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Lord, help us navigate these issues with your grace. Give our nation's leaders wisdom in making these decisions.
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As 2020 wound to a close, pundits noted the growing toll of leftist policies on residents of blue states, prompting migration from California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois to Republican-run states such as Texas and Florida, which offer lower taxes and a better business climate. In addition to losing Oracle, Charles Schwab, Hewlett Packard, and Elon Musk, for the first time in its history California is expected to lose a congressional seat in the upcoming decennial census allocation, due to stagnating population.  . . .

We have come to expect blue states to be “woke,” displaying fealty to the latest academic fads, such as critical race theory and other forms of identity politics. Rural America, the “flyover country” populated by Donald Trump-voting deplorables, is supposed to be immune from this trend.

As a resident of a small town in east Tennessee, I regret to report that wokeness is everywhere, even in the brightest-red areas of Republican-majority states. My town is home to a small, 200-year-old, Presbyterian-affiliated liberal arts college that appears to be an island of sanity in higher education. But it’s not, and neither is the rest of the town.

When we relocated here from Austin, my wife and I imagined the school was comparable to Hillsdale College, except nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. My wife and I quickly learned the reality is otherwise when a supposedly faith-based lecture we attended on campus was devoted to the teachings of Karl Marx rather than Jesus Christ. The lecturer, who teaches “religious studies” at Skidmore College, is the daughter of the host school’s equally-leftist campus minister.

We were also chagrined to learn that the local public library—in a county that voted for President Trump in 2020 by a margin of  71-27 percent—maintains a curated “antiracism” reading list that includes controversial fare such as Ibram Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist,” Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me.”  . . .

Even though the area is overwhelmingly Republican, the local paper (owned by a national chain headquartered out of state) is unfailingly and obnoxiously left. The editor admits that one of his “life’s greatest disappointments” was being interviewed by The Washington Post and getting turned down for the job. . . .

Complacency is a problem for east Tennesseans. They are so used to Republicans winning elections that they falsely assume victory is automatic. It is not.

The first step in electing sound candidates to local office is to make sure that someone representing your values is running. “Nonpartisan” offices such as the local school board are hugely important, but often conservative parents and taxpayers lose by default. . . .

Cowardly administrators wishing to avoid responsibility for making unpopular decisions often resort to commissions, committees, and task forces. Ironically, the diversity task force, supposedly formed to collect community input, has been meeting behind closed doors, claiming to be exempt from the state’s open meetings law.

“It’s not our intent for the work of the diversity task force to be aired in the public,” the director told a reporter. “It wouldn’t be fair to them to have those conversations in public.” . . .

Most residents of small towns are trusting, good-natured people who naively believe that civic leaders will “do the right thing.” East Tennesseans are nice, and they assume that their niceness will be reciprocated. Sadly, all too often local elected officials betray this trust, in order to dole out political favors or do the bidding of business cronies. . . .

In short, weak leadership, public inattention, lack of organization, and general complacency make small towns vulnerable to aggression by liberal activists. Wokeness can be resisted successfully when the majority of voters actively oppose it. But in the absence of political resistance, the left’s agenda will take over, as inexorably as the rising tide.

Unless rural voters in states like Tennessee wake up, they may find that their communities have become knock-offs of Portland, Minneapolis, Austin, or Nashville. Like it or not, small towns are embroiled in the national culture war. They must fight back or they will lose.

(Excerpt from The Federalist. Article by Mark Pulliam. Photo Credit: Unsplash.)

Share your thoughts on how leftists are colonizing these towns. . .

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January 16, 2021

Wow is our brother right I live in small mountain town in Western North Carolina. We are seeing people moving in getting positions in local arena’s and politics. Here in bible belt where most grew up have generations of family roots here. Some relocating from parents moving and raising them in other states and big cities metropolitan areas only to come back build 2 and homes here love the beauty of rural life but want to implement their liberal ideas. Local town councils are experiencing this at local levels. Educators moving in and changing the landscape of how they perseverance things ignoring and disrespecting the local residents positions and influence. Unbelievable. They come to glean the beauty and safety of rural life but want to change it to be like what they are accustomed to. So unfair to those Americans who worked hard and prioritized the less material and financial world for a more wholesome life style church home school. It’s infiltrating at the lowest levels and destroying communities.
In it I see people being as gracious as possible to these intruders. Instead of superseding they should be respecting the rural life and culture. May some find salvation in the Christian community of rural life. Sorry but it grieves me.

January 15, 2021

Great article and much wisdom in it. It’s also a wake up call to rural America to get involved with your local government functions. Remember that YOU are the taxpayer and you must stand firm on the fact that your tax dollars pay salaries. If you want good government decisions and people, then BE INVOLVED in everyway possible.

    January 16, 2021

    Only one real reply I believe is significance showing of how it is we are where we are


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