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October 11, 2002

Crunchy Cons -- Redux unto exhaustion

Friedrich --

NRO is going hog-wild with the Crunchy Cons controversy. Who'd have expected the topic to generate any controversy at all? Jonah Goldberg, here and here, attacks; Rod Dreher, here, defends. The battle continues in The Corner, here, NRO's gangblog.

National Review must be pleased -- we in the media biz consider it a triumph when tussles over an "issue" turn into a professional wrestling match. I do wish, though, that I could make sense of Goldberg's objections. If you can, would you enlighten me?

Sample Goldberg passage:

Crunchy conservatism reeks with the implication that mainstream conservatives really are the caricatures and stereotypes the left claims. Again, I don't think it was Rod's intent, but I can see many young and overly iconoclastic conservatives buying into this entirely superficial distinction between "crunchy" cons and "normal" cons and thereby join the chorus of critics who say conservatism is really just a bunch of slogans and lock-step tastes. And I think it was a mistake for National Review to make their job any easier.

Sample Dreher passage:

As Jonah points out, it's not exactly news that there are and have always been conservatives critical of the destruction capitalism wreaks on institutions. But that is not the impression you would get from the media (for obvious reasons), and that is certainly not the impression I think many rank-and-file conservatives have about the movement. Conservatives can be quite politically correct within their own circles. My intent with the crunchy-con article was not to restrict the definition of conservative, but to expand the popular understanding of it by highlighting a subset of conservatives who perceive themselves as different from the conservative mainstream, but still well within the same philosophical tradition.



posted by Michael at October 11, 2002


I just can't stand the term "crunchy con," above and beyond whatever it's supposed to mean. It just sets my teeth on edge. It's... cutesy.

Posted by: Andrea Harris on October 12, 2002 03:26 AM

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