6 Big Differences That Turn City Dwellers Into Liberals

By Loey Nunning  and Re-Edited by Staff  /   Cracked.com

The last election wasn’t the first time people living in the country and city had different ideas about how to steer this monster truck we call America. The liberal-city / conservative-country divide has been around since the framing of the constitution when farmers were the elites. Especially in modern times this is partly a result of self-sorting. But I can tell you as someone who grew up in conservative suburban and rural towns and moved to a city in search of a job that didn’t require a name tag or jaunty paper hat, if you aren’t a liberal when you get to the big city, you might be before the year is up. And the reasons are way weirder than you think …

Traffic Is A Nightmare

In the country …

Driving is so enjoyable that “going for a drive in the country” isn’t just a thing, it’s a recommended treatment for anxiety. If you live in the country, you and your friends probably spent last weekend driving around with no particular destination and called it “going out.”

The low population density of rural areas makes public transportation impractical, so the only public transportation rural dwellers are familiar with is a school bus. Outside of that, public transportation might as well be a tie-dye bus run by hippies who want to force you to ride on some filthy post-apocalyptic jalopy that only travels to the places the government wants you to go.

But in the city …

Drive a car in a city and you’ll spend every moment on the the road imagining yourself killing each family member represented by the stickers on the back of every SUV. In time, your state of mind will take a turn for the decidedly homicidal since driving in and around cities is so hellish and enraging it can literally takes years off your life.

The inefficiency of it all will make you want to drive into the nearest body of water, if only you weren’t in the middle of gridlock. But then, the light bulb over your head flickers to life: What if there were some sort of mass public transportation many could use at once?

Even if you decide you don’t want to deal with other people’s weird smells and incessant throat clearing, your drive to work would still take half the time because of all the phlegmy, weird-smelling people who took the train instead.

Public transportation forces you into a tube on wheels with people of every race and religion and makes it a part of your daily routine.

Congratulations — you’ve taken your first step toward becoming a member of the “liberal elite.” And it had nothing to do with “going green.”


Sick, Desperate People Ask You For Help Every Day

In the country …

There are sick, desperate people in the country too, but they don’t sleep on your front lawn — although they might sleep on your couch.

But homelessness as it exists in cities just isn’t an issue in small towns. If you lose your housing in a small town there’s a good chance you have friends and family there who can at least give you a place to crash. So when you hear people talking about the homeless, you either think they must be lazy fuck-ups who need to get a grip on their bootstraps, or they just need to walk over to the local church for some charitable aid to help them get a grip on those bootstraps.

But in the city …

Homeless people exist in population sizes bigger than most rural towns — Los Angeles has an estimated 47,000 people with no place to go. New York City has over 60,000, and that’s lowballing it. That means if you took the entire population of South Dakota’s capital city and cloned them three times, they would still be outnumbered by New York City’s homeless population.

Around a third of homeless people in the U.S. suffer from serious mental illness, and that percentage goes way up when you’re talking about homeless women or chronically homeless people. After a while you start to think that paying a little more taxes each year would be totally worth it to never have to see another person suffering on your doorstep.

Did you know most homeless rely on hospital emergency rooms for care?

Simply giving them a place to live cuts down on health problems and visits to the ER — ultimately saving taxpayers money, instead of having to pay more to watch people die on the streets. So it’s not just a case of bleeding heart liberals, wanting to save the world … it’s just as much a case of, “This person keeps crapping on my doorstep. I’d like this to stop. And also, instead of using my tax dollars to pay for a $20,000 surgery, how about we spend a fraction of that amount on basic preventative care?”

See how easy it is to now justify being a liberal….


Around A Quarter Of Your Neighbors, Co-Workers, And Friends Are Probably Immigrants

In the country …

Chances are pretty good that all your friends and neighbors look and sound just like you. That’s because people who live in small towns are mostly born there, and it’s pretty rare that anyone new moves in. So when people talk about illegal immigrants coming to America to live large on our welfare system, it’s easy to believe whatever you hear and even easier to demonize them because you’ve never had a conversation with one.

Since 1990 some rural communities have experienced a huge influx of immigrants relative to their population sizes. Some are legal, some aren’t, and the reception they’ve received has been mixed, to say the least.

But in the city …

Suddenly multiculturalism isn’t some failed, politically correct agenda, it’s just your neighborhood. Cities are diverse because this is where people come to find jobs, and the vast majority of immigrants, both legal and illegal, live in them. By the time you show up in town, this huge kumbaya-world stew has already been boiling for ages. When you live around people from all over the world, you get to see first hand that most immigrants are normal, hard-working people, just with cool accents and better food.

