I’m working on the LA map, honest.
Anybody who knows King of Prussia knows that Phillymag piece breathlessly lauding the pleasant town-centerey redevelopment of that golf course as proof KoP is finally, finally getting a soul is complete baloney.
For starters, the development itself: it’s another phony town-center mall surrounded by an ocean of parking, except scaled up a bit and walled off from the outside world by that horrific 422/76/276/202 freeway interchange. It’s not even well-served by transit (3 bph—at peak!—on two routes that only touch the outskirts, and an NHSL extension that’ll avoid it entirely if it ever gets built). Even if it’s the most walkable suburban development on earth, it’ll still be inaccessible for anyone who wants to get there without a car.
In addition, it doesn’t matter what anyone says. The center of King of Prussia is, and always will be, the mall. And the King of Prussia Mall has all the human-scaled, walkable charm of a major international airport…that is itself surrounded by parking. You can’t even begin to rhapsodize about how KoP is becoming a Big Boy City until you replace almost all of the parking surrounding the mall with shops, offices, and apartments, and compensate for the loss of all that sweet car storage by not just building the NHSL extension but also substantially beefing up the local bus network.
Or, put more bluntly: King of Prussia won’t be a real city until it becomes impossible to drive there.
As I’ve said several times: the key to understanding Trump and Trumpism is to realize that Trump has the same casually racist mentality of a white rural contractor or car mechanic.* Talk to any of these people, if you can without barfing or flying into a rage, and the common theme is that they’re all bent out of shape because Obama gave the appearance of being the first president to not focus exclusively on them and their precious feelings for eight years.** This is why they saw even Obama’s meagre, almost toothless attempts at correcting racial injustice as an existential threat: because for all their talk about Racism Against Whites and White Genocide and other such things, they are, in fact, acutely aware of their white privilege, but see it as a natural extension of how the world ought to be.*** Their anger at being called racist stems not from an ignorance of white privilege, but a refusal to believe that white privilege (and, of course, the white supremacy that produces it) could possibly be a bad thing.
Chaffetz’ comments about people having to choose between a new iPhone and paying for health care was more than just a repackaged Welfare Queen dogwhistle. This was a call to support Trumpcare because even if you suffer, the systematic discrimination of people of color will not just remain intact but be reinforced, and Chaffetz is betting that’s what white people think really matters.
*This, then, means that all those pith-helmeted anthropological expeditions to places like Youngstown, meant to gin up coastal sympathy for these poor, put-upon fascists and fascist-adjacent people, missed the point entirely.
**A common refrain: “Obama only got elected because all those black people voted for him.” The line between those comments and Trump’s claim of widespread voter fraud in diverse D states need not be stated explicitly.
***They’ll deny it, and they won’t use those terms, but peel away the thin surface layer of I-don’t-care-if-you’re-white-black-green-or-purple fake colorblindness and it’s there.