Election season is upon us so it’s time to transcribe some stereotypical partisan voices in my head.
I’m a Republican urbanist and I care about job creation, that national debt, the role of government, and energy and the environment.
Government shouldn’t grow to create more jobs. I want to see more Americans working and earning wages, and that means private companies need to have reasons to hire people. But I don’t want a candidate to encourage jobs for the sake of jobs. Some jobs are downright evil. There isn’t a market to pay delinquents to egg houses, is there? I watched a documentary that retold the story of an entire neighborhood displaced because some government agencies forced them out of their homes to make way for a new highway and a different type of development. I want my candidate to promote jobs that support and enhance local communities, not jobs to obliterate private property and force people to move.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
In this lousy economy, I have to be very careful with my personal checking account. I’d like to see the government do the same. Most of the Republicans running for office are talking about taxes, but what about cutting spending to programs that do more harm than good? In my region of the country, we like to compete for federal funds so that the press won’t make fun of us for leaving cash on the table. But I don’t think the federal government should decide how to revitalize my community. I want a candidate focused on locally-oriented initiatives that don’t rely so much on the federal government’s debt-ridden budget.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
I hear a lot of talk about fossil fuel alternatives and renewable energy. Like most people I know, those sound like reasonable pursuits. But the regulatory environment of our government still seems to favor massive infrastructure projects that promote and even require the continued reliance on multi-car households. I want to vote for a candidate who is interested in scaling back regulations so that infill development flourishes and I can have more choices about where to live and how I commute. I’d like to see streets designed for slower traffic where I could actually walk on a sidewalk with my family and feel safe. I want my candidate to think about smarter, more efficient ways for people to move around and connect with each other.
History has shown that the major parties are excellent at disappointing passionate urbanist voters. Maybe there are more commonalities among urbanists than some might think.