South Dakota has recently witnessed a pattern of conservatives relocating to the state because of its healthy, family-friendly environment. But studies show this trend may, ironically, lead to the state becoming more liberal over time.
“South Dakota was 5th in the country for percentage of inbound migration, according to United Van Lines,” Governor Kristi Noem wrote on Twitter.
Political migration trends show that oftentimes, these mass migrations happen in two waves. The first wave moves to the area because they share similar values with the conservative residents and are fleeing from blue states, where they feel attacked and threatened due to their beliefs. The second wave of residents are those who move to the area because they’re attracted to the culture and community, but they instead bring their liberal ideologies with them, disrupting the healthy ecosystem cultivated by conservative values.
This trend of families moving to states that align with their political views is a somewhat new phenomenon as America grows increasingly polarized and intolerant of differing opinions. “America is growing more geographically polarized — red ZIP codes are getting redder and blue ZIP codes are becoming bluer. People appear to be sorting,” an NPR study reads. However, as states led by Democrats become more crime-ridden, unkempt, and unappealing to live in, and conservative states shine like a beacon on a hill, liberals will come running to Republican-led states for refuge.
A friend from the East Coast shared with FHA that they moved to South Dakota after tiring of the constant battle they faced in Democrat-led states, looking for a family-friendly environment to raise their children in. “In the progressive ‘blue state’ that we escaped from, it’s no exaggeration to say that the government was at war with our values and our way of life,” he said. “There was this palpable sense of being threatened: either comply with progressive ideology, or be prepared to face punishment (emphasis added).”
Liberal states are alienating the very people who are able to cultivate a healthy community, and it will only serve to hurt them in the long run. “Here in South Dakota, there are enough people willing to defend family, faith, and freedom that it makes a tangible difference in the culture. You can feel it everywhere,” he said. “Most South Dakotans are still independent thinkers — they haven’t been browbeaten into swallowing all the tenets of progressive ideology. God willing, we can keep South Dakota from repeating the mistakes that have ruined so many other states.”
Another friend who moved to SD from Pennsylvania witnessed in real-time the liberal takeover of their state – from traditional and conservative to woke and dangerous. They fled to South Dakota. “It’s sad to see the place where you grew up and where your families have lived and worked for generations take a turn for the worse. We felt like we were living under the rule of liberal tyrants who didn’t care much for our way of life and the freedom we wanted to raise our children as we saw fit. We were glad to find a new home in South Dakota. It’s pleasant to be in a place that hasn’t been overtaken by woke ideology yet and where we can raise our kids to appreciate God’s creation and a traditional American way of living.”
Although his family feels at peace in South Dakota for now, he has a sober warning for fellow residents: “I’d warn my fellow South Dakotans that any place can change fast. Penns Woods was founded based on religious freedom. It was a place for all the persecuted outcasts to flee to practice their faith as they saw fit. And somehow we lost that. If PA can be overtaken by secular liberalism, it can happen anywhere.”
Conservatives create healthy, family-friendly communities, then liberals flock to those communities and wreak havoc because they think they can have it both ways – their woke society and safe, robust communities. But the fact of the matter is, it’s impossible to have both. Healthy communities are built by shared ideologies that support traditional families, traditional marriage, a strong sense of morality and a basis in Christian principles – the polar opposite of everything liberalism represents.
As South Dakota experiences this first influx of conservative, like-minded residents, we need to connect with them, get them involved in the community, and recruit their help in keeping the state free so that SD won’t flip to a “purple” or “blue” state when the second wave begins.