Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Bobo Conservatives?-Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Crunchy Conservative Celebrity Boxing. In this corner, wearing the red, white and blue trunks, the Augustinian Atlas- Ben Domenech. In the other corner, wearing the khaki industrial hemp trunks, the Birkenstocked Burkian from Bloomington, Josh Claybourn. Ben had an interesting critique of the group, with Josh counterpunching. Let me play a good middle man here. You can enjoy the outdoors and be a conservative. You can enjoy the music on NPR stations and be a conservative. However, there's a grain of truth to Ben's critique, where many crunchy conservatives may be putting on a green facade that stops short of an honest commitment to environmentalism. Could what Ben's describing be bobo conservatives? Quick side trip-bobo is short for bourgeois bohemian, coined by David Brooks to describe a class of secular inteligencia who combine upper-middle-class materialism with a 60s liberal ethic towards the environment, culture and anti-brandism. If you take a bobo and give them a touch of traditional values and a love of the free market, you've got a crunchy conservative. Crunchy conservative=Bobo conservative? Discuss. [update 10:50 PM- Josh makes a good point in the comment section-
I'm confused by this: "a green facade that stops short of an honest commitment to environmentalism." Ignore the environmental aspect of this debate, and you'll still have "crunchy cons." In fact, when I think of crunchy cons, the environment never enters my mind. So, how is this dishonest? Take movies, music, style...in all these things it's still an issue. I think this has nothing to do with environmentalism and everything to do with cultureWe might be shouting past each other, folks. Let's take a look at the part of Ben's piece that prompted my "green facade" line.
I know plenty of guilty suburbanites who pay their Sierra Club dues and like to shop at REI but still don't recycle, and Dreher's Crunchy Conservatives seem to look a lot like them. They listen to NPR and eat granola, but just doing that doesn't do anything to help nature. They take on the trappings of an environmentalist life, but actually do nothing of the sort.Is what Dreher pontificating on is a conservative appreciation of a non-commercial culture? Here are some comparisons with CC culture versus mainstream culture: health food rather than processed food, folk, bluegrass and jazz rather than Top 40, handmade rather than factory-made, mom-and-pop store versus MegaMart. In some ways, CCC is a truly conservative culture, going back a century before radio and TV and easy cross-country transportation. Things were more local by necessity. Today, it costs more to live that way, since the factory-made stuff costs less, and upscale people can afford to do more of it. Once again-does the CCC look a lot like conservative bobos?]
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