To be honest, I’m a lot closer to Amy than to Rod on this. Perhaps it has something to do with growing up in rural/small-town America where there still existed a fading conservative sensibility that reflected, in an almost completely unarticulated and unselfconscious way, the Kirkean values Rod writes about. I have never experienced what Rod describes as taking up something “hippie-ish … not in spite of your conservatism, but because of it.”
I grew up despising hippie culture. I found, and still find, virtually all of the Boomer cultural affectations to be utterly false and preening; I find the nihilism of their intellectual and popular leaders to be entirely banal and unromantic; their radical egalitarianism was, I thought, an emasculation of all the good things in life. Rather than donning Birks and tie-dye t-shirts, I dreamed about sword-canes and black capes. My image of a conservative hero came from men like Theodore Roosevelt, Andre Malraux, T.E. Lawrence, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Men of action and adventure yet also of refined taste and intellect. Men who wore black, fought for the old world, were on intimate terms with both life and death, and who never went anywhere without their driver or their butler. The image is about as far as one can get from John Lennon. ~Caleb Stegall, Crunchy Cons
I don’t think I ever shared Mr. Stegall’s youthful enthusiasm for TR, but by the start of high school the image of the knight-errant, the Cavalier aristocrat, the Jacobite Highlander and the Confederate cavalry commander all captured my imagination as men who regarded those terribly quaint virtues of honour and loyalty as preeminent and all-important. Many of my best friends were and are of the “hippie-ish” kind, but I agree with Mr. Stegall that there has never been anything attractive about what I associate with being “hippie-ish.” Unless listening to reggae and Indian sittar music on occasion counts, you would hard pressed to find a lot of “hippie-ish” affinities in me.