I feel like this thought-provoking piece, The Right to Remain Silent, is aimed exactly at people like me:
Take a hypothetical young talent with contrarian inclinations. Movement conservatives would counsel him to make his way up their ranks. But suppose he ignores their advice and joins the New York Times—or the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. There, even if he never classifies himself as conservative, he pursues stories that expose the perverse incentives of well-intentioned policies, the human costs of mass immigration, or the reality that, as Steve Sailer puts it, “families matter.” Not only are his eccentric interests not a liability, they may even prove to be an asset. His ability to see the world differently gives him a monopoly on stories that his colleagues cannot or will not spot themselves.
If the climate of opinion ever shifts, it will not be thanks to non-movement conservatives working within mainstream establishment institutions. My advice to young conservatives: avoid the movement, eschew its enticements. Above all, ignore debates as to the true meaning of conservatism. Heed instead the words of Ezra Pound: Make it new! After 60 years, the movement has succumbed to bureaucratic inertia and regression toward the mean. Conservative ideas will flourish only after conservatism is forgotten.
I’m not sure I will completely eschew all these debates. I do want to talk to the new movement conservatives to get a sense how the right is changing. I would even like to become friends with the conservative leaders of tomorrow. Still, while I want to interact with that world, I think it would be better to stay outside the bubble. I’m really tired of the labels conservative and liberal, and they don’t mean anything when applied to my own views. I’m conservative insofar as I am heavily influenced by Burke. I will follow my own views wherever they take me, and join the party that’s closest to me when I choose to enter politics. I won’t choose a party, and then change my views to fit it.
I’ve stopped reading some of the conservative blogs I used to check out. The only reason I’m where I’m at now, idea-wise, is because I read reasonable liberals. I will stagnate if I keep reading people I tend to agree with. Any advice on where the reasonable conservatives are?