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turf wars
Keep an Eye on the Blue City-Red State Showdown

The jurisdictional turf war that has gotten the most press since the Presidential election is the one between the unified Republican government in Washington and the blue states along the coasts. But red states, mostly in the South, are engaged in a struggle for authority of their own as they try to put the brakes on progressive legislation in their own rebellious blue cities. The Tennessean reports on a representative example:

Nashville and Memphis received great fanfare last fall from criminal justice advocates for passing local ordinances that gave police the power to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

But now it’s over after just seven months.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday signed into law Republican-backed legislation to repeal separate Nashville and Memphis laws that had allowed partial marijuana decriminalization in those communities, officially putting an end to the short-lived policies.

The state vs. local showdown is even more intense in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott recently said, “for us to be able to continue our legacy of economic freedom, it was necessary that we begin to speak up and to propose laws to limit the ability of cities to California-ize the great state of Texas,” according to Governing magazine.

As geographic polarization becomes more pronounced, with Democrats dominating metropolitan centers and the GOP becoming increasingly uncontested in the countryside, conflicts between red states and progressive cities within their borders are likely to become more frequent.

But while states like California that challenge the U.S. government in the age of Trump actually have a chance of winning some victories under America’s federalist architecture, localities are not sovereign and don’t have the same kind of legal or political recourse. That means that in the long run, big cities in red states, no matter how liberal their populations, will be prevented from moving as far to the Left as their counterparts in places like New York and Illinois.

If residents don’t like it, they always have the option of voting with their feet…

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  • ——————————

    Someday we will pour from our acreages like the Mongol Hordes, and all this will be settled.

    And all the hippies, freaks, and sideways-gun-holdin’ ghetto thugs won’t be able to do a thing about it….

    • Beauceron

      I wish.
      Frankly, those people seem apathetic, beaten down and fearful.
      I don’t expect any sort of uprising. There should be. There would be if we were a shadow of what our forefathers were. But, alas, we are not.

      • ——————————

        There will be, but likely not in our lifetimes.
        Yes, we are a “shadow”, but eventually the Left will push it too far.
        These things have happened all through human history, no reason to think that that will ever change.

        Technology changes, but human nature never does….

    • FriendlyGoat

      People who actually live on acreages have no (no) desire to go play Mongol Horde War in a metro. That’s why we’re out here.

      • ——————————

        Well, you obviously know different “people” than I do.
        All of us “out here” “who actually live on acreages”, are not pacifists…nor scared old retired men….

        • FriendlyGoat

          I’m not trying to offend you either, nor am I implying that people on acreages are scared, old, retired or pacifists. There are rural people doing real farming and they want to keep doing it more than they want to load up their guns and head to South Side Chicago for a show-down. Then there are people like me. I married a girl who likes “out”—–WITH animals, and WITHOUT too many other people too close. So, not only in retirement now, but in early parts of life, we have lived on three different small acreages as well as also in a couple of metros. We were “out” precisely to skip the conflicts or possibilities of conflicts that are more prevalent “in”. I think a lot of people are.

          • ——————————

            Yes that is true.
            But you do know that there are many who have a mind that is completely different, in rural areas…along the lines of what I have been saying, and they are itching for a fight. Many of Trump supporters are from rural areas. Many rural people are very conservative, and like to polish their guns often…and, along with their children, know how to use them (they don’t hold them sideways, BTW). They also don’t like the direction this country has been moving in for the last 50 years.
            The Left just keeps pushing and pushing, and they won’t stop. Just look at all the nonsense in the streets for the last 6 months. Eventually, I doubt in my lifetime or yours, things will reach a flash point, and **it will hit the fan.
            There are many on my side who can survive just fine when the lights go out, but on the Left…I doubt it.

            There’s no other way to live than “out”!

          • FriendlyGoat

            People may say they are “itching” for a fight. I seriously do not know anyone who really wants to go to gun war with fellow citizens. Maybe there are some out in the woods in camo somewhere. I don’t personally know a single one of them and I’m grateful that I don’t. (Yes, I know some conservatives. Yes, they have guns. No, they ain’t going to Chicago to shoot anybody.)

          • Anthony

            FG, additional context (apropos to your point) to frame city and countryside contretemps (It’s not elites vs. populists. It’s cities vs. the countryside) as viewed (among some) by the increasing rancorous clash we sometimes encounter in cyber space: – “since the time of Aristotle, political philosopher have noted that those who live in cities have a different sensibility than those who live in the countryside.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            There is no reason for rural religion to be different from urban religion—–but it is.

          • Anthony

            Regrettably. On a related note, your earlier comment on another Thread stirred a reflection: I’ve become either more critical or TAI has become less informative as vehicle aggregating incisive and veritable commentary – though, I may just be momentarily pensive.

          • Tom

            “I seriously do not know anyone who really wants to go to gun war with fellow citizens.”

            They’re called the Black Bloc (because of their masks), and they’re on your side of the political spectrum

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “If residents don’t like it, they always have the option of voting with their feet…”

    People are leaving the leftist run Blue Cities and States at an accelerated rate, if legal and illegal immigration are significantly curtailed, the Diaspora will be irrefutable. Think Detroit nationwide.

