From Rod Dreher at the American Conservative: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/political-deconversion-conservatism/
The first thing to go was my faith in the GOP as the party of competence. Its foreign policy had led America to disaster. The cronyism revealed by Katrina was a further blow. These guys — my guys — were no different, despite the narrative they wanted to believe about themselves and the world. I lost faith in that narrative, especially the Reaganesque foreign policy narrative. I lost faith that the GOP was the party of common sense. Then, after the economic crash, what little faith I had left disappeared. If a catastrophic dose of reality didn’t force the GOP to reconsider its foreign policy and its economic policy, then I wanted nothing to do with a party that preferred comforting lies to the hard truth.
This is what I had come to believe about the Democratic Party years before, and why I left it, and liberalism: that they preferred the Narrative to reality. Now I saw that Republicans were the same.
Had Republicans decided to learn from their mistakes, we probably would not have Trump today.
Unlike Matt, I did not find a home in liberalism. How could I? The Democrats have their own Narrative, and I find it to be wildly implausible too. The Democrats’ insistence that we all have to call humans with penises “women” if they say so, or else be punished by the law, is, to me, the perfect symbol of the ludicrous Democratic narrative. So I have been politically homeless since at least 2008, and expect I will be for the rest of my life.
So why do I still call myself a conservative? Because I am not a progressive, and I mostly reject liberalism (in the sense that both mainstream parties are liberal), though any reader of this blog knows that I have a lot of internal contradictions around this that I need to work out. Basically, I believe in Russell Kirk’s Ten Principles of Conservative Thought. I identify with a strain of rightist thought Philip Blond has called Red Toryism. I don’t see them instantiated in either party. It is fairly silly to call oneself a conservative but to feel no particular affinity for the more conservative of the two parties. Perhaps it’s more accurate to call myself a traditionalist, or a Red Tory, though nobody in America not named Drew Bowling knows what that means.