[VIEWPOINT] The zoning theory of everything

By Christian Britschgi | Reason

When 17 million Americans tuned in to watch the first night of the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC), they were greeted by the newly famous faces of Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

A few months prior, the McCloskeys had been obscure Missouri lawyers. Then footage of the married couple brandishing firearms at Black Lives Matter demonstrators outside their St. Louis home rocketed them to national notoriety.

Roundly condemned by liberal America and charged with felonious use of their weapons by local prosecutors, the McCloskeys used their brief RNC remarks to defend their names. Rather than the menacing bigots they’d been portrayed as, the two argued they had been lawfully defending their home from a mob of marauding leftists. The violence they faced down would soon descend upon your home too, they warned, thanks to Democrats’ radical plot—to tweak local zoning codes.

Democrats “want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning,” Patricia McCloskey told the camera. “This forced rezoning would bring crime, lawlessness, and low-quality apartments into now thriving suburban neighborhoods. President Trump smartly ended this government overreach, but Joe Biden wants to bring it back. These are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you.”

These remarks reflected a newly adopted theme of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign: that he had saved the “American suburban lifestyle dream” by axing housing policies adopted under President Barack Obama. Then-candidate Joe Biden’s promise to revive those rules was presented as proof positive of his plans to destroy all that was good about America.


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