If a country-dweller gets pissed that their taxes go toward paying for services other people use, their head would explode if they were an illegal immigrant, because they collectively pay billions in taxes every year to support social services they can’t even use. If you met one of those illegals they might even tell you the seriously badass story of how they risked their lives to get to America and eventually find a job no American was willing to do. They’ll tell you that their goal isn’t to rape or steal or subvert your democracy, but to just have the chance to open their own business, drive a big American car, and raise American kids who will honor and respect the same flag you do.

Though, honestly, if I was an immigrant, I’d absolutely say, “I’m here to steal your job” because that would be funny as hell.


Minimum Wage Is A Ticket To Homelessness

In the country …

Cost of living is hard everywhere when you’re poor. Even out in the country where space is plentiful, about a quarter of renters spend more than half their income just on rent. But okay, that means the majority of people are still mostly getting by. You might only make $7.25 ringing up groceries but technically you can still afford to put a roof over your head and food on the table. That’s because your rent is around $400 a month. The big housing issue in rural areas isn’t finding a place you can afford, it’s finding a place that isn’t a shed-sized pinata that’s going to cave in the next time weather happens.

Sure, who wouldn’t like to get paid big bucks for gossiping with co-workers all day, but demanding $20 just seems greedy. Surely, city folk can make do just like proud country folk, right?

But in the city …

If you earn $7.25 an hour, you either sleep in your mom’s house or on the street.

In December of 2016 the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was $3,357 a month. With a federal minimum wage job, you would have to work 17 hours a day, seven days a week just to cover rent. That’s impossible, and even if it wasn’t you would still be eating out of garbage cans because your rent would be 100 percent of your income. To live a pretty ordinary, middle class life in this city, you need to be bringing in at least $171,000 a year, and you’re probably still living in a neighborhood with a big homeless encampment and jigsaw puzzle sidewalks.

Yes, the San Francisco Bay Area is the worst case scenario, but things aren’t much better elsewhere. Cities across the country are dealing with cost-of-living problems that make it impossible for many gainfully employed people to afford the most basic human needs. So when you find yourself working 40 hours a week and sleeping in your car because you still can’t afford rent, the idea of a ‘living wage’ becomes concrete and specific: it’s how much you need to afford rent — not for a golden penthouse, just something with four walls and roof and a toilet you likely share with roommates.

A higher minimum wage that keeps pace with the big city cost of living isn’t an entitlement precious liberal snowflakes want so they can have American companies foot the bill for their laziness. It’s a necessity that keeps people off the streets and gives them enough cash to buy things so the local and national economies can actually function.

Now you have moved into step three of liberalism in the city…. want to go on.


The Impact Of Good Government Is Easier To See

In the country …

We’ve all heard how mostly rural red states eat up more federal tax money than those liberal-elite blue states, and it’s true. But while you might get a government check every month, when you live out in the country local government services are so far away they’re not practical to access. Country culture emphasizes self-reliance. Your water comes from a well, so you better know how to fix the pump if it breaks. Hell, if you hurt yourself the drive to the hospital is so long you might be better off just sewing it up in the kitchen. As far as you’re concerned, the government may as well be stripped down to just the military because the one thing you don’t have in your barn is a tank.

But in the city …

Local government maintains your water supply and sewers, removes your trash, cleans your sidewalks, maintains the roads that an armada of cars will drive on everyday — basically, things we have convinced ourselves that we as individuals can’t take care of themselves so we have allowed the government to do so.

We have been convinced that the tools required to monitor and maintain the complex systems of a city are beyond the abilities of any one individual or private company. In a city you need government services to be comprehensive and reliable or civilization grinds to a halt and suddenly you’re living in the third world.

That kind of interdependence gives country people what I like to call “fear ebola.” But in a city you realize interdependence and cooperation are not only the actual cornerstones of civilization, but also that they work amazingly well when governments are well-run (just look at Chicago and Detroit), but especially if they are well-funded.

Then the Government becomes not some abstract boogeyman that wants to control every part of your life, but you have become convinced that government is the reason you can take a hot shower every morning with clean water. Paying taxes isn’t government theft, it’s just doing your part to make sure the wheels of society keep turning.

And once you start acknowledging the power of good government, you’re in serious danger of becoming a liberal.


People Get Shot. Like A Lot.

