The other day I watched some news commentary where someone pontificated on the migration of people from the northeast into the southern states. Among the reasons these people gave for moving was the higher taxes and cost of living in the states they came from. Weather was another obvious factor, of course.
Now, I have lived in a number of states. I watched the changes in southeast Florida over the years as the migration occurred there. What I saw was that these folks mostly tried to change the state into what they left but with better weather. High-rise condominiums, higher taxes, demands for more services. I didn't understand it; they visited the state, liked it enough to uproot themselves and their families, and then proceeded to try to change it into what they had fled from. It led me to believe that people really are stupid.
A lot of people miss the familiarity of "home" and that is behind some of this. And, I suppose, it is normal to want to recapture the things they liked back "home" but they do not realize that most of those things eventually led to the conditions they didn't like back there.
It was a topsy-turvy world I found myself in down here. The conservatives in the south in the Fifties were all Democrats while the progressives were Republicans. The Democrats were opposed to integration, for example, and had encoded that into law. When a Republican got into office, he tried to change that. Granted, most Democrats at the time in the south were "Blue-Dog" (fiscally and socially set in their ways and voted along party lines). These jumped to the Republican Party as integration grew. I think it is fair to say that this was the driving force behind the political changes in the south in the Seventies.
But I realized at the time that segregation in the north was just as strong, it was just not encoded in law. It was, as the Court said, "De Facto" rather than "De Jure." I think that actually made it harder to change. Even today, I see bigotry all around me and the people exhibiting it call themselves "liberal" or "pretty liberal." They all came from northern states but talked like "born and bred" southerners, especially when it comes to race and sexual orientation. And they often, if not always, vote Democrat. I just do not understand it.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago