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Trump’s Racist, Statist Suburban Dream

4 295 1752

Conservatives do love their phony wars. Remember the war on Christmas? Remember the “war on coal”? (Donald Trump promised to end that war, but in the third year of his presidency coal production fell to its lowest level since 1978, and the Department of Energy expects it to keep falling.)

Now, as the Trump campaign desperately searches for political avenues of attack, we’re hearing a lot about the “war on the suburbs.”

It’s probably not a line that will play well outside the G.O.P.’s hard-core base; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris don’t exactly come across as rabble-rousers who will lead raging antifa hordes as they pillage America’s subdivisions.

Yet it is true that a Biden-Harris administration would resume and probably expand on Obama-era efforts to finally make the Fair Housing Act of 1968 effective, seeking in particular to redress some of the injustices created by America’s ugly history of using political power to create and reinforce racial inequality.

For what Trump calls the Suburban Lifestyle Dream didn’t just happen; it was created by government policies. The great suburban housing boom that followed World War II was made possible by huge federal subsidies, via programs — especially the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration — that protected lenders from risk by insuring qualifying home mortgages. By 1950 the F.H.A. and the........

© The New York Times

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