Sorry you moved to a red state?

These people are.

Shifting political sands are “jarring” liberal-minded young people and professionals who moved to blue enclaves in red states during the pandemic, either for a change of scenery or in pursuit of work opportunities, and now some are having second thoughts, NBC News says (read story here).

A woman who moved to North Carolina for a college teaching job 12 years ago, and now has 2 young daughters, is thinking about giving up tenure to relocate. She didn’t specify what her concerns are, but I’m thinking a state that won’t let a young, single college co-ed abort her rapist’s child probably will jail her if she shoots the rapist, too. Which, if I had daughters, I would feel leaves them vulnerable and defenseless. (This is just me speculating, but who wants to find out?)

The liberal environments of big cities and college campuses gave some a false sense of security. Unless voters like them control state-level politics, the red culture police can reach into those places, too. And in red states, blue enclaves are primary targets.

What could happen: Professors and teachers will be at risk for what they say in the classroom. LGBQT kids will be harassed, and their families could be subjected to police raids. “The laws here are f—ing crazy. They’re scary,” a queer woman who moved to Austin in November told NBC News. She “requested anonymity because she fears being harassed for her views,” and said, “I feel unsafe.” She describes Texas as “a place where human rights are in question.”

Right now, abortion is the centerpiece issue, and is problematical enough. Some red state legislators want to prosecute women who get abortions for murder, and even drag them back to face prosecution if they go to a blue state for one. Imagine your daughter fighting extradition from Washington to face prison in Alabama if she was date-raped while attending college there for a semester and got an abortion after returning home.

But it doesn’t end with abortions. America’s reactionaries have a long list of cultural taboos they want to impose, not just on their own communities, but the entire nation. These include a ban on talking about racism, a ban on being gay or transgendered (a biological condition people are born with), and they also have a lengthy revenge list; anyone who’s not just like them might be on it.

It would be a big mistake to vote against Democrats in this fall’s elections because you’re upset about inflation, or with Biden for dragging his feet on student loans, or the other reasons people give pollsters. These things matter, but should be postponed, because there are bigger priorities.

There are only two issues on this year’s midterm ballots: (1) Whether we continue to be a democracy, and (2) whether we’ll have rights, which is unlikely if we lose our democracy. The problem is Republicans have no tolerance for people different from them. They don’t believe in a pluralistic society, or in democracy, and that’s how red states are governed. So think twice before you move to a red state on the assumption you’ll be safe in a blue enclave. There’s no safe place on political battlefields.

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