Blue-State Refugees

The day before Maine’s November 6 gubernatorial election, Governor Paul LePage announced that if Democratic nominee Janet Mills won, he planned to move to Florida.  In fact, he was moving regardless who won.    

The Sunshine State is regularly the top destination for migrants fleeing Maine’s frigid winters and high taxes.  It has one of the nation’s worst overall tax burdens while Florida boasts one of the best.

Florida is fortunate to be gaining a resident with LePage’s conservative values.  Too many liberals move to low-tax states like Florida to escape the crime, taxes, corruption, and dysfunction of their home states only to bring the values of the ancien régime with them. 

The upshot is that destination states incrementally turn purple, then blue.  In time, the expats new homes mirror the old-guard liberal enclaves like New York, Maine, and New Jersey they fled.   

Witness recent trends in Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

While researching this article, I disinterred a July 2013 letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer which illustrates my point.    

A pregnant 31-year-old woman described her frightening encounter with 10 bike riding teenage thugs while walking home on her quiet residential Philadelphia Center City street.

Suddenly, with no warning, she was on the ground pinned under a bike, eye-to-eye with “a little boy looking as terrified as me trying to steal my belongings, fists raised.”

Bloodied but undaunted, to her the mugging was an occasion to reaffirm her liberal bonafides.  Brimming with compassion, the lingua franca of liberalism, she straightaway exonerated the pre-pubescent felon, proclaiming that she and her husband are “proud “to raise their family in the diverse culture of the city.

Furthermore, the brave couple are staunch opponents of racial profiling.  The “tragic” Trayvon Martin incident had reinforced their beliefs.

Admittedly, her encounter with the flash mob on bikes has caused her (oh so delicately and (reluctantly) to question some of these beliefs.  Nonetheless, she remains a caring and compassionate human being.

She is not angry at the perp, nor scared.  She’s “just sad—sad that (she is) about to raise a baby among people who would hurt a pregnant woman….  sad that I don’t know how to teach my child that stereotypes aren’t real when something like this happens.”

The problem with stereotypes is that they are grounded in reality.

Above all, she’s “most sad for the boy who knocked me over (and his friends who just stood there).  With so much anger, so much hate, and a propensity to commit violence on me (and my giant belly) in what direction is his life leading?” 


 Coincidently, an Inquirer article later that week afforded a glimpse of where her “boy” assailant’s life may be leading.  

Nineteen-year-old Justine Mackie, arrested after a gunfight with police and the FBI, confessed to killing three people in an early July 10-day spree of violence.

Both Mackie and his brother (who was killed in the gunfight) have long juvenile records and walked away from juvenile facilities mere days before the killing spree.

Mr. Mackie told police that if he had been the one with the gun instead of his brother, he would have shot “until the magazine was empty.”

I suspect Mr. Mackie’s journey began with purse snatchings, juvenile court, and a series of juvenile facilities where therapists plumbed the root causes of Mr. Mackie’s “propensity to commit violence.” According to most juvenile justice “experts,” Mr. Mackie wasn’t evil; he was “troubled.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell once wrote that as far back as the 18th century, the left has struggled to avoid facing the plain fact of evil….” The left uses “Every kind of excuse, from poverty to an unhappy childhood, to explain and excuse evil.  Yet seldom is there a speck of evidence that thugs are troubled, and often there is ample evidence that they are in fact enjoying themselves, as they create trouble and dangers for others.”

Mr. Mackie is a testament to the efficacy of this junk science.

Clearly, our compassionate victim is of like mind.

One day, however, after one or two more such incidents, without a word being spoken, she and her husband will decide to relocate to a leafy suburb where reality is less likely to disturb their cherished beliefs about themselves and the world about them.

A close-in historically bed rock Republican Philadelphia suburb will thus acquire a bluer tint.  

And “troubled youths” like Justine Mackie will continue to ride their bikes on quiet Center City streets.

P{hoto credit: Ergo Sum

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