Want to Make Change? Move to a Red State.

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This is part of our Blue Woman in a Red State column

I’m seeing so much sadness, anger and outrage in light of the highest court in the land overturning Roe v Wade. People are once again, threatening to move to Bluer States, or even out of the United States. Before we do this, let’s try and fix the problem. If you are able to move – move to a Red State. I know it sounds crazy, but let’s turn this tide. Protesting is great way to get your feelings out but we fix this by putting our money where mouths are. Solidly Blue States do not need you! Plus, Canada, the UK, and Europe have their problems with ascendent conservative ideologies.

Move to a Red State! Small towns outside of bigger cities. We need you. I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee and I mostly love it. Besides bringing your less bigoted, educated selves over here, you could learn something too. People from the South are, for the most part, humble and kind. We need your progressive values and votes!

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely things that will shock you. For example, in my town there are no recycling services; we have to bring cans and bottles and cardboard to recycling centers. But, the flip side is you’ll learn how to relax, slow down, and really enjoy the small things in life…when you’re not driving to said recycling centers.

Really though here are just some of the many reasons to move to a Red State, or at least my Red State:

  1. Our mortgage is under $1500.00 a month for a fairly large, four bedroom house. Renting is about half the cost of San Diego and LA, probably an 1/8th of San Francisco.
  2. Because of this large influx of people moving to Tennessee, there are a TON of good coffee places.
  3. It’s not as crowded and traffic (other than I-75 towards Atlanta) isn’t bad.
  4. People are super nice here. No joke, people are still neighborly, so if you DO decide to move here be respectful and nice.
  5. Gas has consistently stayed 2 dollars under California’s prices.
  6. When we moved we found a lot of closeted liberals too scared to come out, and now they are slowly coming out of the woodwork. There are more of us.
  7. Move your craft business, and sustainable products here. We need them and it’s more affordable to do it.
  8. Schools are pretty good and there is hope to change some of the antiquated teachings (we live in a town of 40k people and they are super open to change).
  9. Libraries are still a thing. There are coffee shops in ours.
  10. We have good bourbon.
  11. You can probably can get chickens. I mean I don’t have any, but this could be a game-changer for some.
  12. There is high speed internet, so you can still read
  13. It will make Trumpers learn something, whether they want to or not. Like the other day, a woman in a “Mothers for Trump” shirt, asked the lady at the bakery what “vegan” was (who didn’t know) and I explained it to her, and she was very grateful for the help. We joked about how much I hate Trump and she said, “Oh man, if liberals were as nice as you I wouldn’t be so mad about it.”

I am not going to try and sell it as perfect – because with all those other plusses, once in a while you will find the crazy rednecks you read about because, that is why these States are Red in the first place. More often than that though, you find good, earnest people who are just plain nice. There is so much hope and promise for open minds and I am going to spread as much sunshine as I can. It’s going to be hard work, but the burden is less when there are more of us. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s gonna happen.

The caveat, oh liberal people, is for you to be a guest for the first year. Please don’t be an asshole and expect everything to change the minute you arrive. Don’t be part of the problem by being the “typical liberal.” Ya’ll have been in an echo chamber for too long. Moving here gives you the opportunity to hear what the people on other side think and care about, instead of just hearing about a distorted version of it on the news.

Once you get a feel for the place, and establish residency, then it’s time to get involved. Yes, voting and protesting are important, but also you need to to more action if you want to make change. Join local Democratic clubs, show up to meetings at city hall, run for school board, run for any office really.

We change hearts and minds through hard work and patience. This isn’t a fast process. The rape of our freedoms has already happened, and will continue to happen if we don’t fix this shit on a local level.

Some things I have been working on here in Chattanooga: I joined the Democratic chapter in my region. I’ve befriended my neighbors, with baked goods – even Trumpers – by letting them know we will keep an eye out for their house when they are out of town and by asking their opinion of things and slowly, inserting mine. When they find out my political leanings, if they ever do, they are surprised. We all think the worst of each other until we learn what kind of neighbors we are.

We found life-long friends with our kids’ friends, who also have gay and trans kids in their families. The kids have found their support groups and now we have as well. We can’t do it alone! There is strength in numbers.

So come on out to Tennessee and and let’s turn this Red State Blue. Not only will you be making your money go farther, you’ll be taking back our country while doing so.

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M Keith

M Keith

Hooman, Asian-American, Nerd, Mother and lover of all things macabre. I am a Californian first, a Philadelphian once and now a Southerner.

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