All traditionalists share a few hallmark traits. Among them are traditional morals, a burning desire for government reform, and a strong distaste for progressive societal values. As with any sect, though, sub-stereotypes exist. In traditionalists circles, there are five types of people. Not a single traditionalist doesn’t fit into one of these boxes. (Or at least, that’s how it seems. Could it be possible that sticking everyone into a box doesn’t capture the whole person?)
What are these types? And how does each stand out as unique?
1. The hipster traditionalist. The hipster traditionalist takes the most pride in his anemoia (nostalgia for a time long gone). Often, he feels he has been born in the wrong century. He spends much of his time at home, and he isn’t frequently out in public. When he does wander outside the house, he usually sports thick-rimmed glasses and gazes pensively out of a coffee shop window. He might wear his favorite button-down vest, don a newsboy cap, and carry his well-thumbed G.K. Chesterton book along with him.
With this, the hipster traditionalist has a taste for the finer things in life, like aged wine and a good pipe. Don’t mistake his contemplative manner for a wandering soul, though: He hides a strong moral compass under that tweed coat, as well as a cutthroat encyclopedic memory for anything involving J.R.R. Tolkien.
2. The homeschooling traditionalist. The homeschooling traditionalist is perhaps the easiest to identify, often because she is followed by a posse of well-behaved children. At least four accompany her out and about to farmer’s markets and libraries during regular school hours.
Contrary to popular opinion, these children are pursuing their education—perhaps in better ways than their public school counterparts. Often, both mother and children are wearing denim skirts, calico dresses, overalls, and work boots. Most will carry market bags, books, and jackknives, too. She is commonly told by surprised passersby how mature and well-behaved her children are. She will reply with a deceptively demure smile: “Thank you. They’re homeschooled.”
3. The religious traditionalist. The religious traditionalist is a bit harder to spot in a public crowd. It’s easiest to find this type in churches and church-related events, although if we pay close attention, we can identify them elsewhere. Keep an eye out for the glint of a miraculous medal necklace, brown scapular cord, or the occasional Bible-quoting T-shirt. Many have an affinity for swing dancing, and they often intermix with the homeschooling traditionalists.
Religious traditionalists, too, have a unique appreciation for good clean fun, Shakespeare, and 1950s fashion. (You’ll never see a better dressed lady than the Catholic swing dancer.) Behind their love of the vintage aesthetic, they harbor spines of steel. They know their values inside and out, and they are not intimidated by any onslaught of progressivism.
4. The natural traditionalist. Natural traditionalists might surprise us the most since their values and views might seem to contrast with their rugged appearance. Natural traditionalist men usually have beards and wear button-up flannels or Carhartts. Women might have uncut hair or wear loose bohemian clothing, or she might pull out a miniature stash of essential oils from her canvas hemp bag.
Frequently, natural traditionalists like to discuss anything to do with gardening. They have a deep respect for the earth and natural environment, and they take every opportunity to connect with their ancestral roots.
5. The political traditionalist. Many of the other traditionalist types have strong political views, but the political traditionalist identifies himself most strongly as a governmental expert. He might still wear a MAGA hat, and he will usually have some form of patriotic emblems among his personal attire. He might begin a discussion with why monarchy is a truly great political system.
He also has expansive knowledge of pre-Civil War presidencies, Soviet Russia, and World War II. His trivia capability is quite a wonder to behold, and conservative yard signs and bumper stickers are a staple. Along with boldly proclaimed political principles, these traditionalists deeply value their family and community. Perhaps their zeal for government is born from their devotion to their children and grandchildren, for they desire to build a better world for the next generations.
Truly, sometimes it’s nice just to spot the signs of a fellow traditionalist. Our numbers are far greater than most people know, and they continue to expand. We might trade a nod in the coffee shop or lend a hand to each other at the farmer’s market. After all, a kindred spirit might just be a pew away!
But while these five types might ring true in some ways, looks can be deceptive. So, whether we fit into these boxes or not, let’s wear our stereotype badges with honor! We can let our lives and values speak for themselves.
After all, a tree is known by the fruit it bears. What fruit are we bearing? I see the fruits of joy, wisdom, love, kindness, and truth every day in traditionalism. Let’s share that with the world—no matter what they call us. Don’t worry what the left is labeling us, and don’t fret over being called “that weird homeschool family,” “the weird church guy,” or whatever else. We know who we are, and we know what we believe.
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