My progressive opinion - we ain't talkin' about Crawford, Texas here, bubba:
...Even people who don't live in cities look to urban centers for a certain image of America. The nation identified with New York City in such a visceral way on September 11 not just because Americans died there--Americans died in a Pennsylvania field and in Northern Virginia too--but because the New York skyline is a stirring image of American prosperity and achievement. It symbolizes the motivation and spirit of the American people, the wealth of our nation, the thrum of diverse cultures, and inexhaustible cultural creativity. Cities inspire us; they speak to our hopes and our passions. Small towns diminish us; they speak of lost history and downscaled dreams. The Democratic Party should compete on our own turf, change the terms of the debate, and give the American people heroes to believe in--as well as enemies to revile...
A great manifesto, and perhaps therein lies a blueprint for moving forward.
While you're at it, bookmark Project for the Old American Century (where I found the link for Urban Archipelago).