I admit it – I’m totally engrossed in this election, evidenced by my obsessive checking of a few choice political blogs. (I don’t check hourly, and that’s all I’m saying). But here’s the thing: I just don’t want to read political bickering on garden blogs. The gardening world is a respite from all that, a respite I count on. So I’ll write about environmental issues, including the occasional rant about Monsanto or Briggs & Stratton, but I stifle any partisan political commentary here in the gardening world. There are gardeners of every possible stripe and I sure don’t want to stir up some crazy political argument.
And now come the Crunchy Cons to remind us that caring about the environment, healthy food, frugal living and local agriculture are essentially conservative values. The carrier of the messasge is a guy named Rod Dreher, the conservative Catholic author of Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-Loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and Their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America (or At Least the Republican Party).
Interviewed for a recent edition of NPR’s "Speaking of Faith," Dreher related mentioning to his editor at the National Review that he was picking up his family’s CSA [community-supported agriculture] box that afternoon, to which she replied, "Ugh, that’s so lefty." His response was "What’s so left about vegetables?" – and the decision to write the book.
Dreher’s point really came home to me when he described his conservative Dallas neighbors helping each other build chicken coops, learn how to garden and live in community. Democrats might pause for a moment to let that image of people who vote Republican sink in.
We’re suddenly (or finally?) hearing from evangelical leaders who are also environmental activists.
And there’s this: Dreher is also a regular blogger at BeliefNet.com, where I notice that one of the main headings is "Holistic Living," where you’ll find topics like Environment, Whole Home and Holistic Community, all stuff we probably agree on.
Now can we just sing that proverbial round of "Kumbayah"?
Here’s the "Speaking of Faith" episode that includes Dreher’s interview, the second in a series exploring politics and faith. And in this episode the lefty evangelical Amy Sullivan is interviewed. "Lefty evangelical"? Ooh, I just love it when conventional wisdom is knocked off its self-assured ass.