Writing on libertarians, my Scene colleague Peter Suderman says:
The signal trait of most (semi-sane) libertarians (myself among them) I’ve met has been contrarianism. It’s a reflexive inability to let prevailing wisdom pass without critical comment. This is why libertarians are generally ineffectual as a political force: consensus is almost impossible when everyone refuses to engage in the sort of compromise and nose-holding that coalition building generally requires. And even if a potential coalition appears, the mere fact of its appearance induces spasms of agitation and yelps of counterintuition. The tendency toward self-marginalization, I think, is generally not something that can be helped. (Some paleocons, I suspect, are similarly afflicted.)
Why only “some”? It is my impression that the words compromise and consensus are themselves unwelcome for most paleocons. They certainly are for me. If this is the path of self-marginalisation, I am not terribly bothered by it. Prevailing wisdom usually prevails thanks to a combination of a lack of curiosity, a lack of imagination and a lack of knowledge. That may help explain why prevailing wisdom tends to be so remarkably misguided. That doesn’t necessarily mean that critics of the prevailing wisdom are sufficiently curious, imaginative or wise, but I would trust the instincts of most people who want to throw wrenches into the works rather than the people who want to see it operate smoothly and without interruption.