Before my fellow friends of freedom “flame” me, let me first define my terms. I define “voting” as:
– the use of the political process by which individuals seek to force their will and opinions upon those who disagree with them.
I consider the political process of voting as nothing more than “mob rule”. It is akin to encountering a group of thugs in a dark alley who claim a right to your property because they outnumber you. Political voting is simply a contest for the control over the use of coercive power.
I, like the Voluntaryists, consider the political process to be illegitimate. Here is the Voluntaryist view from their website:
Statement of Purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.
This is in alignment with the inescapable conclusions so eloquently presented by Lysander Spooner in No Treason VI: The Constitution of No Authority and Robert LeFevre’s A Way To Be Free – Epilogue. I consider both of these a “must read” for anyone who considers himself a supporter of life and liberty.
I will not vote via the political process.
Instead, I propose a different kind of voting. It is voting with your dollars through mutual, voluntary exchange. Pay, voluntarily, for those products and services which you value. Withhold your resources from those offering products and services which you do not. If products and services are forced upon you seek any peaceable means possible to avoid or evade the imposition. This is the essence of self-defense.
While Ron Paul is no doubt a friend of liberty, I do not agree with his chosen means by which to achieve his desired end. While his motives may be pure, it is inconsistent to utilize the coercive process of politics to bring about the end of coercion. His motive may simply be to use the political platform to publicize the ideas of liberty but it is a dangerous and misleading path. It gives legitimacy to the most destructive institution of all – coercive government. What is the alternative? Self Government.