The Liberals Threatening to Pick Up and Leave (2022)

In 2016, American liberals threatened—half seriously—that they would move somewhere more progressive if Donald Trump won the presidential election. That spring, Spotify released a tongue-in-cheek playlist called “Moving up to Canada” with the description “Some of you might choose Canada this November … here’s the perfect soundtrack.” Now that the Supreme Court has issued the Dobbs decision overturning Roe, thus denying women the constitutional right to an abortion, the threat is back. It seems more serious and, at any rate, is much easier to carry out, because somewhere more progressive could be just across state lines, no expatriation required.

The Dobbs decision means that reproductive rights are left up to the states, resulting in drastic variation. In Maryland, most insurers are required to “cover abortion care services without a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement.” California has also removed out-of-pocket costs for abortion services. In Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, and South Dakota, by contrast, abortion is illegal even if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest; the only exception is if the life of the mother is at risk, a distinction that is easily legislated but deadly in practice.

David French: The pro-life movement’s work is just beginning

Since Dobbs, speculation about liberals abandoning anti-abortion states has multiplied on social media. The neuroscientist Bryan William Jones was one of many liberals who declared his intention to leave a red state (in his case, Utah) for one that respects reproductive rights. Such vows aren’t limited to Twitter, however. In a recent Leger/Atlantic poll of 1,001 American adults, 14 percent of respondents said that the end of Roe had them reconsidering where they lived, including 25 percent of people who voted for Joe Biden. Notably, 24 percent of respondents said that the political climate had factored into a previous decision to move.

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This would hardly be the first time that political upheaval led Americans to vote with their feet. Black Americans fled racist violence in the Jim Crow South during the Great Migration; intolerance led Mormons to Utah and LGBTQ Americans to havens such as San Francisco and New York City. Crossing national borders is a much larger hurdle, but in the decade after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, The Journal of Negro History notes, 15,000 to 20,000 Black Americans entered Canada. More than a century later, tens of thousands of draft dodgers also entered Canada to avoid conscription in the Vietnam War.

I’m skeptical that abortion will similarly scramble the American urban landscape, however.

The first reason to doubt that abortion restrictions will cause Americans to move in large numbers is that they haven’t done so already. Even before Dobbs, access to reproductive health care varied widely across states. Mississippi’s harsh legal landscape had permitted just one provider to continue operations. In Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, state legislatures had enacted TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers) laws, which created onerous requirements for abortion providers. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “The number of Texas women whose closest abortion clinic was more than 100 miles away tripled” from 2013 to 2014 because of TRAP laws.

This divergence between red and blue states did not spur mass migration to the latter. In fact, the fastest-growing cities in 2020 were all in the Republican-dominated states of Texas, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, and Idaho. According to Pew, from 2010 to 2020, the states that experienced above-average population growth were Utah, Idaho, Texas, North Dakota, Nevada, and Florida.

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Granted, Dobbs has made the difference between red and blue states starker, and the differences will likely become yet more extreme. Although for now many people can count on the ability to travel out of state to receive an abortion, for instance, this right is not absolutely safe. According to The Boston Globe, the National Right to Life Committee “has distributed model legislation that would criminalize as ‘trafficking’ the act of transporting a pregnant minor to obtain an abortion without a parent’s consent.” In fact, Senate Republicans have repeatedly introduced similar legislation over the years (in 2006, the measure passed the body with 14 Democrats joining 51 Republicans for a near-supermajority vote in favor), undermining claims that they simply want abortion left up to the states.

Already, some providers are bowing under the pressure of legal uncertainty by denying care, including in states that have not banned the procedure. Montana Public Radio reported recently that the state’s arm of Planned Parenthood has stopped providing abortion pills at their clinics to patients from states where trigger laws are in effect.

If the future is one in which interstate travel for abortion is not assured, in which returning to your home state after receiving an abortion can leave you open to harassment or prosecution by police, in which your cellphone and internet history can be seized as evidence against you, in which the chasm between North Dakota and Minnesota is larger than it already is—then more Americans might decide to pick up and leave.

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Even in this extreme future, however, mass migration seems unlikely. Consider why people usually move. According to census data, the most commonly stated reasons Americans move are related to housing, family, and jobs. A couple now able to work remotely may switch states to find a bigger house that can accommodate a home office, for instance. The “other” category, which would include politically motivated migration, never tops 5.4 percent.

Abortion isn’t just a political issue, of course; it’s also an economic issue, as my colleague Annie Lowrey recently explained. But unlike racial, religious, or LGBTQ discrimination, the economic pain of losing access to abortion is not distributed over time. Instead it is concentrated at the moment of discovering an unwanted pregnancy, or when pregnant and facing a medical emergency, and potentially when making a decision about birth control. In these moments, moving is not the priority—health care is. An abortion-related move has to be forward-looking and hinged on a need that one might never have.

