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« Helpful Movie Ratings | Main | Crunchy Cons, redux »

September 20, 2002

Free Reads -- Crunchy Cons

Friedrich --

The National Review this week runs a good Rod Dreher cover piece on "Granola Conservatives." It isn't online, but an earlier version of Dreher on the theme is here. I'd be curious to know how you respond to it.

I found it a refreshing piece. Dreher, with an openness rare in anyone primarily political, admits that while his own political preferences are conservative, he also likes organic vegetables, listens to jazz, mistrusts unbridled development, and dislikes his fellow conservatives' disdain for nature.

I cheer virtually any attempt to show that life is more complicated than doctrinaire politicos make it out to be, of course. But, political naif that I am, I'm also forever amazed that neither major party ever seems to wake up to the fact that there's a fair number of people in the country who favor a package that roughly corresponds to this: freer rather than tighter markets and respect for family and most institutions, but also a reverence for art, history and nature. Business has to be able to do what it does, but let's not let it and its values run roughshod over what we personally care most about.

Sample passage from Dreher:

The music we like jazz, hard country, bluegrass, Cuban son is something you can only hear on, umm, public radio or see on public television. When we began talking about buying a house, we realized we wanted something old and funky, in the sort of neighborhood that your average Republican would disdain. We found that though the Shiite environmentalists drive us nuts, there was also something off-putting about the way many conservatives speak with caustic derision about environmental conservation. Two weeks ago, some conservative friends were driving me down the Pacific Coast Highway, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty, as they are. "I'm afraid we have to tip our hats to the tree-huggers," said one. "If it weren't for them, much of what you see would be covered with tract houses and malls."

Let's see, would a similar piece from the reverse point-of-view go something like: "I love NPR and Greenpeace, but I gotta admit that I also love my paycheck, hot running water and my car, and, y'know, it's really thanks to business that we have them"?

Funny: I'm not aware that such a column has ever been written.



posted by Michael at September 20, 2002


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