Thursday, September 06, 2007

Crunchy Cons


My sister-in-law was reading Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher when I saw her recently. I flipped over the book and began reading the Crunchy Con Manifesto. I was really excited, b/c my husband and I had been recently talking about how we were politically conservative, but (specially having worked in the Conservative political non-profit world) it seemed to both of us that conservatives have lost their personal mooring in what they claim to believe. They say they believe in family values, but you can't tell that from the way they relate interpersonally, etc. They say they are Christians who are carrying out the Creation mandate, but who don't care to conserve the environment, etc. It seems as though a lot of Republicans are really just capitalists period. Libertarians in sheep's clothing. But the Free Market is only a good thing when it is held in check by a populous that is also committed to the other fundamental institutions of family, church and the government. Free market alone is just as wrong as Big government alone. They become giant unwieldy thumbs.

Anyhow, I picked up a copy as soon as I got home. I was sitting there reading the manifesto and thought, "Wow! We are not alone!" I guess there is a whole movement out there of political conservatives trying to actually live out those conservative principles in their daily life. Now, I don't agree with everything that Dreher espouses (ie. homeschooling, is a good example), but I do think he brings up a lot of really interesting points for discussion. I generally agree with his concerns, but don't always arrive at them for the same reasons, or think the solutions he proposes are the best, but it's a good book for prompting some vigorous discussion. I often find myself turning to whomever is near me to find someone with whom I can chew over these ideas.

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On another, though similar, note... We just recently returned from our vacation to good ol' liberal Minnesota where we realized just how concrete our conservative beliefs are. After many interesting discussions, I still think that Conservative political thought is the most rational, comprehensive and un-contradictory political perspective one can have. Also, the one that most is most closely aligned with Christian principles.

1 comment:

WondrousPilgrim said...

Dreher does bring up some fascinating points. Ulitmately I am dissatisfied with what he says because, though he's pretty grounded, it seems to me he doesn't give enough credit to the Market.

I always use Farmer's markets as an example for this. 10 years ago, there were only Farmer's markets in New York and San Francisco, and cities in big agricultural areas. Today, even Chester, PA, which is a slum, has a farmer's market. Sustainability, buying locally, and supporting small business is getting easier and easier because of the market, not in spite of it.

But, he does approach these issues from a strong sense of stewardship--a sense that all Christians ought to have with regards to the land, and to their communities. Unfortunately there aren't many republicans who agree. But there are several conservatives, including Roger Scruton--who rocks, anyway.