How heavily will American liberals weigh a possible future need against quality of life in the here and now? On the whole, left-leaning states have higher costs of living than right-leaning ones. Although wages may be higher in certain blue coastal cities, that premium is erased by the price of housing, transportation, child care, food, and other goods and services. One paper by the economists David Card, Jesse Rothstein, and Moises Yi found that larger and higher-earning areas (which tend to be Democratic) have much higher housing costs, “enough so to more than completely offset their larger effects on nominal earnings. Thus, movements to larger or to higher earnings locations mean reductions in real income.”

Although abortion is a common medical procedure, most women will never have one. But all women will need to keep up with the cost of living for wherever they choose to live. This is why declarations by Democratic governors that their states are “sanctuaries” or “safe havens” for women seeking abortion care ring hollow. They are havens in name only, if the fee for entry is a $700,000 home.

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Instead of voting with our feet, we may be squarely in the era of voting via private association.

In March 2016, North Carolina passed a law requiring transgender people to use the bathrooms in public buildings, such as schools, that match their birth gender. National attention zeroed in on the state, which ultimately faced $3.7 billion in economic damages as companies and private associations withdrew their business. Notably, the NCAA pulled several basketball games from the state. Ultimately the pressure campaign seems to have worked, or at least contributed to the demise of the bathroom ban: The Republican governor lost to a Democrat in the next election, and the legislature repealed the law.

Read: The true harm of bathroom bills

Echoing that controversy, abortion bans are leading companies and organizations to take action. A Texas start-up announced that it will hire outside the state and “have R&D facilities elsewhere” so that it can continue attracting top candidates; a film-production company in Arkansas cited Dobbs in saying it would leave the state; and economists are petitioning the American Economic Association to move its meetings out of New Orleans and San Antonio because Louisiana’s and Texas’s abortion restrictions “place an undue, differential burden on young women in the economics profession, who are forced to balance the risk of needing medical care … with their professional obligation to attend Annual Meetings.”

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Whether widespread boycotts will emerge similar to the one against North Carolina will depend on many factors. One is worker pressure: Will the labor force at a particular company or in a particular industry push management to take a stand? Another is worker leverage: Does the labor force command significant market power? This is why tech firms—reliant on skilled, scarce, and left-leaning workers—have been some of the most politically outspoken companies in the past few years. Whether the boycotts succeed is another matter, which depends on the economic position of the targeted states. As long as Americans keep flocking to Sun Belt states with cheaper costs of living, Texas, Florida, and Arizona will continue to have a lot of bargaining power and are unlikely to suffer from their political decisions on abortion. That is, companies may be pressured from within to act, but if their workforce resides in Austin, they are limited in how much they can really respond. Republican states that aren’t growing significantly—or, like West Virginia and Mississippi, are actually losing residents—may have a lot more to worry about. Like people, companies may have political preferences, but money wins out.

FAQs

What are liberals beliefs? ›

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom ...

What is liberal theory of democracy? ›

In liberal democracy, an elected government cannot discriminate against specific individuals or groups when it administers justice, protects basic rights such as freedom of assembly and free speech, provides for collective security, or distributes economic and social benefits.

How were the liberals different from the Democratic class 9? ›

How were the liberals different from the democrats? Liberals argued for a representative, elected parliamentary government but unlike democrats, they did not believe in universal adult franchise, that is, the right of every citizen to vote.

What are conservative political beliefs? ›

They advocate low taxes, free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government spending and government debt. Social conservatives see traditional social values, often rooted in familialism and religion, as being threatened by secularism and moral relativism.

Who is liberal person? ›

: a person who is liberal: such as. a : one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways. b capitalized : a member or supporter of a liberal political party (see liberal entry 1 sense 6)

What were liberals political and social views? ›

Explanation: Liberals was a group of people qho wanted a nation which tolerated all religions. They opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers. They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against government.

What does liberal mean in politics? ›

'Liberal' shares a root with 'liberty' and can mean anything from "generous" to "loose" to "broad-minded." Politically, it means "“a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change."

Which of the following are true about liberalism? ›

They believed in the value of an individual's effort, labour and venture. They also believed that a modern society would develop if the individuals who owned industries were ensured freedom to operate without restraints from the government.

What is the difference between democracy and liberal democracy? ›

Representative democracies

A representative democracy is an indirect democracy where sovereignty is held by the people's representatives. A liberal democracy is a representative democracy with protection for individual liberty and property by rule of law.

Who called radicals Class 9? ›

Radicals were the ones who wanted a nation which was ruled based on the majority of a country's population. They were against the rights of great landowners and wealthy factory owners.

Who was liberals Class 9 short answer? ›

Liberal:- One of the group which looked to change the society were the liberals. They wanted a nation which tolerated all religions. They wanted to safeguard the rights of people against government.

