Federalist Guy Did Not Move To Tennessee To Live With A Bunch Of Liberal Colonizers
When Mark Pulliam moved to Maryville, Tennessee, from Austin, Texas, he thought it was going to be uniformly full of people just like him, with all of his same opinions and attitudes about everything. A whole town just full of Mark Pulliams! Mark Pulliams as far as the eye could see!
But Mark Pulliam was disappointed. Because when he arrived, he found that this town had already been colonized. Not by the British Empire, not by aliens, but by something much more frightening — liberals who already lived there.
Even worse, maybe, I guess, was the fact that no one else in the whole damn town seemed bothered by this or the various nefarious things they were getting up to. They were just going about their lives, oblivious to the threat right under their noses.
Thus, Pulliam was inspired to write a column for The Federalist, very seriously titled "Leftists Are Colonizing Red Towns Like Mine, And Local Republicans Are Clueless."
Let's enjoy it!
Pulliam starts out by talking about how, supposedly, people are fleeing blue states like California, New York, Illinois, etc., because of "the growing toll of leftist policies" in order to run to places like Texas and Florida, which he argues are far better managed, by Republicans. Yes, Florida.
But apparently, these liberals have even been fleeing to places like east Tennessee. Or, you know, already living there. And apparently, Pulliam forgot that he had fled Texas too.
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.
Or, to put it more succinctly — Tennessee was supposed to be racist. Or at least more racist than it turned out to be.
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.
Whaaaaa? You mean that, in a city of 27,000 people, not everyone has the exact same opinions on everything? That is incredible. I would not believe it except for the fact that I myself grew up in a very conservative town that is 1/3 the size of that.
Mark Pulliam and his wife just assumed that Maryville College was going to be just like the notoriously rightwing Hillsdale College, and then ... it wasn't.
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.
I actually read Pulliam's essay about that lecture. He appears to be under the impression that all Christians are, by law, conservatives, which is not actually true. Also it seems he thought that "religious studies" was like Sunday school, which is also not true. There are, for the record, Christian Marxists, Christian Anarchists, Catholic Workers (who are anarchists) and even just regular Christians who are regular liberals. Heck, 18 to 24 percent of white evangelical voters voted for Biden in the last election. It's not a majority, obviously, but it's non-zero. Just don't tell Mark Pulliam that, because he's probably not ready. He can't even handle the local library!
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."
And they weren't even just grouping them together to have a good old fashioned book burnin'! They expected people to read them! People who voted for Donald Trump and have thus made it very clear they have no interest in being anti-racist!
As if that wasn't bad enough, this library — more like liberalrary amirite? — is into helping the homeless.
Ignoring the blight homeless people inflict on library users across America, the local library also provides office space to a newly formed organization serving the homeless, with which the library works as a partner, even engaging in "street outreach." The library staffer leading this initiative is—predictably—a graduate of the local leftist college. Indoctrination works.
Antiracism? Helping the homeless? What's next? Not murdering people? Chewing with their mouths closed? Close! Apparently it is the editor of the local paper disagreeing with Mark Pulliam — an editor, even, who freely admitted he once had a job interview at the Washington Post and was disappointed that he did not get the job. Is that even legal? Mark is not sure! Seems illegal.
Also illegal, probably, is that the paper gave "favorable coverage" to a candidate running for City Council — who once chaired the local Democratic Party and founded an organization meant to help Democrats get elected (probably illegally) in Tennessee.
Due in part to the paper's favorable coverage, a leftist activist who chaired the local Democratic Party and founded the radical organization Indivisible East Tennessee was recently elected to the ostensibly nonpartisan city council. The local Republican Party belatedly—and reluctantly—supported the center-right candidates in a four-person race for two seats. Supported by Soros-funded organizations from outside the state, the Democrat eked out a second-place finish by a few hundred votes, establishing a leftist toe-hold in an otherwise solidly conservative county.
By non-partisan, he means Republican.
Sarah Herron, the woman who won the seat on the City Council, was also the first woman to ever do so — running on a radical platform of ... equal payment plans on utility bills, so that people can pay the same amount every month. Sadly, instead of burning her as a witch, they are going to let her serve.
But Pulliam's complaints don't stop there. Leftists, he claims, are also infiltrating school boards. Leftists who want people to acknowledge that racism exists.
In my local school district, for example, the unelected school superintendent (or "director," as the position is called here) appointed a "diversity task force" that included an activist college student who told a group of protesters organized by the local NAACP chapter in the wake of the George Floyd incident that "We need radical change, and we need it now"; the district's paid "diversity trainer," who instructs on the topics of "systemic racism," "racial equity," "inclusive leadership," and "unconscious biases," among other dubious topics; and an officer of a community organization that describes its mission as "working for racial justice." The stated goals of the 12-person diversity task force include acknowledging that "racism…exist[s] in our schools and community."
Obviously the better plan is allowing people to continue being super racist, while insisting that racism doesn't exist and telling those who experience it that they are delusional.
The evil liberals have even roped the county's Republican mayor into their madness — and now toddlers are going to have access to all the methadone they want.
For example, our Republican county mayor, the most powerful local elected official, supported the opening of a methadone clinic located near a daycare center. Astonishingly, the owner of the methadone clinic is one of the biggest supporters of the Democratic activist who was recently elected to the city council.
What kind of monster would support a methadone clinic in a state with the second highest rate of opioid addiction? In an area of that state with an even higher rate of opioid addiction than the state at large?
The thing about all of this that just breaks Mark Pulliam's heart is that the people of Blount County and other small conservative towns are naïve, good-hearted Republicans who trust that their neighbors will always vote Republican no matter what — and that may no longer be the case, if the other people who also live there, and have in fact lived there longer than Mark Pulliam has, have anything to say about it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse