Lonely, burnt out
There are some truths that are so terrible that it takes people who are already relatively radicalized within a culture or institutions to see them. This magazine, The American Conservative, saw the folly of the Iraq War more clearly than did all the mainstream conservative magazines and writers (including me). That crazy old far-right wingnut and “unpatriotic conservative” Pat Buchanan — as so many mainstream conservatives called him at the time — called the most important US foreign policy issue of the 21st century right, and the rest of us got it wrong. Buchanan’s alienation from the mainstream of establishment conservative thinking gave him a vantage point for seeing things that the rest of us could not.
… [A] big reason for the despair that cost me my Catholic faith in 2005 was the fact that so few orthodox Catholics … were standing up to the corruption and lies of the hierarchy. It felt like a pretty lonely and quixotic battle ….
Rod Dreher, In Praise Of Tabloid Catholic Journalism