Free Minds & Free Markets

Want to End Urban-Rural Conflict? Stop Looking for a Victor: New at Reason

Whether red vs. blue or city vs. country, political tensions are best addressed by letting people run their own lives.

Aesops Fables (1912), illustrated by Arthur Rackham.Aesops Fables (1912), illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

There's a spreading revolt against city-spawned restrictions on self-defense rights by the residents of sparsely settled counties and the officials who represent them. The issue "has largely underscored the rift between rural and urban areas," the Wall Street Journal noted over the weekend.

It's a rift, writes J.D. Tuccille, that's widening as the political divide in the United States takes on a strongly geographical character—less along state or regional lines than at the borders between dense populations and open country.

With hostile people from divergent cultures and political affiliations glaring at each other across the nation's city limits, it's time to reconsider the tendency towards centralization of power in our country that leaves so many people groaning under laws and policies they find abhorrent. If we really want to defuse tensions, argues Tuccille, we should devolve decision-making as far down the political food chain as possible.

Photo Credit: Aesops Fables (1912), illustrated by Arthur Rackham.


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