When I first started working at what was widely labeled an archconservative newspaper, a reality hit me: I was the most conservative person in the newsroom. Not in what’s considered political conservatism today, but as someone who values and preserves a stream of the Old Ways. For me that’s meant radical Christianity of a Quaker-Mennonite-Dunker vein and practice, frugality and simplicity, acting respectfully and with manners, upholding honesty and learning, an appreciation of high culture, a distrust of the military-industrial-financial complex, a preference for small-is-beautiful economics, environmental and ecological sustainability …

So what do we call those who have purloined the conservative label, at least since the days of Barry Goldwater? The gas-guzzling, loud-mouthed and obnoxious know-nothings? The ones, especially, who act and sound like anarchists or Huns?



  1. If I don’t hear a concern for others, I pretty much lose interest. An absence of the Gospel message is a glaring deficiency for anyone pursuing public service. And, to me, the Gospel message isn’t just a Christian construct.

  2. Garrison Keillor was in my train of thought earlier and your blog post brought him back to the forefront…the Old Ways that had kept the peace, but didn’t exactly strangle individuality and self-expression in the process of achieving it….of course, the social contract requires some give and take, some sacrifices in our daily life in the name of the good of all…and being part of polite society is meaning being polite to everyone regardless of station or rank, to the other living beings (great and small) and nature itself…being conservative should translate in being the meek (which itself translate to living in simplicity)….

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