A couple of months ago I traveled out to Montana as part of a project examining how the extremist right – particularly the Patriot movement – has embedded itself within the Tea Party movement, particularly on a local level in rural areas where elements of the 1990s militia movement were still lurking.
You have people here who enjoy their existing low density lifestyles, they like the fact that said lifestyles are explicitly and implicitly subsidized through a variety of public policy measures, and they don’t like the idea of losing those subsidies. What’s more, they regard their antagonists as somewhat culturally alien. So they’re pissed off. The fact that a small government approach to land use would in fact lead to denser lifestyles, more bus commuting, and smaller homes is of absolutely zero interest to them.