Fun fact: I caucused for Ron Paul in Maine during the 2012 election cycle. I also helped raise money for him online during the 2008 election cycle. He won the state caucus in Maine and set an all time fund raising record online. That was pretty exciting for me at the time. I spent almost a decade – my entire adult life – supporting that man because I believed he was right about ending the Federal Reserve, ending redundant and overreaching federal agencies, ending the war on drugs, ending the police state, and ending the war on terror. I put hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours into supporting him, at the very least. I still think he was right about all of that, even to this day. To my knowledge, he is the only presidential candidate who has ever had the courage to smash through the bullshit “budget deficit” rhetoric and campaign against trans-generational debt using sound and consistent economic arguments.
That being said, I wouldn’t waste my time like that again. Not even for Ron Paul, and especially not for someone like Rand Paul, who won’t even openly speak what he thinks when the whole value of campaigning (if any) is to educate people. Ron Paul’s campaign proved to me the degree to which the system is irreparable from within the system. It proved to me the degree to which the media determines the outcome of elections. It proved to me that organizations built on the coercive act of theft can’t be turned toward virtuous ends. It proved to me that establishment politicians will do anything to prevent the system from being used to shrink the system – even if they have to cheat or make ex post facto changes to what they euphemistically call “rules”.
In other words, it proved to me that political action is not the best use of my time. Besides, why would I want a pro-liberty “Austrian” to preside over (and most likely take the blame for) the inevitable popping of the “not a bubble” bubble? Given the short term memory of most Americans, why wouldn’t he just be blamed for creating the problems with the economy in the first place?
I know this isn’t easy for a lot of people to read, but I do urge you to take it seriously.
I’m not going to physically stop anyone from voting or getting involved with the political process, and I’m not saying that anyone is a bad person for wanting to do so; I really do understand the temptation to want to use the ring of power to defeat Sauron.
Ask yourself, though: Is the political process the best use of YOUR time? Is it really your best opportunity for positively impacting the lives of other people? Seriously, though. Is it? Because think about it: anyone who is reading this also has access to an infinite amount of information via the internet. There is no shortage of free, online college resources where you can learn real skills to provide real positive value to real people, thereby weakening the perception that the state is a necessary component of order, trust and security.
In other words, you can shrink the state by helping to create the market conditions that incentivize others to not want to rely on it. There is more potential for shrinking the state in just the Blockchain alone than there is in a voting booth or a capitol building combined. The free market needs as many people as it can get. Including you.
Free markets = Free people.
Anyone who is reading this also has the ability to urge the people around them to not use threats or violence against children. When a parent who is responsible for protecting and providing for a child uses violence against them to discourage certain behaviors, it increases the likelihood that the child grows up to think that violence is an appropriate way of obtaining the object of one’s desires. This is the psychological predisposition for violent authoritarianism, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Mitigating and eliminating the behavior which is the underlying cause for violent authoritarianism is imperative for eliminating violent authoritarianism itself.
Everyone has the ability to combat this and bring about a more peaceful and free society by being the change they want to see. If you want to shrink the state and end government corruption, become a Voluntaryist. Become a proponent of peaceful parenting. Become a proponent of resisting all coercive behavior. There is no better way to make resistance less burdensome than submission while making coercion more burdensome than voluntary, peaceful, consensual interactions.