The American Redoubt is a political migration movement first proposed in 2011 by best-selling survivalist novelist and blogger James Wesley Rawles which designates three states in the northwestern United States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), and adjoining portions of two other states (eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington) as a safe haven for conservative, libertarian-leaning Christians and Jews. Kim Murphy, a reporter for The Los Angeles Times summed up one motivation for the movement: "For a growing number of people, it's the designated point of retreat when the American economy hits the fan. When banks fail, the government declares martial law, the power grid goes down." The same article identified Rawles as "the guru of the movement." Summarizing one of his reasons for formulating the relocation strategy, Rawles stated: "I'm often asked why I make such a 'big deal' about choosing conservative Christians, Messianic Jews, or Orthodox Jews for neighbors. The plain truth is that in a societal collapse there will be a veritable vacuum of law enforcement. In such times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God-fearing that will continue to be law-abiding. Choose your neighborhood wisely.".
The American Redoubt concept is based primarily around the Rawlesian Survivalist Philosophy including the precept Racism Ignores Reason. James Rawles is an outspokenly anti-racist and pro-Israel, James Rawles publish this blog entry in 2010 titled Lest Any Man Should Boast: A Christian Survivalist Perspective on Race, Religion, and Reason:
- "I often get letters and e-mails, chastising me for being an anti-racist. I call these 'nasty-grams.' I get several of them each week. Some folks, it seems, are deeply offended that I look upon everyone as equals. The truth is that people should be judged as individuals. (That is one of my core Precepts.) Anyone that makes blanket statements about other races is ignorant that there are both good and bad individuals in all groups. There is no inherent superiority in any skin tone or facial feature, any more than there is in any particular hair color. I have accepted The Great Commission with sincerity. It says; 'Go forth into all nations' and it means exactly that: all nations. God’s elect come from every nation on earth. Skin color is a non-issue. It is also noteworthy that Christianity started out as a religion of Semitic people, and by God’s grace, it spread all over the world. It is not a 'white man’s religion', as some racists would contend.
- "I’m often asked, 'Aren’t you proud to be a white man?' No, I’m not particularly proud to be white, any more than I’m particularly proud to have a Pronounced External Occipital Protuberance (aka 'Anatolian Bump') on the back of my head. That is just a product of genetics. So what? Big deal. But neither do I feel guilty or embarrassed to be white, as some liberals seem to be. Do genetic traits make any difference in my standing with God? Certainly not. Granted, many of the scientific advances of the modern age came from some very creative deceased white guys. But again, will any of the fruits of Western Civilization mean anything when I meet my maker? No. Only one thing will matter: Whether or not I’ve accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. That is a distinction that I can and will share with Aborigines, Ainus, and Hottentots. I’m proud to be Christian, that just happens to be a white man."
Long published on James Rawles, "Rawlesian Survivalist Philosophy" is the precept of Racism ignores Reason which includes the following:
- "People should be judged as individuals. Anyone that makes blanket statements about other races is ignorant that there are both good and bad individuals in all groups. I have accepted The Great Commission with sincerity. “Go forth into all nations” means exactly that: all nations. OBTW, I feel grateful that SurvivalBlog is now read in more than 100 countries. I have been given a bully pulpit, and I intend to use it for good and edifying purposes."
In an interview by G. Jeffrey MacDonald published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Rawles was quoted as saying: "It’s time to distance ourselves from the vile corruptness that we see inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway.... [The American Redoubt movement] is analogous to the Puritan exodus (from Europe). They couldn’t fit in and said, 'We’re going to move to completely virgin territory and start afresh.' … In effect, we’re becoming pistol-packing Amish." Rawles advocates a gradual demographic consolidation through political migration to the American Redoubt, but predicts that the federal government will "hammer" any states that attempt to secede under the current political order. Rawles also stated: “People who recognize that they are of the [Christian] remnant, that they are God’s elect, will in increasing numbers choose to vote with their feet.”