What is socialism Class 9 very short answer? ›

Answer: The basic idea of Socialism was that if a society as a whole rather than single individuals controlled property more attention would be paid to collective social interests.

Are Libertarians left or right? ›

Definition. Although libertarianism originated as a form of left-wing politics, the development in the mid-20th century of modern libertarianism in the United States resulted in libertarianism being commonly associated with right-wing politics.

What is right-wing and left-wing? ›

Generally, the left-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism" while the right-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism".

What is a conservative in simple terms? ›

Conservatism is a type of political belief that supports emphasis on traditions and relies on the individual to maintain society.

What is a liberal attitude? ›

adjective [usually ADJECTIVE noun] Someone who has liberal views believes people should have a lot of freedom in deciding how to behave and think.

What is the exact meaning of liberalism? ›

Liberalism is a political and economic doctrine that emphasizes individual autonomy, equality of opportunity, and the protection of individual rights (primarily to life, liberty, and property), originally against the state and later against both the state and private economic actors, including businesses.

Is liberalist a word? ›

A person with liberal political opinions: liberal, progressive.

What were the main objectives of the liberals class 9? ›

The main objectives of Liberals are as follows: (i) They expected a nation which tolerated all the religions. (ii) They opposed the uncontrolled powers of dynastic rules. (iii) They wanted to safeguard the right to individual against government.

What did the liberals believe in class 9? ›

Liberal i) Liberals also opposed the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers. ii) They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against governments. iii) They wanted to safeguard the rights of individuals against governments.

What is the characteristics of liberalism Brainly? ›

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support free market, free trade, limited government, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom ...

What is the synonym of liberalism? ›

synonyms for liberalism

free trade. isolationism. noninterference. nonintervention. controls on a system disinvolvement.

What is the meaning of liberal in history? ›

Liberalism, the belief in freedom, equality, democracy and human rights, is historically associated with thinkers such as John Locke and Montesquieu, and with constitutionally limiting the power of the monarch, affirming parliamentary supremacy, passing the Bill of Rights and establishing the principle of "consent of ...

What is liberalism in political economy? ›

Economic liberalism is a political and economic ideology that supports a market economy based on individualism and private property in the means of production.

Which of the following statement is not true about liberals? ›

The correct answer is OPTION B: They did believe in the Universal adult franchise.

Which of the following statements is are correct regarding what the liberals wanted? ›

Which of the following statement (s) is/are correct regarding what the 'liberals' wanted? Explanation : 'liberals' wanted to oppose the uncontrolled power of dynastic rulers.

Why is liberalism important in international relations? ›

Liberals also argue that international diplomacy can be a very effective way to get states to interact with each other honestly and support nonviolent solutions to problems. With the proper institutions and diplomacy, Liberals believe that states can work together to maximize prosperity and minimize conflict.

Which country is considered the mother of democracy? ›

"The mother of parliaments" is a phrase coined by the British politician and reformer John Bright in a speech at Birmingham on 18 January 1865. It was a reference to England. His actual words were: "England is the mother of parliaments".

What are the 3 types of democracy? ›

Different types of democracies
  • Direct democracy.
  • Representative democracy.
  • Constitutional democracy.
  • Monitory democracy.

What are the 4 types of politics? ›

The major types of political systems are democracies, monarchies, oligarchies, and authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.

What is Bloody Sunday Class 9 history? ›

Bloody Sunday is a word used to refer to an incident before the 1905 Revolution in Russia. A series of violent attacks took place on this Sunday. It was ordered by the Czarist regime in the then Russia to fire on unarmed civilians. The incident caused a number of deaths and triggered the Russian revolution of 1905.

What were the social economic and political condition in Russia before 1905? ›

The social, economic and political conditions in Russia before 1905 were variously beneficial and bad for the masses. 85% of Russia's population was agriculturist, far more than France or Germany with 40-50%. Industry was existent, but sporadically. Most of this was privately owned.

What are radicals in history? ›

Radicalism (from French radical, "radical") or classical radicalism was a historical political movement representing the leftward flank of liberalism during the late 18th and early 19th centuries and a precursor to social liberalism, social democracy and modern progressivism.

What were the main ideas of liberals in the 19th century Europe class 9? ›

The main ideas of liberals of the 19th century were committed to individualism, liberty, and equal rights. Explanation: The liberals believed in the ideology in the pursuit of individual and economic freedom and national sovereignty during their movement of the 19th century.

Who were radicals short answer? ›

The Radicals were a loose parliamentary political grouping in Great Britain and Ireland in the early to mid-19th century who drew on earlier ideas of radicalism and helped to transform the Whigs into the Liberal Party.

