This is an excellent post, overall, on advice for those backing their favorite anti-Mitt candidate, but this is the most profound piece of advice in the post:
I hear those among you who say youâ€™ll sit this election out. Â â€If the party loses because they didnâ€™t go conservative enough for me, itâ€™ll teach them a lessonâ€. Â Thatâ€™s not only groaningly solipsistic â€“ itâ€™s not, after all, all about you â€“ itâ€™s also just not the way political parties and organizations work. Â Iâ€™ve said it a few times in the past few weeks, and Iâ€™m going to keep saying it until yâ€™all get it right;Â Political parties donâ€™t â€œlearn lessonsâ€ â€“ they reflect the will of those who show up. Â And if conservatives â€“ and all you libertarian Ron Paul supporters â€“ donâ€™t show up, then the â€œestablishment wins.
This is more true than many realize. I am most decidedly not a fan of how the GOP operates in both my county, and also the state, but the fact of the matter is you have to show up if you want to be have your voice heard. That requires, to some degree, knowing when to stick to your principles, and when to be willing to remain a part of a larger coalition. Too many make the mistake of believing that politics is about principles. It’s about no such thing. Politics is a beauty contest for ugly people. Principles provide you with goals; they tell you where you want to try to bring things in four years.
The rest of that game is all playing your cards well. But you have to be in the game if you want to have a possibility of winning. The big problem with libertarians is they make the mistake of believing politics is a philosophical debate, rather than a card game. It’s a lot more the latter than the former. You have to play the cards your dealt, and the only thing that is going to save our asses in this hand is the fact that our opponents have to play a worse one.