It is strange to think that it was only a little over a month ago that Crunchy Cons hit shelves and the Crunchy Cons blog began working through the claims of crunchiness, tradition, authenticity, sacramentality, conservation and religion, among others, and what these entailed for the life of a modern American conservative who purports to treasure the Permanent Things. If bloggers used ink, I would have spilled a lot of ink over this phenomenon, most of which I was instinctively drawn to support because of its close agreement with many of my commitments as an Orthodox Christian and as a paleoconservative. The enterprise was a classic effort in diagnosing the ills of modernity and offering a remedy of sane, humane and traditional conservative life. That it was frequently shouted down and belittled as often as not by uncomprehending guardians of what passes for today’s conservatism was a striking confirmation of the crunchy claim to be counter-cultural and outside of a conservative “mainstream” and proof of the need for humane dissent from what has become an all-too-predictable party line.
When the CC blog started over at NRO, there were questions from some traditionalists whether traditional conservatives ought to give it any attention. As undesirable as the NRO location was in some ways in my view, and as much energy and time as the turf fights with the NR regulars consumed, it did lend prominence to the effort and forced the hand of the more unreasonable critics. Above all, it reminded conservatives that they have an alternative to the thin gruel of Big Government conservatism, reflexive defense of corporate interests and pie-in-the-sky idealism that has supplanted an older, thinking man’s conservatism.
Because crunchiness is fidelity to eternal verities and an application of those verities in practical ethics and a sane and humane way of life far more than it is a preoccupation with organic chicken and granola, or whatever idiosyncracy critics would like to latch onto, its influence will continue to spread as more and more Americans conclude that a life premised on autonomy, consumption and gratification of desires is bereft of meaning and spiritually sickening. For those interested in continuing to find a taste of crunchiness in writing, I understand that Rod Dreher will be blogging at Beliefnet.com and Caleb Stegall and the other merry Pantagruelists will continue their labours for better understanding through mockery and seasoned levity at The New Pantagruel. Eunomia itself will continue to be a refuge for all crunchies and their confederates, as well as an arsenal for the defense of crunchiness against the spate of silly or misguided attacks that it will continue to receive as time goes by.