Tea Partiers Target Smart Growth "Conspiracy"

Mother Jones magazine reports on how tea party hostility towards "big government" is now being levelled at Agenda 21 and other smart growth initiatives, in the belief that they are part of an international conspiracy.
November 22, 2010, 2pm PST | Michael Dudley
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Urban density and public transit funding are, according to some tea party activists, part of a wider conspiracy to herd Americans into "habitation zones" and deprive them of their freedoms. According to Mother Jones,

"Agenda 21 paranoia has swept the tea party scene, driving activists around the country to delve into the minutiae of local governance. [They] believe that Agenda 21-unveiled during the UN's "Earth Summit" in 1992-is really a plot to curtail private property rights and deprive Americans of precious constitutional freedoms. In reality, the document will do nothing of the sort, but it has nevertheless been the target of conspiracy-minded UN haters for years.

[Now some] local planning fights reveal a little-understood characteristic of the tea party movement: its inherently suburban nature. Not only does the movement's agenda derive from a hostility to what it sees as elites, but it's also hostile to the places those elites live-namely, cities and more densely populated areas-which makes sustainable development a natural issue for activists. Call them the newest pro-sprawl lobby."

The article points out that, while it may be easy to dismiss some of this as crazy conspiracy-mongering, tea partiers may well help to derail some of the smart growth agenda.

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Published on Thursday, November 18, 2010 in Mother Jones
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