Maybe Moving to a State More Compatible with Your Principles Isn’t Such a Bad Idea

The 2022 midterm elections have passed and there are undoubtedly a lot of disgruntled people around the country (on both sides of the partisan aisle) cursing their political party as well as their rivals. In our deeply divided country every election of consequence seems like an apocalypse. Among the reactions you will inevitably hear;

“If you don’t like the way your state voted, why don’t you just leave?”

Indeed, why not? What is usually meant as a nasty implied insult actually has a lot of inherent value behind it that most people do not seem to consider. Perhaps more people should leave political entities such as states that consistently vote drastically different than their political preferences. Such a decision ought not be made lightly however, and there are many conditions to consider.

“I can do this all day.”

There are a lot of obvious reasons of course people do not leave their state or other jurisdictions upon losing elections. They have roots in the area; their family, their friends, their jobs, their homes, their history, and their familiarity are all there. Most of their finances and official documents are orientated around the state. Furthermore, it is tedious and costly to make such a move and it is tough to arrange to change all of this even if one desires it.

Then there is the “cooling off” period to consider. Many people are passionate about politics and their causes to a point. When an election does not go their way, most people are really bummed out at first and may make empty threats to leave but then as time goes on they settle down and accept the loss. Also, there is always “next time,” as in the next election that may turn out differently. Such tolerance and hope for future change is essential for our system. It was meant to be a big part of it as a means to preserve the Union and internal stability as it compliments our checks and balances, separation of powers, enumerated powers, Rule of Law, and the other essential elements of Federalism and limited government inherent in our Constitutional Republic and the Constitutions of the states. All this together is true “American Democracy.” We are meant to respect each other’s rights and tolerate differences – to a point. It is a pity this has all been eroded in favor of the “Our Democracy” crowd that supports a more direct majority rule mindset with little consideration for the rights of the minority both within state boundaries and at the Federal level.

“Our Democracy.”
Honestly, it’s better than a Borg-like Uni-state.

The aforementioned barriers to relocating aside, as free individuals we ought to associate with the like-minded to ensure a strong community with a common purpose. Tolerance of legitimate differences is necessary but when fundamental principles continuously get undermined, “tolerance” can morph into a kowtow to those that wield unjust coerion as a weapon to get what they want. The inherent value of the spirit of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments remain strong even though history has eroded their influence in practice. As our nation becomes more fundamentally divided it seems prudent to reinforce founding principles where they are strongest while also working to promote them in areas where they have been eroded. But we also must face certain realities. From a traditional American perspective, if a state becomes too hostile to founding principles and infringes upon individual rights, but still remains within the (often misguided) legal authority to enact the policies the population chooses, then leaving it for a better-run state seems prudent. Perhaps one could even consider it a duty.

Satire website Babylon Bee has been mercilessly and hilariously mocking Leftist policies causing residents to flee – in this case they poke fun at Conservatives that see the writing on the wall

If you consider leaving for another state, there will always be push back from your like-minded activists that will accuse you of “fleeing” or “abandoning” the state to political rivals. This argument only goes so far. As I indicated above, it is not wise or virtuous to ditch a state and a grassroots effort to change it for trivial reasons. When it goes too far though, a new strategy may be in order. If one cannot vote for proper change at the polls, one can vote with their feet. If you believe in your ideals, move to where they are being implemented, bolster them, and set an example that will breed emulation. Likewise, if the state from which one left is acting improperly and counter to their own interests, then they will ultimately learn their lesson the hard way and be forced to change. This does not in any way relieve everyone of their duty towards returning our Union to Constitutional governance, and we all still have an interest in ensuring the actions of others in different states are not threatening us all. But this is true regardless of the state in which you reside. Just as military generals may be required to switch up strategy on a battlefield, so too might strategy need to be changed on the political landscape. Ideologically, we are already divided. A norm of some states being havens for certain ideals where people can live relatively free of unwanted coercion is certainly preferable to all states slowly eroding into a conglomerate of mediocrity and false compromise where nobody can be happy with the outcome of local decisionmaking most of the time. All in the name of “bipartisanship” and “tolerance.”

Don’t freak out and “flee,” but a strategic relocation may be in order

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