For the last couple of years, Americans have been on the move. The COVID lockdowns prompted millions of people to leave the cities and take up residence in suburban or rural areas in a movement called the “Great Relocation.”
My husband and I were in the midst of this Great Relocation since we, too, relocated. However in our case, the choice to move preceded COVID by about 18 months and was simply an empty-nester downsizing decision. We also moved from a deeply rural area into an even deeper rural area.
Our move, and our For Sale By Owner efforts, put us in a position to witness first-hand how desperate people were to flee the cities. Since we’re located in northern Idaho, we found ourselves talking to dozens of families from the Left Coast (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles) inquiring about our house, most of whom said the same thing: Our city is no longer sane. Leftist policies have ruined it. We have to get out.
Well, 18 months went by. We sold our home, bought a smaller place and settled in. COVID and its variants waxed and waned and waxed again. State and local restrictions (masks, lockdowns, remote schooling, working from home) came and went. But now – suddenly – “relocation” is in the news again. Big time.
Just in the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen dozens of articles on the subject. But this time, it all has a common theme: “Leftugees” are leaving blue areas for red ones. Just a few examples:
- Census Bureau data confirms people are fleeing lib states en masse, heading for conservative bastions
- Culture Shift: Red States are Growing While Blue States Continue to Shrink
- Census: 1% of California’s Population Moved Out of the State in 2021
- People Fleeing Democrat States Is Becoming a Problem For Democrats and a Windfall For Republican States
- Americans Explain Why They’re Flocking toFlorida: Ron DeSantis ‘Is a Law-and-Order Governor’
- Exodus: New York State Hemorrhaging People
- Americans Are Fleeing Democratic Blue State Cities
- Liberal California Lost the Most Population ofAny State in 2021, New York Was 2nd, Illinois 3rd
- Americans Fled Woke States in Historic Numbers in 2021
- Sorry, Idaho. Things Were So Bad in ‘Woke’ Places That a Record Number of People Are Fleeing to Spud Country
- “Leftugees” flooding the red states: the liberal exodus of America
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Why, specifically, are people fleeing blue locations? Jeff Crouere with Canada Free Press explains the obvious: “In urban America today, there exists an entire class of mayors and council members who believe they can control thieves, muggers, rapists, and murderers by surrendering to them. Truth be told, some of these politicians are only concerned about their careers and couldn’t care less about the real victims of these crimes and the productive, tax paying residents who are forced to live in these violent hellholes. Regardless of their meaningless rhetoric, they are obviously not alarmed as their cities crumble and their policies make it impossible for law-abiding residents to live in peace. As their stupidity and weakness continues to damage our economy and create dangerous, unlivable urban areas, an increasing number of productive citizens will leave our major cities. The United States of America is living through such a demographic trend today. People are fleeing cities and states led by left-wing Democrats and moving to areas controlled by pro-business and tough-on-crime Republicans.”
I can’t blame anyone for leaving blue areas behind. What else can you do when you see headlines like this? “New York ABOLISHES Prison Sentences for Violent Criminals.”
As someone living in a red “destination” state, however, I must point out the obvious issue with newcomers: their voting record, attitude and beliefs. It’s become almost a cliché how many leftists get fed up with the urban hellhole their policies created and depart for “redder” pastures, only to turn their new home blue in short order. Some call this process “Californication,” regardless of where the offenders originate.
Case in point: In a thread that went viral, a man describes how he’s moving from California’s Bay Area to Miami for a number of reasons, including crime and an environment hostile to small businesses.
“It’s hard to feel safe,” he tweeted, referring to the Bay Area. “We’ve experienced 4 home break-ins; 1 car break-in; other thefts and near-assaults. I desperately want this fixed but it’s *not possible* for a private citizen to. Which brings us to the political animus. There is a social contract between a govt + citizens. We pay taxes / abide by the law, and the govt provides social services and governs by the will of its people. SFBay has broken this social contract, over and over and over.”
This man lamented the passing of what was once a great progressive social experiment. “Virtue signaling over virtue seeking; neuroticism over optimism. A well-intentioned person can step one foot out of line and is instantly met with a ‘how dare you.’ When did we stop being optimistic, and so steeped in our own neuroticism?When did we trade hope for guilt? In summary: the Bay Area, instead of harvesting the golden eggs, bled the magical goose dry.Instead of taking that boundless spirit of optimism, tax windfall, abundance of resources, and channeling it into the greatest city-state the world has ever known… we f***ed it up.”
I was sympathetic toward his position until he tweeted: “This is such a cliché, but we’re moving to Miami. I know there’s plenty to be apprehensive about. Worse politics (from our perspective), its own superficiality, weather issues, critters, guns … but lots to love about food, warmth, service industry, vibrancy.”
Worse politics. Worse than what? Worse than the progressive hellhole you’re leaving behind?
See, this is what worries those of us residing in red destinations. We welcome leftugees whose suasions mesh with the existing climate. We dread those who want to “improve” things to match what they left behind.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has a controversial solution: Not only does she recommend a “divorce” between red and blue states, but she argues that those who move to conservative states from liberal places such as California and New York should have a “cooling off” period before being allowed to vote.
I don’t know if this is the answer. I only know – as someone watching the demographic shift in action – that something’s gonna happen sooner or later. Some have observed that these migration patterns are a sign of the growing political divide in America – a geographic form of polarization. I sincerely hope it won’t come down to violence.
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