American Refugees – Will The Influx Of Blue State Refugees Into The Heartland Ruin The Country Or Save It?

Feb 27, 2024 | Political News

America is badly divided. Urban and coastal progressives openly loathe traditional Americans living in rural areas and “flyover country,” Hillary’s “deplorables,” and the scorn is reciprocated. At the same time, an exodus is under way from blue states as many residents flee high-tax, crime-ridden cities plagued by homeless encampments, open-air drug dens, and toxic woke policies, seeking refuge in red states such as Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. In sheer numbers, California generates the greatest volume of these domestic transplants, but the growing body of states losing residents also includes Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Minnesota, and more states seem determined to join this ignominious list.

The exodus began at the dawn of the 21st century and accelerated in 2020 due to draconian Covid restrictions, including school shutdowns, and civil unrest in many cities unleashed by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A summer of rioting, looting, and arson revealed that the veneer of civilization is deceptively thin, as was the resolve of elected officials in blue states to enforce the rule of law. 

As blue states continue to deteriorate, the exodus will grow. Roger L. Simon, himself an expat from California (“a madhouse of the woke”) now living in Nashville, has written a book, American Refugees, that he describes as “a kind of Fodor’s guide” for blue-state conservatives tempted to vote with their feet. Simon is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter who started out as a self-described “conventional liberal” and now serves as editor-at-large of the conservative Epoch Times. He provides an engaging first-person account of his unlikely odyssey.

The big question—as yet unanswered—is what effect this internal migration will have on our national politics. Will the refugees from blue states discover their love of freedom and traditional values or, in Simon’s words, “pollute red states with their indelible left-wing ideology”? Simon makes some contrarian—but, in my judgment, accurate—observations.