Ron Paul cannot win the Republican nomination but he could do some serious damage to the Republican party if he has enough votes and delegates going to the GOP convention in Tampa Bay.
Progressives, Democrats, Greens, and other left of center types ought to change their registration so they can vote for Paul. Don't do this if you have a competitive race in the Democratic primary between a progressive and a blue dog. However if your district and state are like most, the primary races are usually personality and /or fund raising contests and the incumbent or party favorite is probably going to win. Casting your vote in such a primary when the president is running unopposed is mostly meaningless.
The value in voting for Ron Paul in the primary is as follows:
1) The GOP establishment's worst nightmare is a brokered convention with Paul holding a decisive number of delegates. The more delegates and votes Paul brings to the convention the more dangerous this scenario is for the GOP.
2.) A walkout by Ron Paul supporters is likely if they constitute a plurality of delegates and the GOP establishment refuses to allow him to be the nominee. Progressives need to expose the nefarious intentions neocon war mongers, and getting Paul the plurality of votes and delegates he needs is the best way to do it. This is not merely political theater. It is a way to severely wound an evil party.
3.) If Ron Paul is shafted at the convention, he will run as an independent or third party candidate. Such a candidacy will take a substantial number of votes away from Romney/Santorum and assure President Obama's re-election.
4.) Keeping an anti-war candidate in the forefront of the primary and general election debates is essential for progressives. Huge budget cuts are on the way, and if progressives do not cooperate with libertarians like Paul, the cuts are going to come first and foremost from domestic programs. Marginalizing Paul and keeping him out of the general election debates will make the debate about which candidate is the most bellicose and the most willing to feed the military industrial monster the biggest budget. Paul on stage will serve as a needed counterweight to the corporatists' agenda. Many other vital issues will be raised or ignored depending upon whether Ron Paul is on stage with Obama and Romney: excessive military spending, civil liberties, the stupid drug war, the prison industrial complex, bailouts of big private banks, an unaccountable Federal Reserve, etc.
5.) If Ron Paul decides to run a coalition candidacy with a vice presidential candidate like Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders, progressives may find a platform and a candidacy worth voting for in the general election.
On that last reason to support Ron Paul. This blog is loaded with policy ideas for a temporary progressive/ libertarian coalition government. The main idea is this: Develop a revenue neutral tax policy while cutting massive amounts of funds from drug wars and empire building and maintenance through the military industrial catastrophe. Whatever cuts are agreed to, put half of the savings to debt reduction and send the other half to the states according to populations in the form of block grants to be used as each state chooses with the only requirement being that each state must report publicly and online how every penny is spent.
This policy of 50% of funds for debt reduction and 50% of funds for state block grants is not ideal for either libertarians or progressives but it would give progressive states the funds they need to build the infrastructure of a peaceful green economy. If conservative states choose to waste this money on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, let them expose themselves for all the nation to see so their political operatives can be put out of business for good.
You will find all sorts of anti-Paul propaganda on liberal and progressive sites. Some of it is factual; some of it is speculative. Some of it would make sense as good reasons not to vote for Ron Paul if he could ever get elected without a coalition campaign and the promise of a real coalition government.
None of these liberal and progressive critics of Ron Paul progressives will give you one good reason not to jump ship and vote for him in the primary. Just ask them about it. Ask them, "What is the harm in voting for Ron Paul in the GOP primary and what good will it do to instead vote in the Democratic primary for uncontested candidates like President Obama?"
When you do, enjoy the music of crickets chirping.