Saturday, July 19, 2008

They Mean To Govern

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
--Daniel Webster


Exhibit A is the former and perhaps future governor of California, Jerry Brown:

In the meantime, Mr. Brown is taking aim at the suburbs, concerned about the alleged environmental damage they cause. He sees suburban houses as inefficient users of energy. He sees suburban commuters clogging the roads as wasting precious fossil fuel. And, mostly, he sees wisdom in an intricately thought-out plan to compel residents to move to city centers or, at least, to high-density developments clustered near mass transit lines.

Mr. Brown is not above using coercion to create the demographic patterns he wants. In recent months, he has threatened to file suit against municipalities that shun high-density housing in favor of building new suburban singe-family homes, on the grounds that they will pollute the environment. He is also backing controversial legislation -- Senate bill 375 -- moving through the state legislature that would restrict state highway funds to communities that refuse to adopt "smart growth" development plans. "We have to get the people from the suburbs to start coming back" to the cities, Mr. Brown told planning experts in March.

The problem is, that's not what Californians want.

All boldface is mine.

4 comments:

Marbel said...

"Smart growth" - that's what they're doing in the Portland, OR area now. High-density housing near public transit, nearly non-existent yards - kids can go play in the park, right? Why would anyone want privacy? Why would anyone want a little space to call their own? I hated seeing nice neighborhoods ruined when a house on a large lot would go up for sale and it'd turn into a mini-subdivision.

In that case, I don't guess it matters what the people want - it's what the regional government and the developers want.

ChrisA said...

Oh great, coming to Boulder soon. Uugh.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Wasn't Jerry Brown's nickname "Governor Moonbeam"? I can't say it's nice to see he hasn't changed his ways; consistency isn't a universal virtue.

Ellen K said...

Once again, with liberals it's not what people want, it's what the leadership tells you is good for you.