Kent Snyder, R.I.P.


In January of last year, few people expected Ron Paul to run for president—least of all Ron Paul himself. He was prodded to make the decision by some of his long-time friends and political allies. One of them was Kent Snyder, a former staffer whom Paul appointed to lead his exploratory committee. When Paul officially launched the campaign "in response to many requests," Snyder became his campaign chairman. He grabbed a seat in the cockpit for the wildest libertarian campaign in American history.

On Thursday, Snyder died from pneumonia-related complications. He was 49 years old. Former RP2008 blogger Dan McCarthy remembers him well:

Kent had extensively studied Eastern philosophy and Buddhism as well as the traditions of Western liberty, and he was drawn to the peacefulness of the Quakers. He embodied the best traits of all those traditions: calm and kind-spirited in the face of all adversity. His passing is a bigger loss to those who knew him, even those who only knew him slightly, than I can say. A terrible loss for the Ron Paul Revolution as well, to which Kent devoted his life (he even wrote his MA thesis on Dr. Paul) and which he did so much—more than anyone else but Dr. Paul himself—to set into motion.

I spent a lot of time critiquing Snyder's decisons and strategy, but I'd agree with McCarthy that Snyder was the warmest and most approachable man on the RP totem pole. If there's any consolation here, it's that he spent his last year watching his friend and hero become a national political figure, pounding home the same themes and ideas the both of them had worked out for years.

NEXT: Obama's iPod

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  1. On Thursday, Snyder died from pneumonia-related complications.

    Sounds suspicious. Was there chlorine present in the fluid of his lungs?

    [Rosie voice]
    This is the first time anybody ever died from a cold! Ching chow Ching chow Ching chow Ching chow.

  2. Darn, only 49. RIP

  3. Freedom lost another champion on Saturday when Vincent Miller, president of the International Society for Individual Liberty, passed away, age 69, from a rare and mysterious fungal respiratory infection. Those he helped grow liberty through ISIL all over the world will sorely miss him.

  4. Who will #3 be?

  5. Forty-nine is way too young. RIP.

  6. God bless you Kent. You represent the true Aquarian soul - libertarian and conscious. When we'd get together, we'd discuss liberty. But that was banal, since we both knew all the Rothbardian facts. Instead, our conversation would turn to yoga, of which he was a student at a studio in Arlington, while I was a teacher (of kundalini yoga). And we'd combine the two ideas, when discussing how to communicate libertarian ideas in a conscious way, so it became more approachable to the cultural creatives who are the fastest growing cohort among Earthlings.

    Kent asked me to staff Congressman Paul early in the campaign, on an early trip to New Hampshire: that project never took place unfortunately. And that's too bad, because I would have loved to work more closely with this man for whom I had so much respect.

    Our paths crossed earlier, too, in 1996, when after I turned down consideration for the Liberty Caucus director position (a decision for which I've expressed regret), a superior man was hired - Kent Snyder.

    God bless you Kent. You were one of my favorite libertarians, and yogis.

    And as we chant for the recently departed in kundalini yoga and Sikhism:


  7. Following up on my above commment on Kent's passing, I have more to say about this, and many other issues, at my latest blog entry:


  8. I extend my condolences to his family and friends.

  9. So sorry to hear this news.
    God bless you Kent. You were
    a true patriot.

    I met him in NYC at a RP fundraiser
    in the Fall (just as the R3VOLUTION
    was kicking off). He was a perfect
    gentleman and gave everything
    to the casue of liberty.

  10. Now I wonder how the insurgents and criticizers feel for having placed extra stress on this poor man with their actions when they were demanding a regime change? Did they not know they contributed to this? They ought to hang their heads in shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  11. Also, newsletter. You're losing your touch, David.

  12. Weigel, Maybe you can do a expose on his shaving his head in a effort to get more of the stormfront neo-nazi vote. Everyone knows he was a skinhead.

  13. In all my dealings with Kent while working on the campaign, he was a genteel, kind, and thoughtful guy. Like NH, I wish that some of the people on the internet realized that people in the news and working on campaigns are real and have emotions.

  14. > Now I wonder how the insurgents and criticizers feel for having placed extra stress on this
    > poor man with their actions when they were demanding a regime change? Did they not know
    > they contributed to this? They ought to hang their heads in shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Actually as one of the critics, I can say (for myself and at least a few others) that we feel vindicated.

    If the man was sick or in poor health (as he reportedly has been for several months) then he should have stepped down.

    If others (RP et al) truly cared about BOTH Mr. Snyder AND about the success of the campaign itself, they should not have allowed him to continue, but should have encouraged him to step down. (If his health recovered, he could still have contributed to the campaign, just as many others did.)

    Unless there was something *other* than simple pneumonia behind this (and 49 year olds do not normally dies from pneumonia without some *significant* complicating factor), then only ego and a LACK of humility and responsibility will cause someone to continue in a role they are no longer physically fit for.

    All this really reveals is that the campaign was ENTIRELY mismanaged (and the illness of it's chairman kept "secret" for months).

    It is the RPPCC campaign people that should be ashamed.

  15. Your comments are out of line and lack total sensitivity. Kent and I were high school and college buddies. By no means was he perfect, but he was always kind hearted and would do anything for anybody. He was about building people up - not tearing them down. It would have done your spirit good to have known Kent.

  16. To all friends or admirers of Kent Snyder -- we've set-up a chip-in campaign to help raise money to pay off Kent's medical expenses which total more than $400K.

    He did not have health insurance, and his family could really use your help and generosity.

    Please also contribute your thoughts and memories of him to our site by emailing

    Justine Lam
    former eCampaign Director, Ron Paul 2008

  17. Looking at how Ron Paul is informing people, and they are breaking away from the false left/right paradigm. Kent Snyder almost single handedly convinced Ron Paul to run in 2008. Kent is a hero in my book.

  18. So sorry to hear this news. I just saw this news article and how it relates to Wolf Blitzer's question in the debate a few nights ago:

  19. You have to wonder if his lack of medical insurance kept him from going to the doctor before it was too late. This is a classic misstep by uninsured people. So sad he lost this battle.

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