Behind enemy lines

Greetings from Park Slope, Brooklyn:

The good news is that there’s a thriving two-party system in Park Slope. The bad news is that it’s Democrats vs. Greens (seriously, the Greens outpoll the GOP in local elections). But it’s a beautiful neighborhood, so I put up with the ACLU petition drives, the militant locavores, and the eye-rolls I get when I say “why yes, I would like a plastic bag.”

Which brings me to my opening salvo to the Ricocheterati: Why are all the nice neighborhoods so leftwing? Not just in New York: think Cambridge, Berkeley, Santa Monica, the Berkshires, etc. All lovely places – but basically home to the Obama-is-okay-if-we-can’t-have-Kucinich crowd.

Maybe it’s proof of the ideological “clustering” that Bill Bishop wrote about in The Big Sort. Apparently, election results over the last 30 years show that there are fewer and fewer “swing” counties (congressional districts are different because they can always be gerrymandered). Affluent liberals can, and do, form self-selected communities where they celebrate “diversity” with people who all think exactly alike. Fine, it’s a free country. But why did they have to scoop up all the good real estate?