In 2011, the American Redoubt concept was endorsed by 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin, who had relocated his entire extended family to western Montana. It also soon inspired the launch of a weekly podcast by Christian Libertarian journalist John Jacob Schmidt, called Radio Free Redoubt, and a volunteer network of amateur radio operators called AmRRON (the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network) established in 2012. It also inspired the launch of the blog and weekly podcast by Catholic Libertarian journalist Alex Barron, called the Charles Carroll Society, Alex is the self-proclaimed Bard of the American Redoubt who speaks from a Traditional Catholic, Constitutional Conservative, American Patriot viewpoint. Alex says, "Jim Rawles coined the term, but it is actually a simple concept, it is called political migration. There are many groups who have done this over the years; Protestants and other minority religious groups escaping the Catholic church in Europe (I guess that would actually be religious migration but you get the point), liberty-minded people escaping the Protestant King of England. Native Americans moving West to escape the European colonization (I guess forced ethnic cleansing, but again I hope you get the point). Americans of African descent escaping the South (racial migration?). Many, many groups move because of various reasons including political reasons. The American Redoubt is Christian and Jewish liberty-loving traditionalist politically migrating from militant progressive secular states."  In addition to inspiring Radio Free Redoubt, several other American Redoubt-oriented businesses have been launched, including American Redoubt Realty, Survival Retreat Consulting, and StrategicRelocationBlog.
In February 2012, The Seattle Times characterized the American Redoubt movement as appealing to "a growing number of people" but, citing unnamed "analysts", concluded that as of that time "not all that many so far" had actually moved to the area. In April 2012, the business/arts columnist for The Ferry County View, a weekly newspaper in Republic, Washington (located inside the Redoubt region) was critical of the Redoubt movement, characterizing it as driven by fear. By contrast, in October 2013, The 700 Club aired a news segment that favored the American Redoubt relocation concept. In an aside, the news story mentioned how the growth of the movement has even inspired the minting of silver coins.
On 14 October 2013 Christian Broadcasting Network completed a featured television news segment and accompanying article on the American Redoubt titled Redoubt: Northwest a Haven for Dismayed Americans. In the article they noted "...Some conservative American Christians are so dismayed with direction of the country that they're looking for a safe place for their families. They call it the "American Redoubt." Pastor Westbrook continued "I think that people recognize that tough times are coming. And it's time to think about their situation, it's time to think about how they live now, and the security of their family, the stability of society and how they are going to relate to that...But I'm finding something else, too." he continued. "That is that more and more people are resonating with this idea of getting back to the land, of living a simple, more natural way.
It is difficult to quantify the number of people moving because of the American Redoubt concept. In a recent interview on the Charles Carroll Society podcast James Rawles estimated the number “..well into the thousands, but it is difficult to quantify, because the vast majority of the people who are moving are preppers, who are by their nature very circumspect. However look at admittedly anecdotal evidence such as the growth of Pastor Chuck Baldwin’s Liberty Fellowship church in Kalispell, Montana where the growth has been phenomenal, and many of the families are moving from far outside of the Redoubt states.” In other data points the more liberal North East has lost 40 house seats in the federal congress House of Representatives as outmigration has held its growth to only 15% while the rest of the nation has experienced a 41% population growth between 1983 to 2013. While the Redoubt state of Washington has gained seats the biggest winners in representation has been the states of Texas and Florida. Other evidence shows massive out migration from other so-called “blue” states. According to California’s Department of Finance’s (DOF), California’s domestic migration has been negative in 18 of the past 20 years. This is less dismal than the U.S. Census’ estimate that California’s domestic migration has been negative for 20 consecutive years. This is the longest sustained period of negative domestic migration in California’s history. A Manhattan Institute for Policy research study released in September 2012 shows “…a pattern of movement over the past decade from California mainly to states in the western and southern U.S.: Texas, Nevada, and Arizona, in that order, are the top magnet states. Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah follow. Rounding out the top ten are two southern states: Georgia and South Carolina.”
Sierra Crane-Murdoch reports in an article about Kootenai County, Idaho, “To outside observers, it may have appeared that the county swung along with the nation’s political pendulum. American voters leaned right in 2010, awarding Republicans a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. But in Kootenai County, something far more enduring than partisan realignment had tipped the scales. As English put it, the 2010 election marked “the end of an era” — not only politically, but demographically. Conservative newcomers, primarily from Southern California, had helped quadruple the county population since 1970. Allied with conservative North Idahoans, they systematically transformed the local politics. Pundits predicted that Californians’ migration to places like Kootenai County would have a moderating effect on the politics of the Intermountain West. The newcomers “are finding work in jobs unrelated to the traditional timber, mining and agricultural fields,” observed Timothy Egan, a Western correspondent for The New York Times, in 1993. Egan suggested that these “lifestyle refugees” would cause an “environmentalist tilt in the [Western] electorate.” But he overlooked a key detail: The counties from which these refugees came were the most conservative in California. They were, in fact, the birthplace of modern American conservatism — home to the John Birch Society, early evangelicalism, the 1978 tax revolt that led to property-tax limits in Proposition 13, and two years later, Reagan’s election to the presidency.
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