Attention college students: if you want to spend Christmas break with Ron Paul, first you’ll have to pass a final exam.
Youth For Ron Paul is running a “Christmas Vacation With Ron Paul” program, in which roughly 500 college students — a key constituency for the libertarian Republican congressman — will to travel to Iowa and New Hampshire on their own dime to volunteer for the campaign. Once the volunteers have arrived in the early caucus states, the campaign will pay for their food and lodging while they knock on doors and make phone calls in an attempt to rally voters.
“Your efforts could determine the outcome of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary,” the Youth for Ron Paul website reads. “In close elections, the campaign with the best on-the-ground effort and organization will succeed.”
The website notes that the Christmas Vacation can only accept a limited number of volunteers. In order to secure a spot, applicants must fill out a survey asking questions such as how they would travel to the program, and which activities they’d prefer. They also have to fill out a questionnaire rating their stance — on a scale ranging from 1 to 5 — on some inflammatory issues:
It is unclear why the campaign is asking supporters whether they support the legalization of marijuana or believe that Al-Qaeda is responsible for the September 11th attacks. (National Memo tried to contact the campaign about this quiz four times, and did not receive any response.) Perhaps they are trying to weed out the louder and more eccentric fans of Paul, the kinds of activists who, as The New York Times reports, occasionally got into arguments with voters in the 2008 campaign.
The true believers have also been coached not to be rude or dismissive to those who do not embrace the message, an issue during the last campaign.
“We don’t want volunteers arguing with them,” said Dimitri Kesari, deputy national campaign manager.
None of Paul’s rivals for the Republican nomination have found it necessary to publish similar ideology tests on the volunteer pages of their websites.