    • Beauceron

      There was an article in the NY Post a few weeks ago titled “People are fleeing New York at an alarming rate.”

      I know California has seen a lot of people leave. But both those jurisdictions have increasing populations anyway, because they’re magnets for New Americans. So even though lots of people leave NYC, more still flood in and the population increases.

  • Beauceron

    “As geographic polarization becomes more pronounced, with Democrats dominating metropolitan centers and the GOP becoming increasingly uncontested in the countryside, conflicts between red states and progressive cities within their borders are likely to become more frequent.”

    I think you’re wrong about that. I think that many cities, almost all very far to the Left and minority white, will start taking over the suburbs. That is already happening. Then they’ll start taking over more rural areas as well. In a few decades, I suppose places like Nebraska and the Dakotas and Idaho will still be red, but places like Texas and much of the South will turn blue. Obama’s HUD rules were crafted to do just that– force neighborhoods in white, suburban areas to be less white and more Democratic. Our population is shifting dramatically. The new population favors the Democrats markedly. It’s why Dems want open borders and mass immigration. It guarantees they’ll win.

    Not sure where those HUD rules stand now, but Republicans, despite the shocking win of Trump, just can’t hold on to the White House, so in four years or 8 years, those programs will be put back in place.

    • Makaden

      You may have essentialized the populations involved. Actually living in the suburbs, away from urban centers, may have more effect on the MOVERS and their political outlooks rather than the other way around. There are existing social structures and cultures in the suburbs that folks, especially when they are looking to provide for their children with their move, can become susceptible to.

      • Beauceron

        I speak as someone whose hometown was destroyed by the Clinton administration’s earlier, smaller effort at doing the exact same thing. HUD bought up housing in our town, moved blacks from the inner city into the town– and literally overnight we had actual Crips and Bloods in the community. The county police just didn’t have the sophistication to deal with that level of crime. Violent crime more than quadrupled. My parents– to this day obedient Democrats– moved us after a lady up the street was pistol whipped in her driveway, dragged into her house and then robbed after she was coming back from the grocery store. I think, since then, about 70% of the previous population has moved. It’s pretty much an all black town these days.

        Now the schools are a wreck, and my old town has not one but several neighborhoods you really should not even drive through– the police have been really beefed up though, if you’re looking for a silver lining.

        So, please, do spare me the talk of “essentialized populations” and bilious notions of how a change to the ‘burbs will make violent urban youths relatively harmless skater punks. I have heard it before, and I know it’s a lie.

        • Makaden

          From following your comments, I know you are feeling a bit despondent lately, but no need to take it out on me. It’s still a worthwhile discussion, and you changed the terms of the discussion from your first post to the second, and even within posts:

          “almost all very far to the Left and minority white, will start taking over the suburbs…” to “HUD blacks,” to “violent urban youths.”

          I’m not addressing those populations only, but the fact that, for a variety of reasons, deurbanization is occurring. And the effects on those leaving the cities, in their multitude of reasons, may not simply mean that rural and suburban areas turn blue. It’s not an irrational argument.

      • Gregale

        Wishful thinking. It wasn’t that long ago that places like NJ and CT were legitimate swing states, but a generation of liberal/left policy enforcement has converted politically diverse suburbs into reliably liberal precincts rife with urban politics.

        • Makaden

          I have lived in North Jersey. The growth of educational institutions, the development of highly efficient mass transit options, and urbanization itself contributed to that change, I would think.

  • Makaden

    Stupid. Should have picked something more substantive than marijuana.

  • Rodney

    While this didn’t make much of the popular discussion, North Carolina’s HB2 was largely driven by this issue. Charlotte’s bathroom bill was so broad that it required any company doing business with Charlotte to comply with Charlotte’s bathroom bill at all its work sites, whether they were in Charlotte, another city in North Carolina, another state or even another country. A city can claim jurisdiction for its ordinances within its borders, not outside them, and the state legislature had to remind Charlotte not to get too big for its britches.

  • Boritz

    “If residents don’t like it, they always have the option of voting with their feet…”

    Ha. The residents who don’t like it are the ones who want to impose a one-size-fits-all solution everywhere.

  • Cato_the_Elder

    Indiana has been doing this for some time. Most recent bill to pass is a “Ban ban the box”. The City of Indianapolis passed an ordinance last year forbidding businesses doing business with the city from asking applicants if they have a criminal conviction and forestalling the question until deep in the selection process. The new law will void this one and create a standard common across the state that such standards may be no more strict than the federal government compels. I am sympathetic to home rule proponents but the state cannot be a hodgepodge of differing labor laws without significant and negative economic impact. This is how the rest of the state keeps the progressives running the college towns on the leash of liberty.

  • It’s Hamsterdam.

  • sestamibi
  • mikesixes

    The “vote with your feet” option is dwindling, I think. I believe this is largely because people leave ruined jurisdictions like California, but don’t recognize the reasons behind the ruin. I saw this happen in Idaho and in Oregon, with Californians moving in and immediately clamoring for California-style school spending and environmental regulation. Once you get a critical mass of urban morons, you find the “blue model” being adopted and pretty soon the rot sets in.

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