Democrats sought to downplay the ominous message that the 2010 election seemed to portend for their party. “I don’t think that shifting some seats from one area of the country to another necessarily marks a concern that you can’t make a politically potent argument in those new places,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Gibbs might be right. Perhaps Democrats can make “politically potent” arguments in the new, growing centers of population and power in America. But that’s somewhat beside the point. Unless those arguments are economically potent and can thus convince voters that putting down roots in the area will lead to personal fulfillment and prosperity, the political sales-pitch won’t count for much. The Democratic/progressive message resonates in the Detroit metro area, for example, but what sort of victory is that? Voters are fleeing the greater Detroit region in droves and while those who remain are the most reliable of the Democrat faithful, their importance diminishes with each passing day as the center of the nation’s population moves ever west and south.
The progressive paradigm declares that equal results, as determined by the benevolent guiding hand of big government, will ultimately prove the most attractive enticement to the electorate. The 2010 census suggests something else: that the average American is far less interested in equal results than he or she cares about equal opportunity – the opportunity to prosper in states that do not choose to interfere with individual decisions or to pick an individual’s pocket. Texas Governor Rick Perry nailed it, contrasting his state’s economy to that of California:
If people needed any reminder of why Texas is the greatest place in America to live, work and raise a family, this report certainly provides it,” he said in a written statement. “With all due respect to California, it’s hard to beat our state’s combination of low taxes, predictable regulations, fair legal system and world-class workforce. The fact that Texas has created more jobs this year than any other state is confirmation that our state is on the right track.
Will the Democratic Party and those states suffering under leftist leadership respond to Perry’s challenge? That seems unlikely, but leftist governance of economically irrelevant states grows less and less important each day. States like New York, California and Illinois can continue to pursue their leftist, utopian dreams, but those fantasies will mean little as their citizens continue to flock to places where the money actually is, rather than remain in states where lofty promises remain unfulfilled.
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