Friday, December 17, 2004

Crunchy-granola, OR Maybe I'm Just Nuts

I sometimes call myself a crunchy-granola conservative, which is a term most people have never heard. Rod Dreher came up with it a couple of years ago. For an idea of what is meant by it, go to the man himself:

Rod Dreher's original NRO piece

Dreher's NRODT article, written after he'd gotten responses to the NRO piece; this got reprinted in Utne.

Jonah Goldberg had an article on NRO that made a very good case for not using the term crunchy-con, but I can not find the article. Basically, he said there is nothing in the practices or thoughts Dreher describes that could not be in the practices or thoughts of any ordinary conservative, so why divide the group up in this way. And frankly I think Goldberg is right, even if I sometimes use the term to describe myself. I think what's going on that Dreher is talking about is garden-variety conservatives who are coming up against the stereotypes of Republicans and not fitting them well. Which should suggest that, one, the stereotypes of Republicans need to be updated. It's not all about what Jonah Goldberg once (in a different, unrelated article) called "classic, blue-blazer Republicans" or what Florence King called "the God and country club set". The second thing it should do is remind us, yet again, that Republicans and conservatives are not the same thing. They overlap, but they are not the same.

And for a look at some people who might well be called crunchy-granola conservative, even though they would eschew the political label themselves, here's the archives of a great little magazine (now defunct): Caelum et Terra

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