A good way to measure the strength of a position (considering its quality of being strong, its merit, and its desirability) is to ask: would one trade that position for another one?
If the answer is that one would trade, then there’s something better in an alternative by way of greater heft, reason, or enjoyability.
If, by contrast, one would not trade one’s present position for another, then at least one might say that his or her position is stronger than the alternatives.
Standing pat is a bet that the future will not prove one’s constancy false.
Looking at the principal political institutions and factions in Whitewater, there’s not the slightest reason to trade an independent position for membership in any particular clique.
On the contrary, looking at the alternatives, there’s every justification and encouragement in making one’s own way, and staying as far as possible from proponents of one sad scheme or another.
It’s not even a close call, truly; it’s an understatement to say that trading would be unnecessary and unjustified.