I spend a lot of time trying to understand how conservatives think, not just the crazy ones and the Straussians, but also the more reasonable ones. ED has written a very good piece describing his own politics; I would describe them as conservative, but too rational and logical to be conservative in the modern sense.
I can summarize it quickly (it’s long): yes to liberal emphasis on facts and reason, no to liberal “grad school elites” (this part is strangely hostile), and a lot of reverence for the magic of local control (I don’t mean “magic” in a demeaning way here). I can’t get with this kind of conservatism, because I’m just not into the magic of anything (though I think it’s fine that others are) and I dislike the level of anti-intellectualism, but it isn’t everyday that I read a conservative perspective that I can more or less respect.
There is one other thing I would add: ED and others speak of not being able to “find a home” on the left. Speaking as a lifelong liberal, I can say with near certainty that there is no such thing as a “home on the left”. That’s just not how the ethos of modern liberalism works. Many conservatives believe they are engaged in some great collective mystical Reaganian/Straussian/C.S. Lewisian quest; they see themselves as brothers and fellow warriors and all that. Liberals mostly like to argue with each other about the public option and the size of the stimulus and so on. The only thing that unites us is our fear of modern conservatism.