Skip to comments.A Peculiar People: Crunchy Cons
Posted on 03/07/2006 6:08:18 AM PST by Mr. Silverback
If you encountered someone who made his own granola, bought his veggies at a food co-op, wore Birkenstock sandals, and wanted to save the environment, if youre like me, youd probably think, well, there goes a lefty, or a liberal, or maybe an aging hippie. But the author of a new book says someone like that is just as likely to be a conservative Republican. In his book, Crunchy Cons, journalist Rod Dreher writes about a group of people he calls crunchy conservatives, a group that includes, among others, hip homeschooling mamas, Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic farmers, and right-wing nature lovers.
What Dreher, a Dallas Morning News columnist, means by crunchy conservative is someone who rejects the consumerist and individualistic mainstream of American life. This rejection distinguishes their worldview from that of mainstream liberalism or conservatism, which, in Drehers estimation, are both essentially materialist ideologies.
The result of this materialism is a society dedicated to the multiplication of wants and the intensification of desire, not the improvement of character. What sets Drehers crunchy cons apart is the extent to which they have recognized the corrosive effects of a culture that is both materialistic and pornographic, and they are prepared to do something about it.
They all start at the most basic level: marriage and family. Of course, the liberal and the conservative mainstream both affirm the centrality of the family. After all, apart from some radicals, everybody is for the family, right?
Well, not like the crunchy cons are. People like Caleb Stegall, a Kansas lawyer who is profiled in the book, dont just talk a good game when it comes to familytheir lives testify to its importance. They walk away from prestigious jobs and sacrifice a second income in order to make the time to raise families correctly.
This emphasis on family and instilling character is why many crunchy cons homeschool. As a Manhattan mother of five told Dreher, homeschooling shows her kids that their well-being is whats most important. Instead of working to give them more stuff, she gave them more time instead.
This de-emphasizing of stuff is another hallmark of Drehers Crunchy Cons. Its not because they reject capitalism or seek to appear holier-than-thou. Its because they understand the importance of postponing gratification in building character. They know that people accustomed to satisfying every material want are not likely to exercise restraint in any area of their lives.
This emphasis on restraint cuts across the grain of a culture where people are taught to regard anything that stands between them and their desires as a kind of tyranny. So it comes as no surprise that most of Drehers crunchy cons are Christians.
Thats because Christians understandor should, at leasthow pervasive what writer Dan Knauss calls the porno-culture is. This pervasiveness is why protecting our kids requires diligence and commitment. Drehers crunchy conservativesmostly crunchy Christiansare reminders of what the apostle Peter meant when he called followers of Christ a peculiar people. And its why these hip homeschooling mamas and right-wing nature lovers are worthy of our respect, no matter what they wear on their feet or how much granola they eat.
I do believe Christians should generally have a stronger propensity toward a more modest lifestyle. Conservatism, conservation, and Christianity naturally align toward the "crunchy con" mentality.
Thanks for the ping!
FYI, some of us aging hippie types are actually undercover. Which is kind of cool when a real relic starts talking to you because he thinks you're "one of them" and you get an open platform to rant. ;^)
Ha, well I've never met one but I bet that would be fun to see.
For example, a majority of home-schoolers are conservative. But most have given up income and "stuff" to pursue something they believe is more important.
There is also a species of conservative I find puzzling and I'm sure others do as well. These are the conservatives who not only want to use natural resources for legitimate reasons, but only seem happy if resources are extracted with as much waste and destruction as possible. I'm talking about those who not only want to cut down the forest because human beings need wood, but want to cut down forests because they seem to get a kick out of it. A lot of these conservatives also seem offended by those who don't use every waking moment making money in order to buy "the latest version of the latest version". They seem to think of that as letting down the capitalism team.
I'm not sure how being smart and careful in using resources was ever disassociated with conservatism. It used to be a core value of conservatism.
I'm going for the most conservative on this thread. (Qualifications provided upon request)
And I recently joined "Smart Growth", I walk to work, walk to church, and even tolerate a few homosexuals that I know.
Almost forgot: I have planted over 17,000 trees, and about 24 acres of native prairie.
I would have a go; uh, what the definition of "conservative?"
I confess to being clueless these days.
Long-time member of and chapter leader in The John Birch Society. Now that will kill this thread, it is so conservative. Happens every time.
I believe being a *Conservative* has to do with a belief and lifestyle honoring GOD, Country and values that would be a one man one woman marraige, prayer in schools, stop abortion on demand, saluting the flag, that being said everyone has a different view on foods, drugs, discipline and health methods which is neither liberal or conservative.
My daddy was a Bircher. Kinda lost me with the "Ike was a commie" stuff.
Out of curiosity did the John Birch Society have something to do with Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park Ca.?
We fit the crunchy con label and we are ultra conservative.
I don't know, why? Was the owner a Bircher?
You should read the book; "The Politician" by Robert Welch. Nowhere in that book did he ever claim that Ike was a commie. He did, however, expose Ike's propensity to support the commies. Also his two-faced political career.
I think he was a Bircher, I just remember hearing that Birchers were really prejudice when I was a kid when I invited one of my friends to Knotts Berry Farm who happened to be jewish her parents would not let her go because of John Birch Society.
This was the day when Knotts Berry Farm had the best chicken, bisquits and Boysenberry juice ever!!!
My grandparents were Crunchy Conservatives when being a Crunchy Con wasn't cool! ;) They were good, honest folks who owned a farm, made a living, raised their children and retired.
Probably too much is being made about what makes someone a Crunchy Con. It's not what you wear or where you live, etc. It's what you believe. My guess is there are many, many folks who consider themselves Crunchy Cons and they still buy vegetables from the store, don't make their own granola, don't own a certain brand of footwear, etc, etc.
Oh, Yes! We visited there and ate there many times when we lived in CA. Loved that food!
Here's where the liberal (commie?) lame-stream media has made their best effort at hindering our work: The idea that the JBS is full of prejudiced people is simply false. Prejudiced people are not allowed to join.
In fact, there are members of every race and religion in the JBS. Also, in fact, if anyone expresses any racial, ethnic, or otherwise prejudiced statement, he will be removed from the society. It has happened.
Thanks for the clarification! you hear so much stuff constantly which I know from the liberal community is 90% false.!
Knotts Berry Farm was a great place until it became strictly a commercial venture amusement park! :(
Miss the old days alot!
Check this website out:
I think you will find yourself being surprised.
I no longer post the JBS website link because that has a tendancy to kill threads.