From Blue To Red To Purple To Blue

     M. B. Mathews has posted something of a cri de coeur at American Thinker:

     There has been a huge influx of blue state people to red states in the past three years.

     This is a good thing because the Democrat voters, the blues, see what is happening in their own states and want nothing more to do with it.

     There is only one problem: do blue-staters know why their blue states are failing? They may only be seeing the results of the failures such as high taxes, high crime, authoritarian shutdowns, masking, education pathologies, high gas prices, empty shelves, welfare hounds, and business-unfriendly policies that cause small business closures. But the causes are liberal policies and liberal politicians. Do blue-staters make that connection?

     Moving to a red state is a relief for blue staters, but if they cannot connect their blue state pathologies to voting for Democrats, they are again going to vote for the same party that gave them their blue state blues. It is imperative that blue-staters recognize that escaping to a red state to avoid blue state problems will do them no good if they persist in voting for Democrats, who, at first opportunity, will vote for the same blue policies they left their blue states to avoid. It is imperative that every blue-stater who is not Republican not vote Democrat if they enjoy red state living.

     Well, yes. The logic is unassailable. But “logic is a feeble reed,” Gentle Reader. Even if the blue-to-red-state migrants are aware of the connection, the majority of them will continue to vote Democrat. Your Curmudgeon is here to tell you why.


     Political affiliation is seldom the consequence of having thought things through. A huge fraction of the voting populace – possibly the majority thereof – chooses a political affiliation for reasons other than unclouded knowledge of the policies the chosen party has enacted and would enact. There’s an old story about Teddy Roosevelt on the campaign trail in 1912, on the Bull Moose ticket, that’s to the point:

     Teddy was giving one of his campaign speeches when a man in the audience jumped up and shouted, “I’m a Democrat! My father was a Democrat! My grandfather was a Democrat, and his father before him!”

     Roosevelt, a hard man to confound, replied at once, “Well, Mister, if your father was a jackass, your grandfather a jackass, and your great-grandfather a jackass, what would that make you?”

     But the shouter had a reply ready: “A Bull-Mooser, sir! A Bull-Mooser!”

     As in the story above, a great many persons vote for party X because it’s always been their parents’ choice. That transmission of affiliation from parent to child might seem irrational – it is irrational — but it happens and persists through the generations even so. I’ve known several cases of this.

     Then there’s the “feel” of the chosen party. This is a harder thing to grapple with, being largely formless. Sometimes it arises from party propaganda that’s been carefully designed to occlude the party’s positions and the consequences of its policies. In other cases it’s a matter of associations between the party and specific persons. My first wife, a brilliant woman of many high attainments, voted Democrat because “they put the people first.” My father and his sisters all voted Republican out of their contempt for bums, druggies, and welfare seekers. Draw your own conclusions.

     A third motivator is access to particular social and commercial circles. People who share a political affiliation will tend to socialize and do business with one another, while avoiding those of other affiliations. This is an extremely important consideration to the “climber:” the individual who seeks to rise socially or commercially. It often has consequences that go beyond his voting patterns.

     Finally, there’s one’s personal desire for political power. He who prioritizes it will go where it’s most likely to become available to him. Yes, Gentle Reader: there are politicians who choose their party according to how likely it is that that party will get them elected, or will assist them in advancing further. The late Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is an egregious case for study. Jim Jeffords of Vermont is another. The late John V. Lindsay, once the mayor of New York City, is yet another. It’s the same as carpetbagging, really.

     Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add dollars, “image engineers,” and campaign workers, and whip until smooth.


     I’ve known persons whose political affiliations arose from each of the four influences above. It’s not really baffling, considering how averse most of us are to actually thinking things through. Besides, personal considerations will always trump more diffuse attachments, loyalties, and perceived duties; that’s at the heart of Public Choice analysis. So while I agree with M. B. Mathews about what “should” happen to the voting preferences of blue-to-red migrants, I wouldn’t advise him to put a lot of money on it. The motivators above, some of which are almost never addressed in political campaigns, have a power with which far too many analysts are unable to grapple.


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  1. This meme (stolen from FB) attempts to reveal how the oppressed don’t want to know they are.  Since Plandemic, fuel shortage and inflation require no major geographic shift, it likely reveals the tip of the iceberg of the problem you’ve fingered.

    Imposed repression morphs to self-imposed

    In other words, the migrants will never admit in 1000 years the truth below:

    The problem is us

    • steveaz on May 16, 2022 at 8:31 AM

    There is a darker side to this:  a lot of these ‘blue-stater’ migrants to Arizona, the Carolinas and Tennessee expect to ‘play the rubes’ in Hicksville.  And play us they do.

    • Jimmy on May 16, 2022 at 9:19 AM

    I have lived in Colorado since 1979.  It used to be a wonderful state.  Completely ruined now by Californians.

  2. In my previous career as a teacher, I found that a majority of my colleagues were Dems – often HARD-CORE DEMS. A few were even ‘Left-er’ – mostly in the Social Studies groups.
    You would THINK that you could predict the political affiliations from the teaching specialties – and, sometimes you would be right.
    Business teachers – generally GOP
    Math – most often GOP
    Science – about 50-50. But, surprisingly, the teachers with a Master’s or better (particularly if they taught in an Elite school, or had received their degree from an Ivy), were often RABID Dems.
    I was confronted with that when I attended a workshop of some of the top Physics teachers in the country. The Dem convention was on, and most gathered in the evening to watch it.
    With approval, cheers, and self-congratulatory praise for Kerry’s perceived appeal for the ‘thinking man’. They were EXCITED. They fully expected to win against that ID10T Bush. I mean, wasn’t it OBVIOUS that Kerry’s qualifications were superior?
    I would have LOVED to see their faces the day after Election Day.
    I kept my mouth shut – both with other teachers, and with my husband (another RABID Dem). The most I would say was, “Interesting.”

    • Mark on May 17, 2022 at 7:26 AM

    Most of the liberal/progressives I know have always held those ideals — when I ask them how they came to their conclusions, most can’t answer (or they just regurgitate the standard talking points they were inculcated with).  They can’t fathom ever considering conservative ideals, objectively comparing them, and making a choice.  They never chose to be liberal, they just were.  They can’t deal with the logic I lay out on how I actually chose conservatism over liberalism.  They try to refute my arguments with platitudes, strawmen, and ad hominems.

    Eventually, I have to give up, remembering the quote (Jonathon Swift, I think), “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.”

    The states need to implement political “quarantine,” particularly on people from blue states moving into red states (much like some states tried to enact covid quarantines on people entering from other states).  For some period — at least enough to cover a couple of election cycles — newcomers can’t vote.  That’s the only way I can see to stop the spread of the progressive infection that is destroying states like Colorado.

    I know it’ll never happen, but it’s fun to imagine….

    • Jimmy on May 17, 2022 at 8:58 AM

    I subscribe to a forum that is geared towards neighbors talking to each other.  Although when you need a forum rather than walking around talking to people, it’s indicative of a lousy “neighborhood”.  As you would expect, it is run by lefties.  I enjoy tweeking them.

    When the talk turns semi-political, the thread gets removed and the conservatives get warned/banned.  I once suggested putting license plate cameras at Trader Joe’s and In and Out Burger for a week.  Then we would know who to deport back to California.

    They were not amused…

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