Friday, June 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024
73° F Dallas, TX

Conservatives Against Sprawl


It is starting to pick up steam, as our endless ranting apparently has now apparently migrated rearward from the explicit memory of our collective frontal lobe to the implicit regions of the hemisphere. Personally, I think this is one issue that can be agreed upon by both right and left, possibly for differing reasons, and we can certainly disagree on the best way out of the mess. Here is E.D. Kain at True/Slant citing Kunstler and requesting Andrew Sullivan take up the mantle (which he has in the past):

Sprawl is a result of massive statist interventions into our culture and society, and its symptoms are equally enormous. Everything that conservatism has historically stood for is undermined by sprawl. It is not only the physical manifestation of our decline, it is a poison which continues to contribute to that decline. Its repercussions can be felt in our discourse, in our speech, in our way of thinking. This is not merely a matter of aesthetically pleasing communities, but of communities which allow individuals to be a part of the whole. I doubt this is sustainable, this suburban maze – in any way: fiscally, socially, spiritually. It is, as James Howard Kunstler called it, “a peculiar blip in human experience.”

I can’t disagree with anything he states. He doesn’t really offer any solutions, but that really isn’t his job. Frankly, he gets at the fundamental and logical disconnect in the modern conservative mind that peripherally suggests limited government then gleefully spends on highway projects, forming an endless rhetorical loop that people want their house an hour from their job and the road that caused that to be the only choice must be expanded to allow for “free choice.”

Perhaps this tipping point suggests a potential coalescence of common purpose, which will be the only way out of this mess.