The picturesque valleys of western Colorado are filled with many quaint, small towns that sit just minutes away from some of the world’s best scenery and outdoor recreation areas. Steeped in history, these mining and ranching communities once defined the Old West. They were filled with hardened men who labored to eke out an existence on the frontier. On paper, these towns ought to be deep red, conservative areas, yet the opposite is true. Places such as Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Aspen, and Telluride rank among the most liberal areas in the U.S. Gay pride flags hang on storefront windows, pink-haired lesbians stroll down the sidewalks, and electric vehicles fill the streets. What began in the ’70s has only increased in earnest in recent years, a wave of immigration—not from other countries, but other states…blue states. This “invasion from within” has permanently altered these communities beyond recognition, and it is a problem that is spreading.
The bustling ski resort town of Aspen is perhaps the best case to examine. Once a tired silver mining town, Aspen began to grow following the construction of a ski resort. It boomed in the ’70s as a mass of liberal boomers flocked to the area, seeking a more laid-back and outdoor-oriented life. Over a ten-year period, Aspen’s population swelled by a whopping 121%. As time went on, the jet-set class of international elite began coming to Aspen to unwind in the mountains. A town that once consisted of mining shacks now has the highest price per square footage of any ski town in the world. The median price of a single-family home? 9.5 million.
The effects of Aspens’ transformation quickly spilled out of the town’s limits. With average workers being completely priced out of living in the town proper, they were forced to move and commute from further down the valley. Carbondale, some thirty miles down the road, quickly became a bedroom community for the workforce that kept Aspen running. Nevertheless, like an inexorable tide, the liberal masses kept coming, creeping further into the valley. Now Carbondale, too, suffers from the same ill effects as its neighbor. Even modest homes in the once-affordable community regularly top seven figures. Thus, the process continues. As more affluent liberals move into the area, the middle- and working-class locals are pushed further and further into the hinterlands.
This scenario is not just playing out in Colorado. The same thing is occurring in red states all across the nation. The Brookings Institute recently published an article highlighting this trend, which Covid severely exacerbated. People want to get out of the cities. They want to work remotely. They want to exchange their cramped apartments for single-family homes. Moreover, there seems to be a reaction—at least subconsciously—to the mismanagement and devolution of liberal areas which have become highly “diverse.” The image below illustrates this well.
As shown above, Idaho emerged as the country’s fastest-growing state over the past year. Much of that growth originates from California. As high rates of crime, homelessness, and cost of living lower the quality of life in the golden state, those with the means leave for areas like northern Idaho, where homes are affordable, crime is low, and the social fabric of life is still intact.
In many cases, these blue state transplants do not simply leave their previous lives entirely behind. On the contrary, they bring the habits and worldview of a cosmopolitan liberal with them. This regularly results in an irreconcilable discord between the native population and the newcomers. One would think that seeing the results of social liberal policy and unfettered third-world immigration would change someone’s outlook, but in most cases, it does not.
Hence the situation in Colorado, where the native Coloradans are being pushed to the fringes by the billionaire elites and the imported liberal middle class. In community after community, the churches close up in favor of yoga studios, the ranches fold in favor of condominium developments, and the social fabric of life is forever changed.
These national trends are symptomatic of much more extensive, long-term changes. The paradigm is shifting from the regionalism that defined the past two centuries to a far more fractured nation. A country divided sharply between states, and more specifically between urban and rural areas. That shift is happening as we speak, and it is accelerating. Places like California are leading the way in this regard. Society there is becoming increasingly stratified between the haves and the have-nots. Extrapolated to its conclusion, Californian society will consist of two classes: the uber-rich and the dirt poor.
Ultimately, we as a nation must ask what is causing this. The answer should be obvious. Immigration, crime, and social decay are utterly destroying the texture of life that was once ubiquitous only a few short decades ago. As millions of third-world immigrants pour into our nation, they put immeasurable pressure on social systems and the native culture. As criminals are given slaps on the wrist and police are restrained from doing their jobs, neighborhoods devolve into war zones. As Christian values are undermined and chastised, communities disband and fall apart. With no end in sight to these issues, American conservatives must begin to ask, “where will we go when there is nowhere left to go?”