There are two models for involvement in politics:

A. Mine:

1. Become and good and knowledgeable person.
2. Fight the battles of the age.

B. The common one:

1. Pick your ideology.
2. Fight for your ideology.

Twice recently I have found that my approach confuses people. Both were conservative, and both called me a socialist. Socialists tend to call me a conservative. Both notice that I do not agree with them on everything, and conclude that I must belong to the “other side”.

I have thought for some time that front-line politics is not for me, and this is another reason why that is so. Parties want people who have followed model B, and B is also the revealed preference of voters. Yet model A offers the greatest probability of having a positive effect on the world. Thus, the way to participate most effectively in politics is not to stand for election, but to influence ideologues and decision-makers — probably over a long period of time.