Many on the right have argued in recent years that Democrats are trying to destroy, abolish, or squeeze out of existence the suburbs and that we should rally the troops to stop them. Tucker Carlson, for example, made the case on a June 29 episode of his Fox News show that Democrats want to make the purple suburbs more like the blue cities “to make the country a one-party state.”
To prevent this, Carlson and company want to protect single-family zoning from being eliminated through federal incentives, like those that exist in the infrastructure package currently being debated in Congress.
For reasons including debt, inflation, and respect for local control, let’s all agree that the federal government shouldn’t spend any money in this bill on carrots to encourage certain zoning. But that doesn’t mean the current “conventional suburban development” model, often called urban or suburban sprawl, is conservative. In fact, this model violates multiple core conservative principles — it breaks