There are a substantial group of Libertarians who want Libertarians to abandon the Presidential race and support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination. A post on Third Party Watch refers to this argument. The core issue: whether or not Ron Paul, as a Republican candidate for President, has "advanced Libertarian ideas" by his greater visibility.
Politics is not about “advancing ideas.” Most libertarian ideas are anathema to those currently in power, those who benefit and benefit heavily from ever-expanding government. These people control both the Democratic and Republican Parties, and they will not yield control of either party unless the party is destroyed beyond all usefulness. Libertarianism can only succeed by electing Libertarians to office against the resistance of the existing elite- and Libertarian support of Ron Paul runs counter to that.
Also: how many bills authored by Ron Paul have been enacted into law? (My guess- 0.) How many Libertarians have been elected thanks to Ron Paul being in Congress? 0- and this is no guess at all. How many votes can Ron Paul deliver in Congress on a consistent basis? Only one- his own.
Ron Paul is a pariah in the Republican Party, whose leadership not only rejects but ridicules his small-government beliefs. Despite this, he has worked consistently over the past decade to recruit liberty-minded people into the GOP. His Presidential campaign deceives voters into thinking that there might be room for people like Ron Paul in the GOP, that he and his views have substantial representation. There isn’t, and they don’t.
Despite all this, there are people who state that Ron Paul, as a Republican, accomplishes more than the Libertarian Party ever can. To these people I say: if you support Ron Paul for President as a Republican, and favor the LP rejecting any Presidential candidate, we may as well disband the party altogether and all get GOP membership cards. Don’t tell me about local races- the GOP exists at the local level too, and it’s vastly more successful in supporting nonpartisan candidates than the LP is. Supporting Ron Paul now is an admission that he’s been right all along- that the LP is, in and of itself, a waste of time.
I reject that argument, and I reject Ron Paul, no matter what party he runs under.