Rod Dreher’s new book, “Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, ... America (or at least the Republican Party)”, is getting lots of attention right now. Today, it received a very favorable review in the Wall Street Journal, which was a little surprising since Rod’s is a sort of anti-consumerist manifesto, while the WSJ is all about consumerism/capitalism.
And therein lies the significance of “Crunchy Cons.” It is a reminder of the enduring tension on the right between those for whom the highest social good is freedom—the emancipation of the self from statist restraint and oppressive custom—and those for whom the highest social good is virtue: the formation of character, the cultivation of the soul.
What the book does is counter the mainstream media’s portrayal of conservatives as a monolithic bloc. We are indeed quite diverse and not just on the “social” issue of abortion.
Meanwhile, National Review Online has a CrunchyCon blog, which includes Rod and a number of other conservatives discussing the topics he brought up in his book and in his original NR article that started the whole thing.
Incidentally, today is the book’s release date. And Amy Welborn is reviewing the book for the April issue of Catholic World Report.