A new book from a conservative writer suggests Democrats and President Obama are opposed to suburban life. Here are a short excerpt from the introduction:
While public attention has been riveted on high-profile congressional battles over the stimulus, health care, and the debt ceiling, Obama has been quietly laying the regulatory groundwork for a profound transformation of American society. The founders would not approve. From the Pilgrim fathers to the frontier settlers to the post-World War II exodus to the suburbs, Americans have enjoyed the freedom to move and to govern themselves as they have seen fit in their new homes. Yet the spirit of enterprise and self-government that made our country great looks very different to Obama.
In the eyes of Obama’s community organizing colleagues – close followers of Saul Alinsky, the leftist radical who founded the profession – America’s suburbs are instruments of bigotry and greed. Moving to a suburb in pursuit of the American dream of an affordable family home and quality, locally controlled schools looks to Obama and his organizing mentors like selfishly refusing to share tax money with the urban poor.
Obama means to fix that with regulations designed to force Americans out of their cars and into high-density urban centers, squeezing the population into a collection of new Manhattans. Obama also aims to force suburbanites to redistribute tax money to nearby cities while effectively merging urban and suburban school districts so as to equalize their funding. If you can afford to move to a suburban all, there will no longer be a point. In effect America’s cities will have swallowed up their suburbs. The result: your freedom of movement, America’s tradition of local self-rule, the incentive to better your circumstances, and therefore national prosperity all will have been eroded.
Rush Limbaugh gets in on the conversation here.
So the Republican dreamland is the suburbs? It would be interesting to look at the history of this politically. Couldn’t more rural areas appeal more to conservatives where people truly have more space to spread out and live a more frontier life?
I don’t think there is much question that the Obama administration would like to promote some pro-urban policies such as improved gas mileage, better mass transit, and more integrated schools and neighborhoods. One could argue that the US government has spent the last 80 years primarily promoting suburban growth through the overhaul of mortgage system from the 1930s onward, federal funding for the interstate system, and more. And the move to the suburbs certainly has hurt cities even if the suburbanites themselves are happy about the moves – to argue that there are no negative consequences of suburbanization is simply silly.
But this is a larger issue for conservatives who also think that the UN is after the suburbs through Agenda 21.