I know a lot of people who, rightly appalled at the immoral political system we live under, conclude that it would be morally wrong to vote, or at least that they themselves will not do so, because they would thereby be consenting to the system. This includes voting for Ron Paul.
I think this is a mistake for two reasons.
(1) If you were stuck in a prison camp, and the guards let you vote on whether you were to have gruel or prime rib for dinner, would you be “consenting to the system” to vote for prime rib, or would you simply be doing the best you could under the circumstances to improve your material condition? (I owe this argument to someone but can’t remember where I got it from. Roderick Long, maybe?)
(2) Many Americans won’t consider even listening to a point of view that barely registers on the political radar screen. Whether out of intellectual laziness, cowardice, whatever, they just won’t. So it hurts us if Ron Paul gets 1% of the vote. But if he gets solid double digits, those people who might be faint of heart might realize they aren’t totally alone in supporting him, and will be more willing to do so. Yes, this is ridiculous and unjust, but that’s how it is. That’s why I think it hurts the cause of the free society not to vote for Ron Paul.
UPDATE: Please do not comment on this thread without reading this follow-up post and this one. Critics are simply repeating standard arguments as if I haven’t answered them.