Surrendering the Public Square

Surrendering the Public Square
(Dave Zajac/Record-Journal via AP)
As I have recounted elsewhere, in 2019 my wife and I became part of the migration away from large cities to rural areas, when we moved from Austin, Texas to a small town in east Tennessee. The exodus from blue states (and from Democrat-run cities in red states) was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as freedom-loving Americans—many of whom became liberated from commuting by remote work arrangements—sought refuge from restrictive policies, shuttered schools, and urban chaos. The confluence of Zoom, COVID-related shutdowns, and widespread domestic disturbances triggered a geographic shift benefiting low-tax, fiscally sound states such as Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. 

Last year, for the first time in its history, California lost population. People fled from many different places for a variety of reasons. Some pilgrims undertaking this journey into the heartland seek more than sensible government policies and affordable housing: they also often search for a traditional culture: patriotism, family values, respect for law and order, and old-fashioned religious faith—once common traits among all Americans but increasingly hard to find in America’s woke enclaves. 

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