Who were the liberals what ideas was supported by them class 10? ›

Answer:
  • freedom on goods and capital.
  • they wanted the freedom and equality for all.
  • they opposed the idea of privileges from birth.
  • they supported the nationalist struggle in the country.
19 Sept 2019

What is the difference between capitalism and socialism Class 9? ›

Socialism is an economic and political system under which the means of production are publicly owned. Production and consumer prices are controlled by the government to best meet the needs of the people. Capitalism is an economic system under which the means of production are privately owned.

What does the term socialist mean Class 9 Mcq? ›

A socialist is someone who supports a political or economic philosophy that says society as a whole, rather than private companies, should own or control various goods and services.Socialist means based on socialism or relating to socialism. The correct answer is B.

What is capitalism Class 9 Brainly? ›

Brainly User. Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.

Can Conservatives Be libertarian? ›

Libertarian conservatism, also referred to as conservative libertarianism and conservatarianism, is a political philosophy that combines conservatism and libertarianism, representing the libertarian wing of conservatism and vice versa.

What is the opposite of libertarian? ›

Bottom left – Statism. The opposite of libertarianism, corresponding with those supporting low economic and personal freedom. Top left – Left-wing political philosophies. Those supporting low economic freedom and high personal freedom.

What is a libertarian in simple terms? ›

Libertarianism is a kind of politics that says the government should have less control over people's lives. It is based on the idea of maximum liberty. Libertarians believe that it is usually better to give people more free choice.

What is a right-wing person? ›

Someone who is "right-wing" usually supports tradition and keeping things the way that they already are. The right-wing supports tradition and authority.

What are 5 political rights? ›

Political rights include natural justice (procedural fairness) in law, such as the rights of the accused, including the right to a fair trial; due process; the right to seek redress or a legal remedy; and rights of participation in civil society and politics such as freedom of association, the right to assemble, the ...

Is conservative left or right in Canada? ›

The party sits at the centre-right to the right of the Canadian political spectrum, with their federal rival, the Liberal Party of Canada, positioned to their left.

What are liberals beliefs? ›

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom ...

Who is liberal person? ›

: a person who is liberal: such as. a : one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways. b capitalized : a member or supporter of a liberal political party (see liberal entry 1 sense 6)

What are conservative beliefs? ›

They advocate low taxes, free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government spending and government debt. Social conservatives see traditional social values, often rooted in familialism and religion, as being threatened by secularism and moral relativism.

What are Libertarian Party beliefs? ›

The Libertarian Party (LP) is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism, and limiting the size and scope of government.

What are Democrat beliefs? ›

The Democratic Party (whose logo is a donkey) generally represents left-leaning, liberal and progressive ideological values, thus advocating for a strong government to regulate business and support for the citizens of the United States.

What is a liberal party? ›

The Liberal Party is any of many political parties around the world. The meaning of liberal varies around the world, ranging from liberal conservatism on the right to social liberalism on the left.

What is difference between liberal and moderate? ›

Political ideology in the United States is usually described with the left–right spectrum. Liberalism is the predominant left-leaning ideology and conservatism is the predominant right-leaning ideology. Those who hold beliefs between liberalism and conservatism or a mix of beliefs on this scale are called moderates.

Are libertarians more right or left? ›

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes right-libertarian philosophy as follows: Libertarianism is often thought of as 'right-wing' doctrine. This, however, is mistaken for at least two reasons. First, on social—rather than economic—issues, libertarianism tends to be 'left-wing'.

What is the opposite of libertarian? ›

Bottom left – Statism. The opposite of libertarianism, corresponding with those supporting low economic and personal freedom. Top left – Left-wing political philosophies. Those supporting low economic freedom and high personal freedom.

Can Conservatives Be libertarian? ›

Libertarian conservatism, also referred to as conservative libertarianism and conservatarianism, is a political philosophy that combines conservatism and libertarianism, representing the libertarian wing of conservatism and vice versa.

What are the 3 values of democracy? ›

Legal equality, political freedom and rule of law are often identified as foundational characteristics for a well-functioning democracy.

What issues do Democrats support? ›

Democratic platforms seek to promote social programs, labor unions, consumer protection, workplace safety regulation, equal opportunity, disability rights, racial equity, regulations against environmental pollution, and criminal justice reform.

What does it mean when a person is a Democrat? ›

1. a person who believes in and upholds government by the people; advocate of rule by the majority. 2. a person who believes in and practices the principle of equality of rights, opportunity, and treatment.

What is the left wing political party? ›

Political scientists and other analysts regard the left as including anarchists, communists, socialists, democratic socialists, social democrats, left-libertarians, progressives and social liberals. Movements for racial equality and trade unionism have also been associated with the left.

What is the main goal of political parties? ›

A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific ideological or policy goals.

Who coined the term libertarian? ›

The use of the term libertarian to describe a new set of political positions has been traced to the French cognate libertaire, coined in a letter French libertarian communist Joseph Déjacque wrote to mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1857.

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