19 May 2009

Liberals Hate Suburbs and the Automobile

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Liberals hate any kind of individualism. They hate your having your own car and driving to work by your own chosen path at your own time. They even object to your having your own house and a backyard.

You should be living collectively in small apartments, where you can smell your neighbors’ cooking and hear him slam his door and flush his john. You ought to be riding to work in public transportation train cars, packed in cheek by jowl with the whole range and variety of humanity, rubbing up against them, inhaling their breath and body odors.

Exurban life represents a rejection of the entire urban life style, of trendy restaurants, of currently hot music clubs, of the clash of interest groups in urban politics, of both fashion and Bohemianism in favor of family and of shopping in favor of Nature.

As George Will observes, liberals think government ought to be doing something to force you to choose differently.

For many generations—before automobiles were common, but trolleys ran to the edges of towns—Americans by the scores of millions have been happily trading distance for space, living farther from their jobs in order to enjoy ample backyards and other aspects of low-density living. And long before climate change became another excuse for disparaging America’s “automobile culture,” many liberal intellectuals were bothered by the automobile. It subverted their agenda of expanding government—meaning their—supervision of other people’s lives. Drivers moving around where and when they please? Without government supervision? Depriving themselves and others of communitarian moments on mass transit? No good could come of this.

Although proponents of the “war against sprawl” think of it as newfangled, it actually is quaintly retro. In the 1950s, when liberalism took a turn toward esthetic politics, its thinkers began looking askance at middle-class America. To the herd of independent thinkers who deplored it in chorus, suburbanization was emblematic of the banality of bourgeoisie life. Then, 45 years ago this week, a Democratic president who had been in office exactly six months heeded the liberal intellectual’s cri de coeur.

On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, announced plans to transform America by leading it “upward to the Great Society.” Exhorting the Class of 1964 to “indignation,” he said America was in danger of being “buried under unbridled growth.” The implication was clear: Government must put a bridle—and a saddle and snaffle—on Americans, the better to, LBJ said, “enrich and elevate” their lives above “soulless wealth” and to serve “the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.”

Once upon a time, government was supposed to defend the shores, deliver the mail and let people get on with their lives. Today’s far-seeing and fastidious government, not content with designing the cars Americans drive to their homes and the lightbulbs they use in their homes (do you know that, come 2014, the incandescent lightbulb will be illegal?), wants to say where their homes can be.

8 Feedbacks on "Liberals Hate Suburbs and the Automobile"


Sadly if you try explaining this to even a moderate they will become angered at you for annoying their piece of mind. A great many of liberals in cities believe this mindset of course and applaud it. Considering how many people naturally gravitate out of cities however you would think they would be sensitive to this movement against their lifestyle from the left. But they go blithely about their lives until government taxes, policy and regulations force gas above $4 at which point they begin decrying the greedy oil companies. Will people ever understand what is really going on?


Liberals make no sense to a thinking person. The greatest danger to the earth is overpopulation. But the liberals want people to keep expanding. Then force everyone to live in a tiny room and grow tomatoes in a community garden for everyone’s ‘nature’ experience.

Then when hardly anyone buys into that dreary existance, they get mad and tell everyone that global warming is killing the earth.

Obama won because the majority of people dont like corporations running America.

But the masses of people certainly don’t believe in all that new urbanism crap.

If the democrats force the ghetto on the people, the people will reject the democrats.

Wait and see.


yo! This whole cash for clunkers thing has me riled. Sure, you get good money, but this SOB(pardon my French) has decide to have what appear to be perfectly good cars SCRAPPED! This is outrageous! Not only is he a supporter of the “kill the humans, they’re killing ‘mother earth’ ” swine, but he’s also destroying vehicles we surrender to him so he can continue his goal of government mandated cars, speech,press,and manufacture. I live at an army base in south korea. Since I don’t have a car, I nearly always take the bus(heck, they’re free, and the drivers are very professional, one of them even wore white gloves.),but if I had a car or motorcycle I’d definitely take that over a bus. It’s more fun! Obama doesn’t give a !@#$$#$% about anyone but himself and his agenda, and unless we as a people make a concerted effort to remove him from office(pitchforks and torches may be required), he will drive us into the ground. The elite will be driving around in their SUVs and private jets,while we hoe their communal fields for miserable wages(if any). PATRIOTS OF THE USA,UNITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can you really be serious with this? Yes…yes you are correct. As a liberal, I hate any sign of individuality. And my, how “individual” you sound! It certainly is “individual” to negate science. And I wonder if your concern for overpopulation is leading you toward a pro-choice stance? (But no…that would be too “liberal”)

Andy H.

I’m an introverted liberal who loves the country and hates the city, how about that?

It’s not that I hate freedom, I just find that people in suburbs seem to LACK real individualism. Suburbs all look so bland and clean and there’s an overwhelming feeling of sameness and boredom both in the architecture and the people that it’s utterly depressing every time I go to one.

I hate the city as well, I don’t like traffic and a lot of people around me all the time. I like living in places where things feel a bit more organic, where there’s a lot of nature and if someone builds a house, it looks like it came up spontaneously rather than a group of people piling identical boxes on a hill so close together that you can scarcely get three sheets of paper between them.

Ken P.

Another reason why liberals hate the automobile, and the suburbs that they fostered, is that they have allowed ordinary people, i.e., those who cannot afford to live on Park Avenue and to send their children to expensive private schools, to be able to flee racial integration.


I think Chenel, and to a lesser extent Andy, somewhat proves that liberals are indeed arrogant people. “Look at me people! I’m a liberal.” No sh*t Sherlock. You have the audacity to troll on a conservative website.

Here we have Chenel – who I wonder what led her to such an obscure site (no offense JDZ) – who brings out the ever familiar “science is on our side” card when she brings up global warming (because those who are skeptics must be doing so because they’re trying to be “individuals” … because science is always “right”; nice sheep like mentality there, Chenel) and the “overpopulation” card. Two issues of which are never mentioned in the article nor is any comments written before hers. If she wants to link automobiles and global warming, and blame the suburbs on it then I think she’s in much of a rut.

And of course we have the “introverted” liberal Andy. The reason why Andy confesses that he’s an introvert is beyond my understanding because the article does mention anything about different personalities. I would think that this is his appeal to “I’m a different kind of liberal.” Yea, stfu Andy. You “introvert.” Let’s not forget he also brings up “REAL” individualism. The similar architecture that pervades the suburbs MUST speak of the lack of “REAL” individualism that inhabits the residents of these homes.

So what we have here are two people who are caricatures of themselves.

Dave Cohen

Just found this and never have heard a more uninformed crowd than this! Wow. Where the heck did you all come from? Liberals stereotyping conservatives and conservatives stereotyping liberals is such a pointless exercise that only puts you in a pathetic echo chamber, but one that smells more like a cesspool. Come out of the cesspool, clean out your ears, remove the stench and come out into the real world to try to understand the issues in a mature way.


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