“They’re coming for your suburbs!”

Describing peaceful BLM protesters walking past their mansion as a “mob,” a St. Louis couple facing felony charges for threatening the protesters with drawn guns claimed Democrats want to “abolish the suburbs” in a fireside chat recorded for the GOP convention. Read story here.

Mark and Pat McCloskeys, wealthy St. Louis brain-injury lawyers who live in a gated community, claimed “radical Democrats,” apparently making no distinction between the Democratic Party and anti-police rioting that has accompanied some George Floyd protests, will “spread chaos and violence in our communities.” They pointedly defended single-family zoning, asserting denser zoning would bring “crime” and “lawlessness.” Millions of Americans live in safe multifamily-zoned neighborhoods. They also equated “low-income housing” with crime, a thinly-veiled appeal to racism.

The McCloskeys’ rant was congruent with the general tone of the GOP convention, which is that a Democratic victory will end civilization. Much of what they said parroted a recent “Fox and Friends” segment and comments by Trump, who they praised for defending “the God-given right of every American to protect their homes and families.” The McCloskeys have claimed squatters’ rights to property shared with their neighbors, and are considered “neighbors from hell” within their gated community. (Read story here.)

The “abolish the suburbs” language was lifted from a headline in the National Review, a conservative magazine, above a July 2020 article attacking Obama-era enforcement of a provision of the 1968 Fair Housing Act aimed at desegregating housing. The Trump administration suspended that enforcement. Biden would enforce those regulations and withhold federal transportation funding from cities that don’t change discriminatory housing codes. (Read story here.)

Putting the McCloskeys on the speaking agenda appears to be an effort to appeal to suburban voters. Polls show a historic bleeding away of suburban votes from the GOP, especially among women, approaching the 2020 election.

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