I’ve been out of town the past few days and am just now catching up to Kathryn’s comment from Friday re: crunchy conservatism and South Park conservatism. She wrote:
Conservatives can eat organic and-shocking as it may be-can be pretty darn funny. Neither makes us anomalies. Conservatism is about ideas, but it’s not a lock-step army, with dress and behavior codes. … If, in the end, “South Park Conservatives” and “Crunchy Cons” make more people realize conservatives are people too-i.e. most of red America-cool, fine. But my worry has always been these unnecessary labels and things just further ghettoize and stereotype.
I call revisionist history! La Lopez, I remind you that it was you who started this whole crunchy con thing when you told me my interest in organic vegetables sounded “so lefty.” Actually, I thank you for that (and am giving you mad props in my book), because it made me think about the ways I live that don’t fit the standard conservative template, but which are authentically conservative. I don’t understand why we right-wingers show our diversity by agreeing not to talk about actual differences among ourselves, differences that go deeper than mere style. As we all know, the conservative big tent contains right-wingers who identify primarily as economic conservatives, those whose conservatism is chiefly religious or social, those for whom conservatism is mostly a matter of defense and foreign affairs (and those divide into Realists and Idealists), and so forth. But we all coalesce because we have more in common than we do with those who identify as liberals.
In fact, by talking about our differences in a constructive way–that is, not as if we were adherents of a dogmatic religion, but all followers of a broad but distinct historical tradition–we don’t reinforce stereotypes, we help demolish them. An official from my publisher’s office was at the Book Expo in Manhattan last week, the same one you went to, and he was talking up “Crunchy Cons,” which’ll be out in February. He said that the industry types he was talking to–and they’re all ultraliberal–refused to believe that conservatives could actually care about the environment, oppose factory farming, and so forth, without being liberal. Well, guess
what: we can, and I’ve endeavored to show why the left doesn’t own these issues. Far from ghettoizing us, I believe my book, if it succeeds, will force the MSM to re-examine its stereotypes.