Monday’s edition of Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day on Ballotpedia listed the sixteen States that lost population in 2020. That’s significant as it will likely affect the apportionment of congressional districts in a number of States, depending on how rapidly other States’ populations grew relative to these States’ shrinkage.
Seven of the States were in New England of the Mid-Atlantic: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The other nine were California, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
While I certainly don’t like seeing Southern States in that list (I’ll consider West Virginia “honorarily Southern”), their inclusion makes sense. Mississippi is a great State, as I imagine West Virginia is, too, but they’re not exactly hotbeds of opportunity. Similarly, Louisiana is so corrupt, it’s little wonder that it’s shedding inhabitants.
The rest of these States make perfect sense: New England and the Mid-Atlantic are hotbeds of failed progressive policies and social justice insanity. Reading photog’s posts at Orion’s Cold Fire gives a good sense for the besieged nature of conservatives in his State, Massachusetts. I once spoke with a pharmacist who relocated his family from either Connecticut or Vermont—I can’t quite remember now—who said he had to move South because he was run out of his job for not supporting abortion.
California has become a hellhole of extreme wealth disparity—the Big Tech overlords live as semi-feudal barons on the backs of imported, borderline slave labor. Michigan—chiefly Detroit—has crumbled after decades of Democratic rule. Illinois is practically insolvent, its politics dominated by Chicago’s elites. Every Ohioan has moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
I can’t speak to Alaska or Hawaii, but the former is a cold, frosty frontier plunged into darkness for half the year, while the later is a tropical paradise ruined by progressivism and struggling with a prohibitively high cost-of-living. Either way, they’re inconvenient (although I love Alaska), so it makes sense that their residents would flee seeking warmer and cheaper climes.
Regardless, ten of the States are clearly Democratic strongholds, and two others (Pennsylvania and Ohio) have some progressive leanings. Progressive policies in the States have bankrupted their coffers, as high taxes and excessive regulations drive individuals and businesses away.
A regular topic discussed on conservative chats on Telegram is which State is the best option for those fleeing Leftist insanity. Unfortunately, it’s not just conservatives, yearning to breathe free, fleeing these failing States—progressives are leaving, too.
The South is very familiar with this problem. We’ve had transplants coming down here for decades. Yankees often find our slower pace of life and deep sense of tradition inefficient and hide-bound, so they presume to “teach” us how to run things. Naturally, some of these folks are kind and hardworking, but there’s definitely a tendency for busybodies to come down here and lecture us about how benighted we are, even as they flee States ruined by the same destructive, failed policies they seek to implement here.
The lack of self-awareness and probity is jaw-dropping, but it’s not enough to complain about it. One reason Northerners can waltz in and dominate our organizations is because we’re not participating in them. I’ve been beating this drum an awful lot lately, but it’s high time we re-engage with our local communities and get active locally.
And, of course, I welcome anyone to the South who is willing to protect our traditions and embrace our God-fearing ways. Whenever I hear of someone up North or out West looking to relocate to freer climes, I always pitch South Carolina. It’s a beautiful State full of beautiful people and great food. Everything is pretty much one or two hours away from everything else, and we have mountains and beaches. There are plenty of historical sites for pre-Columbian, Revolutionary War, and Civil War buffs to explore, and it’s only insanely, miserably hot for two, maybe three, months—tops! We also have the prettiest girls and the best fried shrimp.
To protect all that—to give our conservative Yankee and West Coast brethren some place to flee to, a place where they can enjoy greater freedom and prosperity—we need to act now to shield our States against destructive policies that would fundamentally alter what makes the South great.
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4 thoughts on “Fleeing to (and Preserving) Freedom”
As a native Louisianan, it’s really a shame to watch the State self-immolate.
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That really is sad to see. It seems like a lovely place, its politics aside. What do you think accounts for its self-immolation, Shelby?
Most of the corruption measures I’ve seen rely on public convictions for corruption per capita. I’m not sure that’s all that useful – after all, you could theoretically have a State with officials above repute. Of course, most States don’t have governors whose campaign slogan is “Vote for the Crook.” Backroom deals are still pretty common, anecdotally.
It’s a very complicated question I don’t feel entirely qualified to answer. A few issues are entire small towns consumed by meth and burned out by factories that came and went and the 3rd highest per capita welfare recipients. This creates a no-win scenario with a dinosaur State budget with virtually no discretionary spending and an extreme reliance on Federal funding. Lawmakers overwhelmingly represent the interests of the higher-density Boot and neglect the rest.
There is little to no liberty-minded thinking among the political elite here, although that is no different from any other State. However, the regulatory burdens and budget mismanagement make it much harder to hide the problems that causes. The only solution anyone can muster publicly is to “tax the oil refineries more,” which of course would be even more suicide.
That is a lot of words to say that nearly every issue that could go wrong is wrapped up in a perfect hurricane. I hope it will get better and people will realize that localism is the only way to preserve freedoms, not endless arguing over whose group of constituents will get the next barrel of Federal money.
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Thank you for the detailed response, Shelby. It sounds like Louisiana has some hard choices to make, like cutting back on a substantial amount of spending. Huey Long cast a long shadow on your beautiful State. The “perfect hurricane” metaphor is apt, as well.