Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Conservatives' Vision of an America Without Cities

Expand Messages
  • Jym Dyer
    =v= Thanks for articulating some of the either/or criticisms I had of the original article. =v= I will add that the conservative/liberal divide in the U.S.
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 18, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      =v= Thanks for articulating some of the either/or criticisms I
      had of the original article.

      =v= I will add that the conservative/liberal divide in the U.S.
      (such as it is) doesn't really split into geographic divisions,
      and that the real demographic situation has to do with the
      topic of this list. While it has certainly been a conservative
      (and cryptoracist) meme to demonize the cities as hotbeds of
      liberal decadence, there's a lot of wealth in the cities and
      no shortage of conservative urbanites. Further, the American
      countryside has a long, strong history of progressivism.

      =v= The crucial story in the U.S. is what demographers call the
      swing vote, what sociologists call anomie, and what I call the
      mushy middle. This is a vast slice of the populace, largely
      suburban, who stand for nothing and fall for anything. National
      politics in recent decades has been about courting this vote, a
      process that has little to do with political positions and much
      to do with focus groups and marketing research (and, of course,
      strategic voting fraud).

      =v= When the balance of this vote tipped to Bush, we were fed
      nonsense about a unified "Red America" voting its "values."
      When, previously, the very same demographic supported Clinton,
      we were fed nonsense about tender-hearted "soccer moms."

      =v= American suburbia is extremely dependent on cars, so some
      have looked at the voting this century and speculated that
      this demographic voted its interests by voting for the oilmen
      and -women. I know of no research that really supports this,
      and again, the 1990s and 2006 votes suggest otherwise. The
      real story, I think, is that car-dependent land-use patterns
      promote anomie and create the malleable demographic. People
      living this way are compartmentalized inside their cars and
      are more likely to experience others through a TV screen than
      in person, and the closest thing to public space is a shopping
      mall. Without the back-and-forth of unmediated experience,
      this population has fewer opportunities to think critically
      and consider alternatives. Which is a boon for politicians
      of any stripe.
      <_Jym_>
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.