This is a reply to a comment on my video Ron Paul is a Voluntaryist, posted here on the FreeDomainRadio forum.
Ron Paul is an educator and spreader of ideas first and congressman second. His goal is a voluntary society, and he has chosen the path of becoming a congressman and running for President as a way of educating people and spreading his message of liberty and peace. He has been doing this his whole life, and now we are seeing the fruits of his work. And they are incredible! Ron Paul has sparked a desire for liberty among many millions of liberals and conservatives. Most of them become Constitutionalists, or just want less government. A fraction of these millions (which is still a huge number) become voluntaryists, by thinking through what Ron Paul is saying, taking his principles ("taxation is theft") to their full conclusions. Ron Paul wants his followers to discover voluntaryism; he leaves clues everywhere as my video shows, and constantly plugs Austrian economics and the Mises Institute.
Yes, your vote is worthless in terms of trying to directly influence the political system, and Ron Paul knows full well that he cannot shrink the state from the inside. His goal is education and the spreading of ideas. He introduces bills like Audit The Fed NOT because he thinks it will pass, or that it will change anything in the government, but because it educates people. Who knew what the Fed was 10 years ago? Now one of our enemy the State's greatest source of power - the ability to create money and force acceptance of it - is being talked about finally, and the legitimacy of the State is collapsing in light of what people have learned. They were alerted to the issue by Ron Paul, the guy who talks about peace and liberty on TV.
It doesn't so much matter whether or not you vote for Ron Paul as it does if you support him. Recommend him to your Statist friends and see if they become interested in him. You just might start them off on an intellectual journey of discovery which will end with them becoming voluntaryists. Voting only matters because the truth is that people pay more attention to candidates if they are more popular, and this they judge by the results of votes and polls. It is also important for getting mainstream publicity and getting invited to debates. These are great for alerting apathetic and Statist people that libertarianism is out there, and it just might appeal to them.
For this reason, I say vote Ron Paul. While I'd love the State to lose legitimacy, not voting does not have this effect, because a principled non-vote cannot be distinguished from an apathetic non-vote. Lower voter turnout is not a sign that people consider the State illegitimate; it is a sign that they don't care who's voted in. Voting in no way means you are consenting or endorsing the State; a slave begging for better treatment from his master is in no way consenting to the slavery or endorsing it.
Ron Paul is hoping his followers pick up on that obvious hypocrisy [that he is a politician who says politicians are irrelevant]! He has great confidence in the minds of men; he trusts that we will find our way to voluntaryism, once desire for liberty has been sparked within us.