least bit fazed by opposition, because when
she knew the truth, and spoke the truth, she had nothing to
feel guilty about.

I think that must have been the case with Kent as well. I
knew of Dr. Paul since maybe 2003, but I really didn't
become all that familiar with him until last year. I
thought I knew it all, before I met Ron. I understood the
concept of having a humble foreign policy, sure. But it
took Dr. Paul's arguments to change my opinion on border
security, and on the environment, and on many issues. In
those respects, Dr. Paul cured the last vestiges of
liberalism lingering from my upbringing. I only had this
understanding since meeting Dr. Paul last year, but Kent
knew him since 1987. He knew the truth for a long time.

I know a lot of people that consider themselves experts on
"truth." A lot of them are sullen, bitter, cynical, or
arrogant. And most of them have their facts wrong. Kent
was nothing like them. He was calm, he was patient, he was
humble, he was optimistic, and he was determined. He never
misrepresented Dr. Paul, who has his same peacefulness and
good nature. Looking back over footage from Dr. Paul's
1988 race, I wonder if Dr. Paul learned his balance from
Kent, rather than the other way around.

I note with great sadness that Kent will not see the outcome
of the revolution that he was largely responsible for
starting. Things are not as they should be, but sometimes,
there is nothing we can do about it. But for his sake, for
the sake of those who perished in the struggle for freedom
over the years, and for the sake of those who perished
under tyrannical regimes, we owe it to them to continue the
struggle.

Rest in peace, Kent.

Much love and respect,

Adam de Angeli

No comments: