Greetings From a Small Town in Florida

February 20th, 2023 9:22 AM

WASHINGTON -- There is a phenomenon that has been creeping across America for at least the past 30 years that I have yet to comment on. Social scientists, however, have been writing on it for a long time. It is the phenomenon of people on the right moving into neighborhoods that are already heavily conservative. On the other hand, people on the left end of the political spectrum tend to stay in areas that are traditionally left-wing. This phenomenon has led to the increasing polarization of American politics.

Accordingly, people with the views of, say, Sean Hannity when they move move to places like Dallas, Texas, or Raleigh, North Carolina, or Indianapolis, Indiana. On the other hand, people on the left stay in places like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, -- all traditionally left-wing enclaves. People living in these older left-wing haunts do not move around a lot. One cannot imagine a New Yorker being enthusiastic about loading up the family Prius and heading off to, say, Indiana. People who live in these left-wing enclaves stay in them despite the high crime and murder rates that make a mockery of their stringent gun control laws. Even during the holidays, the gunfire does not stop.

This trend is going to persist and probably get worse. I would not be surprised if the left-wing cities begin changing their names to accord with their politics. I can well imagine New York City changing its name to New Moscow. Or Chicago becoming New Beijing, or possibly Los Angeles becoming Marxville or Leninville. Hollywood’s stress on personalities cannot be ignored, and Marx and Lenin have long captured the imagination of many Los Angelenos. Remember how they lionized Fidel Castro, especially when he swore off tobacco.

I thought of the increasing polarization of America this past weekend while I visited South Florida. I have always relished the big cities of America, but I cannot banish the thought that all of America’s really big cities have been taken over by the left. Where am I to live if things get any more threatening in the Washington area.? Washington is fine for now, but someday I might really have to move. The propaganda painted on the sidewalks is a premonition. Moreover, the homeless have become a genuine menace. Every park in this once-beautiful city has become a tent city, and every streetcorner has become a latrine. Where are the police? Things are getting worse.

Yet, over the weekend in South Florida, I was introduced to a very agreeable small town where I could live very comfortably. Not only that, but the conservative migration has already begun there, and in the last election, the governor of Florida -- not surprisingly a Republican -- rolled over his opposition. He did so well that I believe he has a bright future. The small town that I have been speaking of is Palm Beach. The governor is Ron DeSantis. And I am keeping my options open.

Of course, the fellow who started the conservative migration was the inimitable Rush Limbaugh, and he referred to his locale in Palm Beach as his “Southern Command.” Limbaugh lamentably vacated South Florida for a better place back on Feb. 17, 2021, but by the time he did, he had started a migration. Among the migrants was Ann Coulter, the writer, Laura Ingraham, the writer and television personality, and Chris Ruddy. Ruddy began as a writer for the New York Post, but he has since branched out and become an entrepreneur. Some years ago, he founded Newsmax as a network contending with Fox News to be the nation’s number one conservative network. He is still struggling, but if Fox stumbles, Ruddy is yapping at Fox’s heels. Chris has brought others to Palm Beach, and, of course, Sean Hannity is also in Florida on a regular basis. Nor can one overlook Donald Trump, who also has brought a lot of conservative attention to Palm Beach.

Then there is Elizabeth Ailes. She is the widow of Roger Ailes, the brains behind much that went on at Fox News. It appears to me that she has the talent and charm to be the Madame de Stael of the conservative migration to South Florida. I spent some time with Elizabeth Ailes recently, and as I listened to her, I got the idea that a salon overseen by her in the little town of Palm Beach is just what America needs in the dying days of Bidenism.

Glory to Ukraine!

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.