Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Huck and the Crunchy Cons

Mr. Dreher is attracted to Huck because he sees that social conservatism exists in tension with a libertarian faith in the market, and that social conservatism necessarily includes an element of populism. Rod (scroll down) also noticed Huck’s cool quoting of Chesterton on his victory night (on the love of a warrior). Evangelicals start quoting Chesterton as evidence they’re now reading real books and are ready for an ecumenical outreach to all orthodox believers. Rod wants to buy Huck a beer for quoting so well, and the new man from Hope would continue his outreach to Catholics by drinking it. (I have to add the obvious: I’m far from a Crunchy, and Dreher is sort of nuts in some ways: His second-favorite candidate is Ron Paul.) [And thanks to semi-Crunchy Gary Seaton.]

Discussions - 8 Comments

Those are two of the more coherent posts I've read by Dreher in recent months.

Huck is a Baptist. He wouldn't drink a beer? Although free-living bass player that he is, he might. :-)

I think it is important to separate a "libertarian faith in the market" from opposition to government intervention in the market at the wrong level. Some libertarians do have an almost religious faith in the market to cure all ills. And they place choice and efficiency as their highest goods. There is obviously tension for social and traditionalist conservatives with the idea that choice and efficiency are the highest good. But that does not necessarily mean they should endorse economic interventionist policies that are not authorized by the Constitution, and almost none are at the Federal level.

Nice distinction, Red.

Dr. Lawler,

It does not seem wise to reduce Mr. Dreher to "kind of nuts." Mr Dreher is attempting to revive long dormant aspects of conservatism - communitarianism and localism - which are a vital part of our ideological infrastructure. If he seems "kind of nuts" that is because his priorities - which have equal claim to yours in the pantheon of conservatism - lead him to different prudential judgements. I saw you speak on Nisbet in Indianapolis. Unless you are interested in sending Nisbet to the margins of our movement - and the "nut" from Mecosta with him - I think it would be best to consider Dreher a dissenting voice worth entertaining, and a vexing but useful ally.

His take ont he forthcoming election, and the state of the movement is certainly more Wagnerian than mine, but his insistence on private decency and personal responsibility should not be so unusual:

Rod waxes Wagnerian

Well, wm, I hope I didn't try to make the kind of concern you express sound nuts. Its more some of the crunchy particulars that are rather particular to Rod...

fair enough, his particulars are often peculiar to him. But he is a journalist, not a political philosopher, and so he is schooled to look for the particular. ... and he is often astoundingly insightful


You've taken care of the slam of Rod Dreher in this post. Now, how about apologizing to evangelicals for your patronizing dismissal of their reading of Chesterton?


Well, the danger of apologizing (like the danger of charity) is that instead of gratitude you'll get the demand for more. So to scrilberous I say: Lighten up. I was obviously putting myself in the patronizing Catholic voice to highlight (once again) the possible astuteness of Huck. I really there's a strong possibiility that s. might be joking. I also realize that more evangelicals than Catholics read Chesterton nowadays.

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