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Crunchy Conservatives

Maybe folks would be more comfortable referring to themselves as "conservatives" if they knew about Crunchy Cons.

The creator of the term "crunchy cons," Rod Dreher, has written a new book entitled:

Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party).

His book tries to redefine conservatism, or perhaps at least define one subset of conservatives: those that prefer Russell Kirk to Rush Limbaugh. I had heard of Dreher's term awhile back, but hadn't seen the above article until today, when he announced the release of his book. Some of the themes he touches in resemble some of my points of a few days back in a post entitled Beyond Liberal and Conservative.

I suspect that "crunchy cons" will be a label with which lots of Christians will identify and want to embrace.

It is also surprisingly (or not so since he cites Chesterton) very consistent with Distributism. If you want to hear more about this, come to my talk at the 24th annual G.K. Chesterton conference at the University of St. Thomas on June 17th at 4pm. I'm sure "crunchy cons" will come up in the discussion, especially at the panel on Saturday, June 18th.


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Comments (1)


This is the feminine crunchy con of the Niemann household typing at the moment, the masculine version defying traditional gender roles by taking the children shopping whilst I sit here surfing the web.

My comment is, this designation is, cheesy though it may come off, EXACTLY what I have been looking for. After all, if the former editor of First Things James Neuchterlein is right, that the motto of conservatives is "Change is bad," then we should all be concerned about true conservationism, for example. And even if that motto isn't one we'd all adopt, I think we can see that what Dreher says in this article is right on: we want to preserve what is good, and the natural world, simple living, close family life, etc are all part of What Is Good.

We are extremely conservative, but we use cloth diapers. They smell less, they are much less costly, and they decompose at about the same rate as disposables in landfills. We try to eat whole grains. We recycle (although after hearing Jonah Goldberg at the U I don't know how good this is). We LIKE WALKING places.

And Dreher's point about neighborhoods built for humans rather than cars perfectly summed up our attitude. It is because we are conservative that we want that sort of neighborhood. People first, things second, should be the motto. Or maybe, Think Globally, Act Locally, Vote Conservative!

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