The Libertarian Californication of Miami
The libertarians over at Reason recently ran a piece reflecting favorably on the plans of Miami's mayor, Francis Suarez, to turn the Magic City into an "un-woke, pro-bitcoin, tech billionaire's paradise." Mayor Suarez is a nominal Republican who voted for Andrew Gillum in the latest gubernatorial race in Florida and has been consistently at odds with the Trumpian governor of that state, Ron DeSantis. Suarez has ridden his family name and connections (his father was the first Cuban-born mayor of Miami) into a political career that has reached its (current) zenith with his landslide election as Miami's mayor in 2017. Seizing on an opportunity to gain the favor of Silicon Valley potentates fleeing oppressive tax regimes in blue states, Mayor Suarez has offered them the keys to Miami.
There is a saying among the bolder sectors of the right that those who "import the third world become the third world." This is an abrasive way of putting things, but it reflects the fundamental truth that unwanted socio-political changes necessarily follow from the demographic changes that occur in civilized countries as a result of immigration from barbarous alien nations. Among civilized societies engaged in debilitating identity crises (as most Western societies are at the moment), such socio-political changes tend to become permanent as the incoming immigrant populations eschew all feeble invitations to "assimilate" (into what?) or even decide to take the cues from certain elites within their new host societies to emphasize their alien cultural identities for the sake of "diversity."
The gentrified flip-side to this ghettoization by gruffy "third-world" immigrants is the socio-political changes brought about by the transplantation of dissolute monied liberals from their progressive enclaves into more conservative areas of the country. To put it simply, those who "import Silicon Valley become Silicon Valley." These Silicon Valleyists bring with them all the social eccentricities and political voting patterns of the (white) bourgeois liberal. These peculiarities rule the full gamut from a benign addiction to overpriced "coffee" to a treasonous view of American history and society (i.e., A People's History of the United States with the most racially incendiary parts of the 1619 Project serving as prologue). The economic dislocation that will follow from the exploding rent prices and new "trendy" establishments catering to these liberal transplants will eliminate respectable housing and employment from the reach of the upper crust of the working class, in the process dispiriting and permanently exiling the most conservative-minded sections of the urban population to the more unsavory parts of Miami.
Whatever hesitancy anyone might have at this proposed Californication of Miami, the libertarians at Reason seek to dispel it by assuring us that the "hard working un-woke Latino immigrants" of Miami will wisely counterbalance any excess on the part of the new incoming waves of bourgeois liberals.
One wonders how long those on the right will continue to hold on to this ahistorical and fantastical view that the immigrant populations of Latin America are "naturally Republican." It seems that the curious case of the Cuban exile community seems to be the historical happenstance from which conservatives have constructed this tired trope. The fealty of the Cuban community (waning more every generation) to the Republican Party is and has always been primarily an animalistic revulsion to leftism resulting from the political shell shock suffered from decades of Bolshevik (mis)rule in their homeland.
This is very different from the "natural Republicanism" foisted upon them as the stereotypical explanation for their voting patterns. In fact, many Cuban exiles yearn in their hearts of hearts to return to their patria (homeland) and have more or less been continuously forced by the historical circumstances of the last few decades into being American. A reversal of the Bolshevik revolution in Cuba during the 1960s or 1970s would have seen the reverse immigration or "self-deportation" of most of the Cuban exile community residing at that time in Miami.
Conservatives have mistaken admiration of America by foreign populations for the desire to be an American. This is an understandable mistake, but it's also the foundation of much of the self-delusion surrounding support for foreign immigration by conservatives. As many a cornered husband has attempted to explain to an enraged wife, admiration from afar does not automatically translate into a desire for close intimacy. In our own domestic histories, many noted Anglophiles and Francophiles never considered for a moment exchanging their American passports for British or French ones. The immigrant populations of Miami, being but superficially "American" and even more superficially "Republican," will accommodate themselves to their new liberal bourgeois betters, and Mayor Suarez, who harbors dreams of a governorship bought with the transplanted cash of Silicon Valley, will help them do it.
Ernesto J. Antunez is a conservative writer residing in Miami. He can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @ejantunez.
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