I began reading a biography on Tony Blair a little while back and haven't gotten very far, but one thing I noticed was his early work on transforming the nature of the Labor Party. When he first joined the Labor Party, it was dominated by an entrenched orthodoxy and there was little room for deviation. As such he noticed that there was little interaction between what the voters were looking for and what the party was providing. So he, among others, sought to change the Labor Party in some crucial ways recognizing that so long as they retained a complete ideological purity, they would remain out of power and thus not be able to bring about any of the changes to government that they thought needed to occur.
Instead of retaining a vigorous socialist agenda that had failed to win over the electorate, he quietly and slowly pushed for movement on some of their platforms. As I mentioned, I haven't finished reading the book, nor have I studied traditional Labor Party policies through any other avenue. And as a result, I am ignorant to a large degree of much that occurred and am certainly not advocating Blair as the quintessential political savior. But I do know this, Blair took a political party that had been largely sidelined into a different direction and as a result brought his party to power and therefore to a position of influence. He was called by many a sell-out, and perhaps he was. But of course, that is the art of politics: learning what needs to be compromised in order to bring about changes that cannot be compromised. Of course, too often politicians are willing to compromise on anything in order to get elected because of a lust of power. At the same time, the opposite often occurs. And that is what David Brooks write about in his most recent article: The Republican divide.
I'll be interested to see what happens and for the sake of the country, may the Republican party select someone more in keeping with the Brooks vision.