Not Every Californian Moving to Idaho is a Jackass
Gee, maybe all Californians aren’t pot-smoking, tree-hugging jerks! I have a lot of friends in Idaho who are transplants from the Golden State. Trust me, they may not know anything about football, but most are very nice people. That’s because we’re talking about conservatives looking to escape the madhouse and feces-filled streets of the Left Coast. Research from Boise State University reached this conclusion a few years ago. Now the Idaho Secretary of State is backing it up by political party registration.
Phil McGrane’s office even shares some graphics, and it shows party registration is an even split in Blaine County. Republicans tell me that the county’s Democrats simply do a better job of turning out voters on Election Day.
One trend that should accelerate with the arrival of the newcomers is a change in the complexion of the GOP. Old-school Republicans identify the shift as more libertarian than conservative. While I would admit the new people have a much stronger affinity for defending individual liberty, I don’t see them as doctrinaire. A better description would be nationalists, and I don’t believe that’s a bad word. This is a continuation of the Tea Party movement and the rise of Donald Trump.
At the national level, Republicans broke the party in the lead-up to the Great Recession. What we’re now witnessing is the continuing growth of voters who have little trust in institutions and old promises. People who believe they’ve been hoodwinked realize they can rely ultimately only on themselves. Hence, growth in pangs for individual liberty.