Political Theory (Loosely Interpreted): February 2006 Archives


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The National Review has launched a new blog CrunchyCons [hat tip: Gnu]. This really attracts me for a number of reasons. It's a kind of conservatism that seems to me to avoid much that I don't like about conservatives (particularly the National Review types) while retaining what seems to me to be the heart of conservatism. For more detail on what they're all about, see the CrunchyCon Manifesto. I'm going to have to check this out when I get some more time (which isn't really any time soon). Most exciting for me is, perhaps, the involvement of Frederica Mathews-Greene, who can write a book arguing for a robustly pro-life position and still come out with NOW and NARAL leaders praising her (and it's not in any way because she soft-pedals the pro-life view; it's because she frames it in a way that they can understand). Anyone who can achieve that is really worth hearing out.

I do have to register reservations with several points in their manifesto. Beauty may sometimes be more important than efficiency, but I'd rather have a beat-up looking minivan than a sports car. It holds the whole family, costs a whole lot less, doesn't tend to attract police officers looking for speeders, and does what we need it to do. The primary motivation for having a sports car instead seems to me to stem from the kind of thing CrunchyCons want to distance themselves from (and #2 in the manifesto is a clear indication of this: "Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.")

I also think a Christian should have a hard time with the last two points. As important as the family is for Christians, it isn't higher than the God-appointed means of spreading the good news that is Jesus Christ. What Christians do for a culture is far more crucial, on the Christian view, than what families in isolation from what a family grounded in Christ ought to be should be for a society. The last point is good for pointing out what won't save, but it's too eager to replace it with something that also won't save. Only repentance will ultimately save. I think they're trying to be vague enough to include that sort of thing, but I don't think it does it for me. On the whole, though, I really like this list and certainly consider it far better than what your standard Republican in government is going to come up with.



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