War on normal Americans seems to have found its final frontier in the conservative small towns and rural communities often called red strongholds on the political map. Infiltration of red America by woke activists and their agendas is nearing, or has passed, the inflection point.
Thus, migrants who flee from blue to red communities tend to be of two types: refugees or invaders. Refugees tend to assimilate. They respect the traditions of their newfound localities. Invaders, on the other hand, seem intent on turning red communities into replicas of the high tax and crime-ridden places they left.
Blue states have been hemorrhaging so many residents that they’ve lost congressional seats — they have been reapportioned to increasingly populous red states. More specifically, 2020 census data shows a “vast migration” out of counties that voted for Joe Biden and into counties that voted to re-elect President Donald Trump.
Migrations began well before Covid but accelerated during the lockdowns. In those earlier days, many folks, including yours truly, sought refuge from meddlesome bureaucrats by relocating to states with deeper red tones. Yet all the large cities and suburbs in red states tend to lean left with just as intrusive policies and election results to match. That’s why refugees like me tend to gravitate to rural areas and small towns that allow folks to live and let live.
But not so fast! Many who leave blue areas continue voting for the failed politics of Democrats when they move into conservative communities. Flyover country now seems to be a special project for left-wing power elites who would like to spread their agendas and homogenize every small corner of the nation.
Red states start going purple one county council, one school board takeover at a time. That’s due in part to the lure of federal funds, which are actually bribes that come with woke chains attached. At the same time, rural boards of supervisors increasingly vote for off-the-wall resolutions, such as urging ratification of the long-expired Equal Rights Amendment.
2016 Election Fast-Tracked the Hostile Takeover
Until the 2016 election of Trump, the leftist targeting of rural America happened mostly in fits and starts. It tended to be a losing battle against people wedded to their traditions. But the left saw the 2016 election as an urgent wake-up call to take over rural America one way or another.
The invasions began in a passive-aggressive manner. Well-heeled leftists have increasingly relocated or bought second homes in rural areas, particularly in places with beautiful pastoral and mountain views. OK, so far. And no one objects to the nice little cafes and wine shops they seem to have transferred from their more urban settings. At the same time, the transplants enjoy planting rainbow flags on Main Street, USA.
They’ve been dubbed “leftugees” because they can’t shake their politics even though they fled from the consequences of them. They tend to welcome greater federal control and influence wherever they go, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “investment in rural America,” which means plying the countryside with faster internet service. That might sound like a welcome convenience. But given the recent history of Big Tech censorship and ideological bias, we might be skeptical of intentions.
Long-time rural residents’ voter apathy complicates this picture even further. They’ve been largely clueless about how easily their school board and county supervisor seats can be picked off due to low voter turnout in local elections. Even old timers who hold those seats can turn into squishes easily worked over by pressures from invading newcomers to vote their way.
In some towns, you may need only a couple hundred votes to be elected mayor (sometimes far less.) Many mayoral elections go uncontested. So a little bit of Alinskyite “community organizing” is all it may take to run the show in rural America.
Susceptible to Psychological Manipulation
Every person has a hard-wired need to be socially connected. We also have a primal fear of ostracism. Americans in small communities were traditionally more individualistic in part because of the strong connections they had with their families, faith traditions, and communities. People are less susceptible to being emotionally manipulated when they have strong bonds to fall back on.
But as Charles Murray pointed out in his 2012 book “Coming Apart,” when those bonds and traditions erode, a vacuum develops that’s filled with addictions and dependency. Rural Americans, then, are as susceptible to political correctness as anyone else. I call this process the weaponization of loneliness.
Two recent essays drive my point home about an invader-versus-refugee dynamic in red America. In 2021, Mark Pulliam wrote a piece at The Federalist titled “Leftists are Colonizing Red Towns Like Mine, and Local Republicans are Clueless.”
After relocating from Austin, Texas to a small, overwhelmingly Republican Appalachian town in Tennessee, Pulliam found woke agendas everywhere: in the local library, the local schools, the local newspaper. More recently, Pulliam has written about his battle with the local public library in Blount County, which is being used as a homeless shelter and is increasingly unusable as a public library.
Such things don’t happen organically. They are planned and organized, especially if there’s a vacuum of civic engagement among the locals. Pulliam concludes that unless rural voters wake up and push back, their towns will become knockoffs of dysfunctional places like Portland, Oregon. And he’s right.
Another essay, “Hicklibs on Parade,” written by the inimitable Peachy Keenan over at The American Mind, exposes and analyzes the queering of red states and smaller towns where “drag queen brunches” have proliferated. How so? Because of the “woke yokels” who have “traded in their grandmother’s classic Christian clunker ideology — that one that still runs great but gets terrible mileage on social media — and exchanged it for a shiny new vehicle for glowing social affirmation.”
Indeed, the natural human craving for “social affirmation” is a vulnerability that can be manipulated to drive otherwise destructive agendas forward. When people sense they will be ostracized for expressing a politically incorrect belief, they tend to comply with groupthink.
Keenan notes how such psychological manipulation flows downstream into red America’s “ruralite gen pop who don’t have the brain power or social conditioning to manage it. It’s like grain alcohol getting into the hands of the natives.”
So, the picture should be clear. Some people move into rural and red America because they share the values of the locals. They are refugees who respect the local traditions — or what is left of them.
But others move into red places with no such intentions. Some even work actively to colonize and wipe out every vestige of the American spirit and traditional American values. If they keep spreading their dystopias, there will be no place left to breathe freely in America.
Refugees who flee blue states must wake up to potential invaders of their adopted homelands. They should help good people win local offices. They need to reach out to their like-minded neighbors, and then proactively work together to build healthy local communities of goodwill. That’s the only way to preserve the values and traditions that allow us all to live and let live.