If there’s a gripe I have with political activists, it’s that they think they can will people into submission with the sheer brilliance of their ideas and persistence of outspoken opinions. Not so.
I say there are no authentic mass markets. Especially when it comes to how people actually live. In order to understand, you need to come to grips with a fundamental economic fact. Rents and mortgages are always the biggest part of people’s budgets. So the most important and personal decisions people make is where they are going to live. Most of the people who have a choice think deeply about making a move to a new community. That’s where they put down their money and roots.
We are greatly fortunate in America where we respect community values first, and only under extraordinary circumstances do we allow outside influences dictate how we live in our homes, what our children study in our schools, how our religious services must be conducted. There is nothing more dangerous to liberty then allowing any political movement to steamroll over our community values. It is the fundamental erosion of self-rule. We cannot allow that to happen. Ever.
So everybody with a manifesto has to stop, count hands in agreement, and then agree to settle down in a place where you can do it your way. That means leave your hands off everybody who disagrees. Let them go to another place where they can do it their way. It’s a big country. It’s a free country.
You cannot turn Austin TX into Plano TX. You cannot turn Darien CT into Grand Rapids MI. You cannot turn the Crenshaw District in LA into the Castro District in SF. People live where they want to live how they want to live for reasons beyond your control. So think about how much you deserve to control, and what happens when you start talking about taking control of other people’s lives.
I hope that Americans are learning (quickly) the limits of ‘sweeping’ political change, and starting to appreciate how important their society is to them. Your society begins at home. Appreciate your home. Take pride in your home. Clean up your home. Sweeping begins at home. Most of the time it’s best when it ends at home.