Leav­ing the state, mov­ing in? Keep it to your­self

Hartford Courant (Sunday) - - Ctopinion - Colin McEn­roe ap­pears from 1 to 2 p.m. week­days on WNPR-FM (90.5). He can be reached at [email protected] COLIN MCEN­ROE

For all of my life, peo­ple have been mov­ing in and out of Con­necti­cut. Only re­cently has it been turned into per­for­mance art.

In the 1960s, peo­ple talked about “mov­ing to Florida” be­cause they were “get­ting old” and “couldn’t stand the win­ters.”

When I say “talked,” I mean to their friends, fam­ily and neigh­bors. They did not write letters to the ed­i­tor or op-eds or make other highly pub­lic an­nounce­ments about how the state of Con­necti­cut had failed mis­er­ably in its duty to pro­pi­ti­ate them.

It was a bet­ter time. No­body cared that you were mov­ing south un­less your first name was Hartford and your last name was Whalers.

On Nov. 25, the ed­i­to­rial writ­ers of this news­pa­per pub­lished a very in­ter­est­ing data crunch show­ing that Con­necti­cut out­mi­gra­tion slowed down sig­nif­i­cantly in 2017, that there were net gains in the pro­duc­tive, growth-ori­ented 30-39 age bracket, and that the small but no­table re­ver­sal of past trends sug­gests that Con­necti­cut’s pop­u­la­tion is sta­bi­liz­ing. Nice.

Twenty-four hours later, The Courant pub­lished one of those ap­par­ently oblig­a­tory letters from some guy who says he’s leav­ing be­cause of the elec­tion re­sults. The writer men­tions a 99-year-old fa­ther, so I’m guess­ing he’s not a 35-year-old who was plan­ning some peppy tech startup here.

All the es­says and speeches about peo­ple who are leav­ing spawned some counter-gen­res, such as the “Why I’m Stay­ing” nar­ra­tive. Also, “Why We Moved Here,” “Why I Left and Came Back,” and “Why My Wife and I Started See­ing Other Peo­ple In­clud­ing Some Guy Who Talked Her Into Com­ing Down To Florida But Then I Lost 180 Pounds Through This Mir­a­cle Diet And Now We’re Get­ting Back To­gether. In Nau­gatuck.”

Now, please, can th­ese stop? We get it. You’re mov­ing some­where. You are not the first per­son to do this. Or the last. It’ll ei­ther work out for you or not, but at the mo­ment, you’re an anec­dote pre­tend­ing to be data.

One sign that vot­ers are tired of th­ese sto­ries is the elec­toral demise of state Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Green­wich, whose spe­cialty was alarm­ing the state about su­per rich peo­ple who were leav­ing but whose names Frantz could not pos­si­bly di­vulge.

“I can tell you that in just the last six to seven months, the cu­mu­la­tive num­ber of $21.5 bil­lion of net worth has moved to Florida,” Frantz told The

Courant in 2016.

Say what? Th­ese peo­ple moved, but off the record?

Frantz lost his seat to Demo- cratic chal­lenger Alex Berg­stein. The last time that seat turned blue it was prob­a­bly be­cause King Ge­orge wanted it painted.

Also on the bal­lot this year were two guys who rec­og­nized Con­necti­cut as a mis­man­aged, tax-happy hell­hole. You know what they did about it? They moved here. Repub­li­can Bob Ste­fanowski and Lib­er­tar­ian Rod Hanscomb both moved to Con­necti­cut in the last four years de­spite its be­ing, ac­cord­ing to their gu­ber­na­to­rial cam­paign rhetoric, a dystopian waste­land perched on the lip of demise.

Mean­while, where are the mover-away­ers go­ing? Mostly to places that will be dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fected by climate change. The hot will get hot­ter. The hur­ri­cane belt will be let out a few notches.

You will live to see the day when a — what’s the word? — “car­a­van” of Con­necti­cut ex­pats surges north, flee­ing the blis­ter­ing heat, fe­ro­cious in­sects and roof-wreck­ing rain and wind. Which is why we have to build that wall.

Mean­while, shut up. Se­ri­ously. Just move to Mis­sis­sippi or

South Carolina, and spare us your mis­taken im­pres­sion that this is some kind of news event.

We are only in­ter­ested in your de­par­ture if:

* You be­long to an apoc­a­lyp­tic death cult that re­gards the re­cent re­tire­ment of TV news an­chor Gerry Brooks as a sign of the End Times.

* You stabbed your spouse with a fork be­cause the baked potato was un­der­cooked. And you be­lieve Florida is full of peo­ple who would un­der­stand.

* You were kid­napped by lemurs.

* You need to live in a state where it’s le­gal to marry a pony.

* You want to be able to vote at a Waf­fle House.

That’s about it. Oth­er­wise, just pack qui­etly and move. And do it quick be­cause that nice young cou­ple from In­di­ana is wait­ing in the drive­way.

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