I am a fan of the Strong Towns brand/podcast/ideology/movement (whatever it is or has become). However, I am relatively new to following it. Therefore, I am not fully aware of who Charles “Chuck” Marohn is, his beliefs, etc. (beyond his love of Strong Towns).
I recently listened to his 14 March 2023 podcast (https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2023/3/13/conservative-reaction-15-minute-cities?apcid=0061975856bdd2d9a00b4d01) where he addresses Conservatives who are scared of the 15-minute city concept. In this episode, he chose to address them directly by first stepping back, self-identifying as a conservative, and sharing some of his own beliefs of n the North American political divide.
I appreciated how he began the conversation by identifying a set of spectra on which humanity in general may fall, and how by one study, “conservatives,” and “progressives/liberals,” (which he regularly used interchangeably), often cluster towards certain ends of these spectra. I thought this was great.
I just wish he had used this approach more throughout the rest of his conversation. I appreciate only more, as time goes on, how acknowledging all exists on these various spectra or axes or whatever you want to call them is what makes us all more unique than we'd realize. I understand human need to for social cohesion, for banding together like-with-like, but I only wish we could begin elevating modern discourse above this base reality. I am not saying we need to break down all social groupings and go it alone, but only that we acknowledge humans seek groups of individuals, not groups of clones, and appreciating the role of individuality on social cohesion.
Charles still uses the labels, “conservatives,” and, “liberals,” in a far too broad fashion for my taste. He remained calm and collected throughout, and his final message in the last minutes of the podcast, were still perfectly on message for what Strong Towns is really about: bottom up efforts by people who live together, working together to improve where they live, regardless of political leaning. I'd like to take that message and evolve it more to promoting how an individual can first accept where they lie on various spectra themselves, then ask how their individuality can contribute best, without worrying about their single political label.