So I’ll put the question to Jim and any other “conservative” very directly: Are you willing to state that “with a few exceptions, anyone who would place an infant in daycare is a negligent parent and a negligent citizen”? Let’s put some cards on the table. ~Caleb Stegall, Crunchy Cons

Caleb doesn’t kid around–he drives the dagger home. One of the interesting things to observe in the anti-crunchy reaction is the incoherence of it all. When it suits them, the critics reliably inform us that crunchy conservatism is just a “lifestyle,” which means for them it has no intellectual heft and cannot be debated or taken seriously; at another time, it is an ideology of statist coercion bent on forcing everyone to make their own granola; at yet another time, it is some Savonarola reborn coming to tell you how to live your life (horrors!). These critics try to make it appear irrelevant, terrifying and hypocritical all at once, but in the process they have never engaged with much of the substance of what has been said.

So here is Caleb’s question on a very concrete point, and we will see what, if anything, the critics have to say. Predictions: someone will complain that Caleb wants the government to lock up the people who run day-care centers, or accuse him of hating working women or that he is meddlesome. Oh, wait, we’ve already had the last one: one of my readers doesn’t like Caleb’s “disturbing” habit of using his moral judgement in matters of everyday life. That is really what the anti-crunchy retort amounts to: “You aren’t the boss of me!” Nothing could better vindicate the crunchy critique of individual autonomy and modern self-absorption better than this response.