Ryan McMaken does an excellent job explaining the true nature of political parties and why Ron Paul supporters will never be able transform them into vehicles for liberty:
The major parties in the United States do not adhere to any specific ideological program. The written party platforms are all but completely irrelevant in the day-to-day actions of the party and its members. We can also note the lack of ideological inconsistency by looking at the parties over time. Prior to Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic Party was usually the party of small, constitutional government, and it did a much better job of filling that role than the Republican Party ever has. By the 1930’s, the party completely changed its orientation, however. The GOP, on the other hand, has always been the party of major corporate conglomerates like railroads and major banking interests. At its founding, it was the party of easy money and federal meddling in the economic system. It wasn’t until the New Deal that the Republican Party, by virtue of being the opposition party during the long reign of FDR, found itself solidified as the party associated with free markets, and its record on that issue has been spotty at best.
If we look deeper into these ideological evolutions over time, we find that it is political expediency that drives the ideological claims of political parties, and certainly not loyalty to any sort of intellectual or ideological tradition.
This is not shocking since fundamentally, political parties exist to run candidates. Any decent American Politics 101 class will define political parties as candidate-running machines. Ideology means little, and we have seen this repeatedly in practice. This fact was summed up nicely in Nevada by a GOP partisan complaining about Ron Paul supporters:
“’Our method is we elect Republicans. That’s what the party’s for,’ said Dave Buell, chairman of the Washoe County GOP in the state’s northwest corner, the second largest county in the state. ‘Down south, the Ron Paul people down there are pushing ideology rather than electing Republicans.’”
This does not mean that libertarians should not support Republicans like Justin Amash, it just means that pursuing a static strategy of trying to take over (or worse, integrate with) the Republican Party is highly unlikely to be an effective strategy for advancing liberty. Libertarians should abandon the GOP this fall (making exceptions for Amash, Rand, and Massie). Mitt Romney would make an atrocious president, and no liberty-minded individual should contribute in any way to his election. Then, next primary season, we should return in force, try to find a new leader for the Ron Paul movement, and give the party establishment as many headaches as possible. And, of course, if they nominate another Mitt Romney clone, we should bolt again.
The point is, the strategy should be dynamic and never tied to one institution.