The big reveal of 2016 (it was visible to see for much longer than that of course, as I’ve been arguing since 1994) is that Republican voters aren’t anti-statists. People who aspire to lead those voters must recognize that fact and respond to it. If your principles won’t allow you to do that, then you belong not in a political party organized to compete for power, but in an intellectual movement aimed at influencing elites. That’s not a criticism, by the way! Such intellectual movements can change the world, as the environmentalists have done, and the gay rights movement, and gun advocates. Libertarians have won arguments in the past (deregulation of transportation), and they may win arguments in the future (marijuana legalization). But while such movements can shape and bend politics, they cannot form it, because they are inspired by a unitary ideological doctrine and most human beings are not. True parties must be run by politicians, and politicians must make concessions to the refractory and contradictory demands of non-ideological voters.
From: Why David Frum Won’t Leave the Republican Party – The Atlantic