In the country …

Around two thirds of rural households have at least one gun in the house, and usually for practical reasons, and blowing someone’s head off is pretty low on the list. You probably use it to feed your family, or at least fill up your friends’ second freezers with venison, and you might need it to deal with those raccoons going Jeffrey Dahmer on your chicken coop.

Police? Ha! You can go ahead and dial 911, but no one is going to get there in time to save you from the serial killer in clown face trying to break in your bathroom window. It may be quiet living, but dangers still exist. Having a gun in the house is the rural equivalent of 911. Hell, tons of people in the country use guns as simple entertainment. Getting wasted at a hog-roast and shooting cans in your yard is every American’s God-given right. So when people start whining about gun control, it sounds like they want to spit all over the Second Amendment. The only reason the government would want to keep you from having guns is because they have something shady up their sleeve, which is all the more reason to get more guns.

But in the city …

Guns are totally for blowing someone’s head off. The first time you hear gunshots you’ll think it’s firecrackers until you realize, hey, I don’t think those drug dealers are celebrating a successful sale with a fireworks display. Depending on the city, you might even get to watch a shootout between a nut job in body armor and a bunch of cops while you crouch on the roof of your building. It’s like watching an action movie starring your neighbors.

In other words, if you see a gun in the city, it means something bad is about to happen.

So when the topic of gun control comes up, you start thinking maybe guys who’ve been in prison plotting revenge for the last five years shouldn’t be able to buy a semi-automatic online their first day out of the big house. You had to take driver’s ed in high school and pass a driving test — maybe it’s not so crazy to make people do the same thing before they can own a gun. If absolutely nothing else, at least they’d learn not to hold it sideways so they’d hit their target instead of innocent bystanders.

Once you get on board with any kind of gun control, you’re pretty much a card-carrying liberal.

Now wasn’t that fun……..

So now that you are a confirmed liberal… here is where liberals are best accepted to live … we wish to hell you would move there…….


Best Cities for Liberals

Democrats should feel right at home in these liberal cities.

What makes a great city for a liberal or conservative, or a centrist for that matter?

Clearly the political landscape is important. Do the people around you share your beliefs and values? Are your elected officials in Washington D.C. representing your interests? Or is your town full of people openly carrying their firearms and trying to force their idea of morality on you?

Being a great place to live is about more than just politics. Do people around you also take part in the kinds of activities, watch the same shows, shop at the same stores and have similar interests to you? What are those goods and services, and how do they differ from party to party? Livability.com, working with advisory board member Dr. Kevin Stolarick, took both the political and nonpolitical aspects into account when creating this Top 10 list. Here’s how:

We used data from several geographies: City, county and congressional district. First, we gauged the ideological skew of the congressional representation of a city. To do that, we utilized nonpartisan watchdog GovTrack’s analysis of the members of the House of Representatives on a conservative/liberal spectrum. Then, using data from Esri, we looked at how residents of each city self-report their own political leanings on a five-point scale from very liberal to very conservative. The last piece of the political puzzle was voting results from the 2012 Presidential election. Using county-level data (the most detailed that exists uniformly) we looked at the Romney/Obama split, excluding votes for third-party and write-in candidates.

That gave us a pretty good sense of the political leanings of each town.

We then asked Experian Marketing Services to help us create a basket of goods – one restaurant, one automotive brand, one magazine, one retailer and one TV show – that are heavily favored by one end of the political spectrum or another. Then, we backtracked and found areas where people use those goods and services to a high degree. For example, we found that liberals like Suburu cars way more than conservatives do, so we looked for areas where lots of people drive Suburus.

That gave us four scores: Ideology of the representation; voting of the residents; political leanings of the residents; and how the shopping habits of the residents relate to political affiliation. We weighted each evenly and came up with a grand total.

What we found, partially due to the use of county-level data for some of the measures, that certain states had a sizable number of cities that skewed one way or another. Liberal cities were most often found in California, Maryland and Massachusetts. Conservatives concentrated in places like Texas and Tennessee. If you lean one way or another, you’ll find yourself among friends in those states. To make our list a little more geographically balanced, we took the most-skewed city in each state until we had our Top 10.

1. Berkeley, CA Population 117,384

2. Hoboken, NJ Population 52,452

3. Somerville, MA Population 78,595

4. Boulder, CO Population 103,919

5. Evanston, IL Population 75,603

6. College Park, MD Population 31,730

7. Ann Arbor, MI Population 116,194

8. Mercer Island, WA Population 24,120

9. Alexandria, VA Population 149,315

10. Newport, RI Population 24,459

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