Carl Trueman’s Republocrat was a quick and enjoyable read, but there is not a whole lot to say about it. Just three quick comments here, plus one follow up in the next post on another subject.
First, it is clear that Trueman is largely dealing with a spectrum created by MSNBC and Fox News. And as he points out the various foibles and inconsistencies created by Christians arrayed across that spectrum, he has what you might call an easy target. Rebuke a thoughtless Republican Christian for his doting reliance on the bleached blonde punditry of Fox News, that man can just shrug and quote Scripture. “Hey. Out of the mouth of babes . . .”
Second, the book was astonishingly light on the theological and intellectual case for real conservatism. This was a rejection of a sophomoric populism, done by someone who seems largely unaware of the vast library of resources at the disposal of anyone who wants a genuine, well-thought-through, conservatism. There are more options out there, more traditions out there, than Marxism, fascism, and robber baron capitalism.
Third, at the same time, it is also obvious that Trueman’s time here in the States has been well spent. Despite his very English exasperation at the Dodge City conservatism he has clearly encountered in many conversations in the fellowship hall after church, it is clear (at least to me) that Trueman is a whole lot more conservative than he thinks he is. What exasperates him ought to, at least for the most part, and it is hard for me to imagine him reading the literature he ought to have read (before writing this book) without seeing his way home. His instincts are right.