Caleb Stegall has been nominated for a seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals.  The Kansas City Star calls Stegall “conservative and crunchy.” Excerpts:

Conservation, a commitment to local communities and the preservation of traditional family values are all crunchy con hallmarks that Stegall has written about or commented on publicly over the years.

“His conservatism does not lead him to take typical Republican Party stands on things,” said writer Rod Dreher, who coined the term “crunchy con” and profiled Stegall in his 2006 book on the phenomenon.


The crunchy cons fill a void somewhere between the hardened views of the extreme right and the extreme left, said Mark Mitchell, who teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College, a Christian school in Purcellville, Va.

“It’s not really liberal and it’s not standard-line conservatism that you get from talk radio,” said Mitchell, the founder of a website that reflects some of the crunchy values. “It’s a much more considered, a much deeper notion that has appeal across the old ossified lines of left and right.”

Stegall’s judicial nomination is significant, Dreher said, because it marks one of the first times that someone who thinks about politics and culture in a crunchy way will wield so much influence.

“It shows we’re not just a bunch of academics and eccentrics,” he said.

For those of you who don’t know Caleb, search the FPR archives where you’ll find plenty of his essays.

The Kansas City Star piece ends with this description of Caleb:

He now lives on a 10-acre parcel in rural Jefferson County, where he, his wife and five kids grow some of their food.

The decision to give up the bigger bucks and stay close to home were other signs of his crunchiness.

He said in the Godspy interview: “We have a commitment to this place and these people that trumps most of the other things that we could spend our life pursuing.”

We need more people like this in office.


Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. Congratulations to Caleb Stegall. I’m glad to hear of it.

    I like crunchy conservatives and think I invented part of the concept, if not the term, decades before we heard the term. In the very early 80s I used to say the only good conservative was an environmentalist conservative and the only good environmentalist was a conservative environmentalist. My pastor, a leftier person, didn’t think there were any such people, and announced that to me and to those within loud-whispering distance while I was waiting in line to vote one November Tuesday. Result: lots of stares from others in the long voting lines, and I didn’t change my mind.)

    But I don’t like the way you makes it sound as though crunchy cons split the difference between left and right.

  2. It was an honor to testify in favor of Caleb at his confirmation hearing; he will make a fine judge. He was confirmed by the full KS Senate yesterday on a vote of 32 – 8.

Comments are closed.