Why Conservatives Should Care About Cities

Why Conservatives Should Care About Cities

It is not only conservatives but Americans in general who have had a hard time reconciling what they think of as characteristically American aspirations with the actual life of modern American cities. It’s a certain disharmony between the way we think and the way we live. Our fierce attachment to ideals of individualism, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and closeness to nature do not always seem, for many Americans, to comport with the conditions of modern urban life. Perhaps that is because America, as historian Richard Hofstadter quipped, is a nation that was born in the country and has moved to the city but has never entirely adapted its mentality. Or, to put it another way, altering a famous saying about the British Empire, we became an urban civilization in a fit of absence of mind, having never fully adjusted our ideas about ourselves to the conditions in which we find ourselves actually living.


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