Legit good egg Joe Carter recently wrote a semi-tongue-in-cheek Letter to a Young Conservative over at First Things. I agree with some of it (“understand the emotional appeal of liberalism”) and think other bits are unfortunate/too easy (“be wary of taking libertarians too seriously”–this worked fantastically well during the Bush II years…), but this section on not worshipping politics/politicians is pretty funny/insightful:
If you are considering a career in politics — Reconsider.
If you are considering a career in politics and have reconsidered the decision — Carefully and honestly assess the reasons politics attracts you. Chances are you have the wrong motivations and you’ll only be miserable once political life takes shape.
If you are considering a career in politics and have reconsidered the decision and will not be dissuaded — If conservatives cared less about power and more about principle, we would send our best and brightest political minds to serve in local government, our mediocre but capable to the state level, and the lackluster yet satisfactory to the federal. If you have political ambitions and believe that you are called to serve in government, ask your most brutally honest critic where you fall along that spectrum and dispatch yourself accordingly.