Advice for blue-state refugees
Despite the demonstrable fact that dying from COVID is about as likely as you getting a birthday card from a one-armed Himalayan banjo player you've never met, pinhead state governors, city mayors, and local officials all the way down to dogcatchers still insist on maintaining the fiction that merely catching the beerbug is a death sentence and that squashing the things until none of them are left is some sort of life-or-death priority. These "officials," self-liberated from the burden of actually consulting with others in the give-and-take inherent in representative government, are on power trips that no doubt give them a buzz. (And this isn't confined to the USA; in a satellite feed from Australia, stamped on the wall at least ten times behind their own vacuous version of our equally vacuous governor of California, was an inspiring motto meant to get Aussies through these rough times: "Staying Apart Keeps Us Together" — definitely one for Orwell.)
Now, we cautiously endorse (with some minor reservations) the red state/blue state dichotomy: red states tend to be inhabited by folks who live frugally, understand and appreciate the virtues of limited government, worship God without threatening others with decapitation, and in general live and let live. Blue states, in contrast, either ignore (but only for a limited time) or actively work against red-state imperatives, either marginalizing them or eliminating them outright as often as they can. They even have a name for it: Progressivism. Blue-state authoritarians seem grimly determined to make your life better whether or not you want it, because in their philosophy, nothing is worth conserving. For them, exercising the power of the purse (i.e., taxation) is the most effective path to Progress. Consequently, along with some red-state mandarins (yes, unfortunately there are some of those, too), blue-state bureaucrats have never seen a tax proposal they didn't like, the stated goal of which is always to improve your existence — with their unstated goal being to line their pockets and buy votes while deep diving into the wallets of the aforementioned frugal people. Add the beerbug situation to all this — the useless face mask regulations, the socialist distancing edicts, crushing the middle class by locking them down — plus mostly peaceful George Kirby–inspired street rioting, and you've got a recipe for blue-state discontent on a national scale. (It's "Kirby," see? Trust every word of wisdom that drips from the botoxified lips of the speaker of the House.)
These are all generalizations, to be sure. You can probably point to notable exceptions here and there, since life has a lot of moving parts, but as far as we can see, the concept is basically applicable throughout American political life and culture.
If, because of the draconian pandemic restrictions and the mostly peaceful mobs in the streets where you live (we assume you are probably an urban dweller), you can't take it anymore and wish to emigrate, in essence becoming a refugee, we'll support you — with one caveat: don't bring your blue-state politics with you. It seems to be a political axiom that when blue-staters move to a red state, the latter turns purple for a while (think a few years) but ultimately goes totally blue. Why? It should be obvious: analogously to the situation with the beerbug, they bring their blue-state political and cultural attitudes with them like a virus that festers over time, untreated and unmitigated, until conserving the best of the old ways becomes improbable and ultimately impossible. The culmination of all that is, as just one example, statue-toppling, a likely outcome when people habitually think that way.
Individuals like us who were born and raised in a red state and forced by circumstance to move to a blue one can tell you how the difference is like night from day. Roy Cooper, the governor in our own blue polity of North Carolina, is the same one who, when offered lots of long green by the Elephant Party to hold their convention in the capital — a proverbial shot in the arm for local locked down businesses — chose instead to let the state's economy (for "economy," read middle-class working people) continue to suffer as a virtue signal to his own Jackass Party. (In the increasingly unlikely event that Quid Pro Joe gets elected, expect to see this twit get rewarded with a position in the new administration.) But this empty suit didn't stop there; part of the COVID lockdown syndrome is communist-style public shaming of those who don't toe the party line, and he's no exception: "For those who continue to defy basic decency and common sense because they refuse to wear a mask — either wear one or don’t go in the store. The refusal to wear a mask is selfish. It infringes on the life and liberty of everyone else in the store." From this utterance we must conclude that the Almighty just died and our governor has taken His place. And as if to confirm that progressives have never really had a tight grip on logic or reality, he added without a trace of irony, "Not only is wearing a mask the decent, neighborly thing to do, it’s the best way to boost our economy."
The bottom line: If you are a refugee from the policies of those blue-state politicians that you elected and continued to support for years, and think that you can just mosey over to a red state, all the while planning to keep your ingrained big government social and political attitudes intact, think again. You're bringing with you something far more dangerous than any biological virus, something that impacts your fellow citizens in ways that can potentially harm them for years to come, possibly forever: your convictions.
Seriously, if you can't muster up at least a tolerance for red state values, but especially their abiding love of liberty, then you might as well unpack the U-Haul, shelter in place in your safe space, and hope that the petty tyrants you put in positions of power don't make it any worse for you and yours. But, as we've already seen, they can... and they will.
Image credit: Adam Jones via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.