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An Urban Conservative Renaissance


The 1990′s began a heyday for America’s cities and the start of a change in political affilation that may well influence the coming election.

Two Republican mayors at the helm of the nation’s two largest cities – New York and Los Angeles – in the last decade followed similar paths. Both cracked down on crime and put up an “open for business” sign once again, reversing a decades-long trend of urban decay. Suburban flight turned into urban gentrification – spawning a new kind of voter, the “Urban Conservative.”

That Rudy Giuliani and Dick Riordan were elected in the early 1990′s is surprising enough. In the political spectrum, cities are supposed to be the bluest shade of Democratic blue possible. But what they did once in office has set the tone for a new generation of voters who, like the “Progressive Libertarian” are feeling abandoned by their party.

Although it is tempting to think that all Democrats think like Democrats and all Republicans think like Republicans, regardless of there they live, simply because of their affiliation, doing so is a mistake.

Urban Conservatives, like Rudy Guiuliani, believe that the basic role of Government should be to promote freedom. Businesses should be free to thrive, and people should be free to live their lives, form communities and express themselves creatively. Freedom is not possible, however, without first securing the public’s safety and preserving the natural environment.

This is not your grandfather’s Republican. Urban Conservatives want lower taxes, but are willing to pay for police, fire, economic development and protecting the environment. Urban Conservatives may practice faith, but unlike their suburban and rural counterparts, they don’t want to govern by it.

When most of us think of the “average American,” what comes to mind is a farmer in Iowa, who is married, has 2.4 children, and goes to church on Sunday. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you looked at statistics, you’d likely find a large number of Americans live in cities, are single and, in the median, are not registered with either political party.

The fastest growing political party in America today is “Decline to State,” and I suspect these voters are largely Progressive Libertarians who wonder why the Democratic Party wants to ruin their businesses or Urban Conservatives who believe God should enforce his laws – not the government.

The winner of the 2008 Presidential Election won’t be the one who comes up with the best Iraq strategy or healthcare plan. Our next president, Republican or Democrat, will be the one who recognizes the growing numbers of economic and social laissez-faire voters living in our cities and appeals to them.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 10:18 AM | Permalink

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