An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition. Even the great Victorian artists were all anti-Victorian, despite the pressures to conform.

Evelyn Waugh, interview in the Paris Review.

There are ways to “stand out against the tenor of the age” apart from being a reactionary, of course, but Waugh’s attitude is a good illustration of why so many great artists and writers have awful politics (and bad political instincts). Cf. Borges, Céline, etc.