[Snowbirds] upped stakes, bought houses in Phoenix, and woke up one morning with the disturbing sensation that everything around their new domiciles is a little spicier, more colorful, and suntannier than it really ought to be.
At least, once you scratch through the bullshit concerns about crime (hint: violent crime is down statewide),
and get past the relatively small portion of the population really
fearful of competition for jobs (strangely few native-born Americans
hanker to repair roofs when it’s 115 in the shade), the conversation
always seems to turn to fears that American culture is being swamped by
a cilantro-seasoned wave of foreignness.
Unfortunately, the part of the American tradition that I like the most
— that of the restrained state — is being jettisoned by the nativists
themselves. Fearful of the alien influx from the south, the
know-nothings are turning their back on America’s original distrust of
overbearing rules enforced by armed government employees, and turning —
or trying to turn — the U.S. into a European-style bureaucratic state.
They’re not trying to defend the entire culture, you see, just the bland, repressed part.