I’ve long pondered writing a big piece for the magazine on how liberal areas of the country, chiefly California but also New York City and Boston, export more liberalism than they can consume domestically. Retired Californians in Washington State, Wyoming, and Oregon have moved politics to the left. Emigrants from Massachusetts have pushed Vermont and New Hampshire left.
If you have anecdotes, data, insights about all that, please send along. In the meantime, the actual topic I wanted to raise only tangentially has to do with any of that. Specifically: How come conservatives aren’t out-”breeding” liberals? Every now and then some conservative notes that pro-lifers tend not to abort their children while pro-choicers are more likely to. James Taranto has written about this “Roe effect” a bunch of times: “Pro-lifers can pass their values on to their children; those who abort their children can’t.”
So how come it sure seems like the liberal states are exporting liberal citizens to conservative states and not the other way around?
I can think of a bunch of possible partial answers. One might be that the conservatives are in fact doing exactly that, it’s just that when they move to liberal states they tend to be young and career- and/or family-oriented. Meanwhile, the aging liberals are retired and bored, so they get involved in politics. Another might be that social conservatives retire to socially conservative places and so they have no discernible impact on local politics. Meanwhile liberals have done such a good job making their communities too expensive that they have to move someplace cheaper when they retire.