Jacobs -- who died in Toronto on April 25, 2006 -- was a true "public intellectual" who put her ideas into practice. She loved cities and urban neighborhoods. She was fearless and feisty. She was a moralist, who believed that people have a responsibility to the greater good, and that societies and cities exist to bring out the best in people.
We can expect the right-wing echo chamber -- including Fox News hosts, Tea Party politicians, and Rush Limbaugh -- to attack Sanders for espousing an ideology that they'll likely describe as foreign, European, and un-American. But Sanders's views are in sync with a longstanding American socialist tradition.
Conformity, whether rationalized or simply imposed, undermines our government, our press, and our educational systems. We've had to learn some hard lessons about this in the last 10 years. Surely one of them is that we must defend diversity as a tool for innovation and for responsible decision-making.