> Do you believe this is an honest characterization of their core goal?
Yes. I can quote Rothstein about racist motivations or Marohn about short-sighted financial recklessness, but I believe more people have nostalgia than malice. Even if they deploy structural racism and racist rhetoric.
Most people become set in their ways very quickly, and have difficulty imagining what is good other than what they thought was good when they were young. By now, you cannot find a native-born American who grew up in a time before cars became supreme. Most Americans don’t even remember a time before the Suburban Experiment.
So, yes, people will bring up building heights, and respecting the neighborhood, and traffic, and parking über alles, but I think the main motivation is that they can’t imagine someone else can have a good life that is a benefit to the community other than the life that they think is a good life.