CPAC, DC—Bouncing between Republican campaign events over the past few months, I've often run into GOP voters who wish they could support Ron Paul, but just can't mark the box next to his name. They love his End the Fed, slash every government regulation take on the economy, but despair over his isolationist foreign policy.
I've met none that exemplify that split more than Travis Englert, who I spoke with yesterday deep in the bowels of CPAC. Hidden in the very back corner of the basement, Englert was manning the booth for Procinctu, a group that he just launched on Wednesday. Their booth might have been out of the main path, but it certainly stood out among the traditional mix of conservative groups. Englert rocks the shaved head looked, ditching the typical CPAC suit for a black button down. Heavy metal music blasted from his booth, and the group's logo features a cartooned shirtless man wearing a headband and rifle across his back.
What exactly is Procinctu then? "It's aimed at helping people prepare for the battle of life. We touch on the money, the health, the food, preparation," Englert said. "We go into Monsanto's involvement in the government. That's regulation of your food and your health. Gold and silver and why it's an improvement over fiat currency. We touch on different diet routines, workouts."
Gold and silver I hear. Seems like Procinctu would be a prime ally for the Ron Paul revolution. "Fiscally," he says, but then he points down to a t-shirt he is selling for $10.
"The whole thing in the news a couple of weeks ago about the marine and the pissing incident, I just wanted to highlight that this guy probably did that to his wife," Englert said. "Hashtag winning," he concluded with pride. When I asked about the general reaction to his booth from the CPAC attendees, Englert said "A lot of people like the shirt but come short of buying it, because where are they going to wear it at?"
Turns out he's your normal conservative when it comes to Ron Paul, loves his economic statements but sharply diverges when the libertarian starts to talk about military action abroad.
Still, Englert's personality is clearly one that won't just be contained to the stodgy world of CPAC. "We're trying to go to metal shows and talk about Monsanto, government, gold and silver and it's a whole other crowd," he said. "It's actually a loyal crowd if you can hook them. The tough part is hooking them because they're like, 'who's this?'"