“That peace, safety, and concord may be the portion of our native land, and be long enjoyed by our fellow citizens, is the most ardent wish of my heart, and if I can be instrumental in procuring or preserving them, I shall think I have not lived in vain.” — Thomas Jefferson 

North Carolina is a quickly growing and diversifying state. More and more people are moving to North Carolina from around the United States and the world. Each person arriving brings with them influences and changes, for better or for worse. These differences can become difficult for some to cope with, but, overall, the majority of us benefit from the incoming dynamic improvements. 

Since 2020, reports indicate that many in-migrants are moving to North Carolina from such states as Florida, New York, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and California. While immigrants moving to North Carolina are often from Mexico, Honduras, India, Japan, South Korea, and China. With any influx of immigrants, whether from within the US or from elsewhere, social and systematic changes will take place. How we handle these changes moving forward has been the center of much debate, but often at the expense of liberty and economic flourishing. 

No matter the social or systematic modifications, the formerly static Rip Van Winkle State will be forced to make necessary adjustments. Interactions with the disparate diaspora require patience, understanding, and voluntary exchange. 

During campaign season, candidates often use the population’s fears and insecurities around the newcomers to draw attention to their campaign. The politician assures the masses that he understands their concerns and that he alone will do what’s necessary to stem the “wave” or “invasion” or “flood” of outsiders. The 2024 election season is starting out no different.

Unfortunately, according to an October 2023 statewide poll conducted by Civitas and the John Locke Foundation, 38.2% of those polled believed that immigration was a serious concern for North Carolinians and that the GOP and the state should intervene; while only 27.6% of those polled believed the size and scope of government should be addressed.       

But dissimilarities between North Carolina natives and transplants do not force into a position where we must choose between these libertarian fundamentals of small government and openness to differences in beliefs and customs. Instead, the differences discovered should be embraced and harnessed to help generate a newly improved generation for North Carolina to flourish without losing liberty. This will first require patience found in self-reflection. 

When engaging with people from different regions and cultures, if we wish to truly flourish, we will need to remove our internal walls and aggressive militant psychology. Doing so may require a lot of practice in personal restraint, patience, and open discussions. The goal is not to aggressively argue and resist each difference. Rather, it is to voluntarily persuade and exchange in peaceful and civil discourse in the noble pursuit of greater liberty for all. 

Without these fundamentals of libertarian and Lockean toleration, North Carolina will not be able to flourish to be all she could be, left closer to the Hobbesian state of human nature than a prosperously living man: “No arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” 

Unfortunately, the illiberal socialists and Democrats tend to do a better job of embracing differences among people — at least at face value. In actuality, they weaponize these differences to sow discord through toxic forms of conflict theory that further instill noncooperation amongst people. Their divide-and-conquer political strategy has done more to harm the liberal libertarian fundamentals and human flourishing of North Carolina than it has helped. 

Yet, because of relentless socialist and Democrat ongoing propaganda schemes, being “open to all” is often just a smokescreen. In reality, they have a very specific, closed system of their own — one that, ironically, involves a lot of exclusion, discrimination, and censorship. This version of tolerance does not advance the flourishing of liberty and the overall prosperity of the state of North Carolina. 

If liberty is to prevail in North Carolina, we must engage in civil discourse that actively resists disharmony. We must go even further to vigorously create ascending consonance while instilling trust among North Carolinians and transplants in the face of those who seek dissension. This will require steadfast vigilance and continuous peaceful voluntary exchange to persuade the duped masses. 

It is high time for each of us to wake up and take action toward the conservation of liberty and the prosperity of North Carolina. Embracing the newcomers flocking to our state will awaken us to new possibilities and advancements we haven’t even dreamed of.