The modern conservative movement cherishes America’s cities — as generators of wealth for its patrons to hoard, and reservoirs of non-white criminality for its media outlets to decontextualize and demagogue. It has less fondness for America’s urban centers as actual human societies; to the contemporary conservative, New York City is a nice place to vilify (and/or invest in), but you wouldn’t want to campaign there. Donald Trump has spent much of his political career validating exurban conservatives’ most hallucinatory prejudices about “inner-city” life. In the mogul’s telling, America’s urban centers are “crime-infested” disaster areas where there are “no jobs,” no educational opportunities, “you get shot walking to store,” everything is perpetually on fire, and beleaguered white workers are constantly “rioting” against an imperial liberal elite that insists on helping MS-13 murder their daughters. Meanwhile, in the telling of “normal” Republican politicians, people who chose to live in such Gomorrahs don’t necessarily deserve the franchise. Last week, the Republican speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly argued that his legislative majority (which was elected by a minority of voters) had more political legitimacy than the incoming Democratic governor (who was elected by a plurality of them) because, “if you took Madison and… Read full this story
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