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  • Jennifer Galardi

Conservative Hippie

One of my least favorite questions on a first date is “So, tell me about Jennifer. Who is she?” As if the man is conducting a Barbara Walters’ interview.


First of all, if I’m sitting in front of you and you refer to me in the third person, it’s game over. But I’ll try not to roll my eyes and tolerate the rest of the conversation until my latte is done.


That said, in the process of suffering through many terrible dates, I’ve learned to distill my elevator pitch. While I dislike being pigeon-holed into some political identity as much as I dislike the question asking “who I am,” I tell men I’m a Conservative Hippie. It's the most accurate description I can offer. It seems to me that the true hippies, before the sexual revolution of the 60s, were indeed, conservatives.


These hippies are the ones who sacrificed everything to boldly set out for the western plains, chop wood to build their homes and settle their families. They knew how to live off the land and in sync with the rhythms of nature and her unpredictable seasons. They are the OG farmers, before modified seeds and pesticides.

They are also the segment of the population that often lives in “flyover states,” losing their livelihoods and ways of life to a society increasingly dependent on what I call fast life choices: fast food, fast fashion, fast money, fast enlightenment, and fast success. Consumption and comfort rule over the long-held principles of conservation, savings, hard work, and wrestling with inevitable struggles and loss that life brings.


Inevitably, prioritizing comfort and safety above all else leads to a risk averse society - one that dismisses the value of liberty and adventure. One that insists more and more of its protection, as well as its social norms, come from the government rather than from within its communities and civic institutions – churches, neighbors, family, schools, and associations.


Robert D. Putnam outlines the decline in the vibrancy of American civil society in his book, Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. In it he examines the “absence or obliteration of traditions of independent civic engagement and a widespread tendency toward passive reliance on the state.”


Rod Dreher wrote an entire book about granola loving, tree hugging conservatives, like myself. He labels us Crunchy Cons. As Dreher writes, this style of conservatism at times, rings more true with “lefty” ideology than the traditional GOP orthodoxy.

After spending over 18 years in California, love and concern for the environment is as ingrained in me as any Greta Thunberg acolyte. I learned to incorporate all sorts of alternative nutritional and healing practices that actually – surprise – work.


Conservative hippies know the greatest capital in the world is faith, family, freedom, and health. And the greatest thing to live with and for is love.


Yes, there is a hint of romanticism about us conservative hippies. Okay, more than just a hint. Like most people, we long for peace and harmony between men, the planet, and all living beings that inhabit it. However, we know that is not possible in this life on earth. No human and certainly no government will be able to deliver such a utopia. Only God can do that.


This doesn’t mean we roll over and resign ourselves to an imperfect world. We strive to make a positive impact where it matters most – in our families and our communities, whether that’s a town of 5,000 or a city of five million. 


Conservative hippies care about our environment and the earth and those who live on it because all are God’s creation and as good stewards of God’s creation, it is our responsibility. We don’t do it for the social credit points or because Greta shames us into feeling bad for her generation or because Gavin Newsom forces us to. We don’t do it for any human. We do it for God.


We don’t protest or put signs on our lawn or drive an electric car to signal we care about these things. We don’t need you to know we are good people. In fact, we know we’re not. But we try.


We prioritize our health and that of our family. If we are lucky enough to have access to a farmer’s market and food grown in its most organic nature, we buy it when we can if there are the means. We use natural remedies as much as possible and take responsibility for our own health, knowing God has provided us with bodies brilliantly designed to heal with the gifts He’s provided in nature. We also know this is challenging in a world of quick fixes and fast pharmaceuticals but hold tight to the philosophy that time does, indeed, heal most, if not all, wounds. However, we don't condemn the miracles of modern medicine. We're simply discerning about what we can control and what we can't.


We don’t feel guilty about the animal products we consume, as people have been doing so for millenniums. We witness and understand the cycle of life. We know every living thing is both predator and prey, including humans.


For us hippies, it’s not about abstaining from hunting and killing. It’s about expressing gratitude for every living creature that sacrificed its life so we can sustain ours.


In general, we do our best not to over consume.


We rather gather around a fire in our backyard with some beers and friends, talk smack, and laugh at inappropriate jokes than hold hands in a healing circle singing kumbaya pretending this world is something it’s not. Time spent witnessing the wonders and miracles of God's creation is far more fascinating than any virtual reality Meta will create.


Call me kooky, conspiracy theory loving, alternative, wacko all you want. I am not enslaved by medical cocktails nor do I fear my stuff being taken away from me. I can survive on very little but will wither without my friendships, my God, and my community.


People have a hard time pinning women like me down to a singular philosophy or political movement. That is because I care more about the truth than one party or activist’s version of it.


As a Conservative Hippie, I maintain a medicine cabinet full of essential oils and abstain from artificial scents. I will hopefully, one day, get my eggs from my own chickens or find a local farmer who sells them and continue to sow into community businesses and those close to the land.


Of course I buy stuff from Amazon but I feel a twinge of guilt every time that package hits the front door. I try to make trips to the local hardware store for the odd sundries I need.


I am not sure what category or political party this puts me in and I don’t really care. I’m one very happy hippie.


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Dec 26, 2023

Beautifully penned! I’m an ‘original’ hippie whom you have described. Happiness within … no staunch complaints about …anything. Discernment has been lifetime ‘try harder’ using 4 walkaway method;

Walk Away From

*conversations that involve hate & gossip (James 4:11)

*unnecessary drama (Proverbs 11:9)

*people who put you down

*the table where respect is no longer served (Exodus 32:2)


Jennifer Galardi
Jennifer Galardi
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

Wonderful advice from the best place to get it.

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