The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Crunchy-Cons are Comming

I only heard the term "Crunchy-Con" within the last few months when a book club had this book on its rolls. I thought "Oh, I didn't know we had a movement." Since then I've seen the term used a lot (and I've been accused of being one on more than one occasion). Here's one summary:

Crunchy cons disapprove of abortion rights, same-sex marriage, illegal immigrants, public schools, secular liberals and mothers who work outside the home. But they don't like Wal-Mart, McMansions, suburbs, pollution, agribusiness or processed foods, either.—David D. Kirkpatrick,
"Moosewood Republicans," The New York Times, March 12, 2006

Guilty as charged (although the Wal-Marts does have the low-low prices...).
Well, after so much time just not fitting in I'm quite happy to be in some kind of movement. It seems that a silent majority has begun to speak up. Good for us, I say. However, it seems that Rod Dreher, the default spokesperson for us Crunchy Cons, can come across as quite self-righteous and judgemental, not very crunchy that. As I haven't read the book, I can't say.

I'm not sure there's a proper essence--what Aristotle would call a differentia. It's probably more like the relation of family resemblance: I look like my Dad and I look like my Mom, but my Mom and Dad look nothing alike. So I expect that the Crunchy Con family will include people who only vaguely resemble one another at best. There will always be an indefinable element, for I know a lot of people who aren't at all crunchy who would fit much of the definition on paper.

Crunchy Con-hood is probably not an -ism exactly, but it's probably an ideology. As such there will be certain "attitudinal" elements like *disdain for conventional life*. For example, if you "do" your hair, you're just not crunchy. If you carry a purse or wear a cell-phone on your belt you are almost certainly not crunchy. So it's not all doctrine. It's more like a personal add: "Single white male seeks non-smoking female for conversation, climbing, and composting..." Either you get it or you don't. Mostly. It is, as I have admitted, a vague boundary and so there will be borderline cases. I'm thinking of one right now.

I find all this very interesting and since that's the first time I can remember saying that about a cultural trend I plan to post about this in the upcoming weeks. Lauren Winner has an article in Books and Culture this month reviewing two books on Surviving the Suburbs which has provoked a lot of thought.

Misc. and Links
Synonym: Birkenstock'd Burkean (after Edmund Burke)
Antonym: Lexus Liberal
Often overlaps with Theocon (than which no Greater is Father Richard John Neuhaus)
Crunchy Con Blog (by coiner of the term)


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