Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Step Back! He's Talkin' Politics!

It's been a while since I talked politics, largely because talking about politics often makes me feel as if I'm gargling with toilet bowel water.

It's no secret that I am a Republican by default — my issue is guns — and that, for the most part, I find the Republican Party platform an appalling collection of brainless mush. OTOH, the collection of moonbat feces that passes for the Democratic Party platform would cause a maggot to gag.

So, it's with great interest I see the controversy surrounding the publication of Rod Dreher's 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).

Now THERE is a title! Here's the brief description from Publishers Weekly:
What do you call people who vote for Bush but shop at Whole Foods? Crunchy cons. And according to Dreher, an editor at the Dallas Morning News, they're forming a thriving counterculture within the contemporary conservative movement. United by a "cultural sensibility, not an ideology," crunchy conservatives, he says, have some habits and beliefs often identified with cultural liberals, like shopping at agriculture co-ops and rejecting suburban sprawl. Yet crunchy cons stand apart from both the Republican "Party of Greed" and the Democratic "Party of Lust," he says, by focusing on living according to conservative values, what the author calls "sacramental" living.
To be honest, I haven't read the book, although it's on order from Amazon, but I am fascinated by the concept. "Liberal" and "conservative" are by and large pretty worthless terms in describing the current state of the body politic.

I am reminded of an incident that happened to me a couple of SHOT Shows ago. We had just engineered our media coup on firearms and were getting a lot of mainstream press. I was approached by a guy at the Show and offered a job to overhaul the media image of a "fair use" group. I said I'd never heard of it (which was, of couse, the problemo). The person explained that his group sought fair use of the recreational lands for motorized recreation, especially snowmobiles, jetskis, etc. My response was that he had the wrong puppy...I was, in fact, a tree-hugging environmentalist and that if it was up to me, I'd open a limited season on snowmobiles to at least take the big bucks out of the herd.

But, he said, you're pro-gun, pro-hunting, pro-shooting, pro-self-defense!

I am, I said. What does that have to do with what you're talking about?

Upon reflection, it was more of the whole "package deal" that we've been forced to accept. In order to gain the support of generally conservative legislators who don't have a particularly strong feeling about guns, the Second Amendment, the Right to Carry, hunting access, etc., we've been saddled with a huge sack of "conservative agenda" crap.

I suspect that the issue I'll have with Crunchy Cons is the author's religious-centric viewpoint. I'm not a huge fan of religion, nor does it particularly figure in my life. But I don't believe that one needs an overwhelming external value system to live lightly on the planet.

But it's great to see some discussion out there!


Anonymous said...

All things considered I would join the organic gardening crowd, but it makes even less economic sense than prepaying $550 a ton for anhydrous ammonia, so I'll just remain an extremely small part of the overall agricultural factory farm scene. (I can't even claim being part of the corporate farming tribe because I'm an individual operator.)

However, count me among those who is a Republician by default (with an emphasis on the word 'fault').

Gawd, where is the next 'Scoop' Jackson when we really need him in the democratic party?

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

One must identify, adopt and practice his own standards of morality, ethics and civility. No outside entity should be looked to for this.
Walt Rauch

Anonymous said...

Well, I've been wondering where the rest of you were!

Self-reliance; responsibility for the consequences of our actions; equal and unfettered rights of the individual; pride in adhering to a personal code of honor, integrity, respect, loyalty, patriotism, and compassion; minimal government (staffed by people who have been taught budget management by my mother); strong national defense; cordial-but-independent international relations; and everyone can just keep their personal ideology to themselves.

Does any of this not make sense?