Well, John Edwards is out of the presidential race. Fear not, it appears Ralph Nader may fill the void. Nonetheless, those who favor taking direct and dramtic steps towards social justice, as opposed to a rising tide lifts all boats approach, are likely to not have a serious choice for president.
Similarly, it appears War Without End candidate John McCain will beat out the social conservatives for the Republican nomination. Question: May one settle on the lesser of two evils? What about when there is another choice, like Green or Unity 08 candidate, that gives the option of a protest vote?
Pragmatism played a role in the Biblical stories of Esther and Daniel. In both cases the Israelite in question hid his or her Hebrewness from the foreign power, waiting for the most effective moment to be bold. Of course, Daniel also contains the story of three Israelites who were thrown into a burning furnace rather than bow to an idol.
And, Barry Goldwater said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate. So there's that.