Such is the response from the critics of the entire “crunchy con” phenomenon and the blog Crunchy Cons. “Don’t impose your crunchy values on me!” they cry. The blog has only been around for three days, and already there is such a strained and hysterical reaction–just imagine what a month of Crunchy Cons will provoke!

Are anarcho-syndicalist communes crunchy?

As for complaints of “imposing” a definition of conservatism (Jonah Goldberg has never done that, I’m sure), Caleb Stegall addresses and crushes this silly sort of objection fairly easily:

One more thought in response to those who would object to this discussion as certain people “imposing” their view of conservatism on the rest. First, regarding the word “conservative” itself and whether all this spilled ink can be justified by what is, after all, “just a word,” the answer is, yes, it is justified. The word conservative, like few others in the American lexicon, has an immensely powerful purchase on the American political/cultural/religious mind in a way that words like Tory, Whig, Mugwump, or Bull Moose just don’t. So long as that is true, debates like this will and should occur. Second, none should know this better than Buckley’s crew and their readers. As the premiere intellectual outlet of movement conservatism over the last fifty years, NR periodically engaged in these kinds of discussions exorcising first the John Birchers, then the Randians, and recently the Buchananites from the respectably conservative fold. That’s an observation, not necessarily a criticism. The point is just that the content of “conservatism” matters, and to suggest otherwise, or to pretend that no one can “impose” their version of what is conservative, is, shall we say, disingenuous.