"Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots" is the name of a book he wrote, back in 2006. As the italics indicate, the quote above refers to what he said in his book, not what the people he labeled "crunchy" did — at least not directly.
In his new article, Dreher describes himself "someone who used to live in big cities, and who now lives in a small town [and therefore] more understanding of why someone with a family would choose to live in the suburbs." The same old reasons people move to the suburbs affected him and his family, so now he sees the point.
While I still believe there are serious objections to the way our suburbs are designed, and ways to design them to be more aesthetically pleasing and human-scaled, I appreciate very much Keith Miller’s critique, and how he urges us to think about whether we are not simply baptizing and moralizing aesthetic preferences. Don’t get me wrong: I do believe that the material order in some real sense reflects, or should reflect, the sacred order. Aesthetics are rarely completely divorced from metaphysics or morals. On a more practical level, though, I think we ought to all give more grace to each other. Not everybody who moves to the suburbs wants to build a gargantuan McMansion and live the full-consumerist lifestyle. Not everyone who chooses to live in the city is driven by morally pure motives; they could be refusing one kind of consumerist narcissism for the sake of embracing a more attractive version of same.What aesthetic preferences have you tricked up as moral imperatives?