By Mike Tront – Support Mike on Patreon
Nothing kills me more than seeing libertarians fight each other. On many issues we have some nuanced opinions and differences, but one issue often causes hatred, fighting, and animosity. That is voting.
Murray “Mr Libertarian” Rothbard said: “I see no other conceivable strategy for the achievement of liberty than political action. Religious or philosophical conversion of each man and woman is simply not going to work; that strategy ignores the problem of power, the fact that millions of people have a vested interest in statism and are not likely to give it up”
With that being said, I’ve never voted or been registered to vote for a day in my life. It’s not that I think voting is necessarily violence or that it’s wrong, I just can’t bring myself to do it. The whole process of registering to vote, standing in line at some government owned building, and casting a preference for a ruler just feels dirty to me!
Every election cycle, libertarians bash the State and bash each other. Is it libertarian to vote? Should we all just stay home on election day? Even if libertarians do get elected, can they really change anything?
The answer to all of this is yes, yes, and yes.
Voting isn’t violence, and if anything it’s an act of self-defense. If I’m in prison for some non-violent “offense,” and the prison guards ask for my vote on what channel to put the TV on, of course my first choice would be to let me out of prison I shouldn’t even be here! Leave me alone! But since that’s not happening, whether I participate in the vote or not, I’m not aggressing on the tax payers who are paying for the TV and prison. So when libertarians vote to watch “Stossel,” while everyone else is voting for Pro Wrestling, they are not violating any principals.
Staying home on election day is cool too. In fact, not voting is a vote. Non-voters like myself are saying that we know the game is rigged and we’re just going to go about our lives. Non-voters are dangerous for governments. The people in power know they ultimately derive their power and privilege from the masses. If enough of the masses simply drop out or refuse to participate, that power will evaporate. Many countries have mandatory voting for this very reason! And every year in the U.S., the possibility is brought up.
Can we make a difference if we’re elected? Just ask Ron Paul. He may not have made any legislative victories for Liberty, but he’s done much better. He’s brought more press and people to our movement than anyone. The biggest irony of the haters of voting is that many of them wouldn’t have discovered libertarianism if it wasn’t for Dr. Paul!
There are many factions and ism’s in the Liberty movement. But that’s good, so long as we know we’re on the same team. Joe Torre once said that “Baseball is a team sport played by individuals for themselves.” This is exactly how I feel about the Liberty movement. We’re all individuals, but to win we have to support each other. Each player plays a different position and has a unique set of skills and talents they bring to the team. If our ideas are going to win, we need people working from all angles.
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