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The_sandlapper

How liberal is Columbia?

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So exactly how liberal is Columbia? Well it's progressive enough to air liberal radio show Air America hosted by SNL's Al Franken.

Air America in Columbia

But on a side note how progressive does Columbia seem nowdays. My experiences growing up there were pleasant I have friends of all colors and saw the individual. So you you were an a$$ hole you were an a$$ hole didn't matter what skin you were in. I was also brought up in a very do for self environment (pro-active).

What are some thoughts about C-towns progress?

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That is good to hear! I've always thought of Columbia as pretty progressive for the most part (though when visiting i'm usually around USC Law and usually only in the DT area.) I mean you have your areas and groups of people. But I think you have that just about everywhere here in the south. Charleston is a good example of that, the area was the first to broadcast Air America in SC while at the same time airing the likes of Rush Limbaugh on an FM channel.

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Interesting thread! I'm not trying to get off into word study territory, but I think "liberal" and "progressive" can have very different meanings to people these days. I'm squarely in middle of the road on the political spectrum and I have a problem with being called "liberal" or "conservative," but I do consider myself "progressive."

I think Columbia is a pretty forward-thinking city. Obviously, the university has a lot to do with that. And there's a growing creative class community. If we're just talking about the city and not some of the surrounding rural areas, I think Columbia is a diverse place where people tend to really get along and work together to make a better future, even if they don't share the same worldview. And I think that's pretty awesome.

I have kind of a unique perspective on this... Being a progressive-minded Christian (i.e. not the typical "red state" variety), I usually get along with creative class types (including the gay community) better than I get along with people in the traditional church. And I've noticed that there's a rapidly growing population of people like me in the area. I mentioned this in a letter that was printed in the Free Times a few weeks ago. It's interesting.

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For a southern city, Columbia is above average in terms of a more liberal political climate and progressive attitude. This is thanks to USC primarily and less so on state government. I definitely think Columbia is the liberal bastion in SC (or as close to one as the state has). But it is not that liberal compared to Chapel Hill and Durham and Asheville in NC or Athens and "inside the perimeter" Atlanta in Georgia. The Atlanta city council will pass ordinances that Columbia's city council would not dream of (of course, some of these laws are later squashed by the Georgia legislature). So, everything is relative. And Columbia's liberal side with USC and perhaps state government is balanced by a more conservative side with Fort Jackson. Nothing against the military, but military towns in my experience are not typically liberal bastions. Perhaps Fort Jackson's status as a training base makes it less influential in the community's attitudes that say Fort Benning in Columbus GA where you have a lot of permanently based troops.

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I think Columbia is undisputedly the most liberal city in South Carolina, although it would be a "middle of the road" city up North or on the West Coast. I would say Columbia is just as liberal as Atlanta, Atlanta is just bigger. If you look at voting trends, I think this would be born out.

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I think Columbia is undisputedly the most liberal city in South Carolina, although it would be a "middle of the road" city up North or on the West Coast. I would say Columbia is just as liberal as Atlanta, Atlanta is just bigger. If you look at voting trends, I think this would be born out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If Columbia is the most liberal city in SC (and it seems we all agree on that one), what is #2? The only two other SC cities I can even consider remotely liberal without laughing would be Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Actually, Kerry's best county in the state was Orangeburg, but that is due to the large African-American vote there.

I have to also disagree with you about Columbia vs. Atlanta. Atlanta has elected a lesbian woman as its city council president (city-wide elected office) and other city council spots. There are also gay city council persons in some of the older suburban municipalities. There is a lesbian state legislator from suburban Atlanta. Unlike its neighbors GA and NC, SC has yet to elect any openly gay official anywhere in the state. There was the solicitor in Charleston who was outed and lost his next election. There are certainly some that I suspect, but they are not exactly open. Atlanta's city council has passed various affirmative action, living wage, and gay benefits laws that I do not recall seeing Columbia be as aggressive on (correct me if I am wrong and missed something). I know Columbia has passed ordinances that are more progressive than other SC cities, but it is hardly Atlanta. In Atlanta, gay issues are barely even issues in municipal elections as most politicians on both sides pursue the gay vote. And some older suburban areas are also pretty liberal like DeKalb County (ever heard of Cynthia McKinney). I to not think Cynthia McKinney could get elected in Columbia (and maybe that is not a bad thing). Atlanta is pretty liberal because it attracts so many southern liberals, gay people (who tend to be liberal at least on social issues), and others (and it has a large African-American population). In short, it serves as a relatively safe haven and magnet for people who do not fit in to more conservative places like most of the South. And that is where numbers and size really do matter. I think Columbia serves that role on a smaller scale within SC.

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If Columbia is the most liberal city in SC (and it seems we all agree on that one), what is #2? The only two other SC cities I can even consider remotely liberal without laughing would be Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Actually, Kerry's best county in the state was Orangeburg, but that is due to the large African-American vote there.

I have to also disagree with you about Columbia vs. Atlanta. Atlanta has elected a lesbian woman as its city council president (city-wide elected office) and other city council spots. There are also gay city council persons in some of the older suburban municipalities. There is a lesbian state legislator from suburban Atlanta. Unlike its neighbors GA and NC, SC has yet to elect any openly gay official anywhere in the state. There was the solicitor in Charleston who was outed and lost his next election. There are certainly some that I suspect, but they are not exactly open. Atlanta's city council has passed various affirmative action, living wage, and gay benefits laws that I do not recall seeing Columbia be as aggressive on (correct me if I am wrong and missed something). I know Columbia has passed ordinances that are more progressive than other SC cities, but it is hardly Atlanta. In Atlanta, gay issues are barely even issues in municipal elections as most politicians on both sides pursue the gay vote. And some older suburban areas are also pretty liberal like DeKalb County (ever heard of Cynthia McKinney). I to not think Cynthia McKinney could get elected in Columbia (and maybe that is not a bad thing). Atlanta is pretty liberal because it attracts so many southern liberals, gay people (who tend to be liberal at least on social issues), and others (and it has a large African-American population). In short, it serves as a relatively safe haven and magnet for people who do not fit in to more conservative places like most of the South. And that is where numbers and size really do matter. I think Columbia serves that role on a smaller scale within SC.

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While it wasn't a municipal election, the University of South Carolina in Columbia elected an openly gay student body president, the university has an inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance as does the city. The city doesn't have a domestic partnership ordinance, but one of the reasons is that some of us active in the gay community decided that was just window dressing, although we do need insurance for domestic partners in the city so it would help in that regard. We also have some very liberal reps from Columbia, such as Todd Rutherford. We also have a community center and a lobbyist at the capital.

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:rofl:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't believe in naming names, but let it suffice to say that some would be utterly shocked.

:o

I also know a couple of people that decided to leave public office when they decided to come out on a personal level.

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I don't believe in naming names, but let it suffice to say that some would be utterly shocked.

:o

I also know a couple of people that decided to leave public office when they decided to come out on a personal level.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ha! Yeah, I heard some of this was nearly brought out before the recent vote. :)

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Ha! Yeah, I heard some of this was nearly brought out before the recent vote. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'll tell you, it is tempting to out some of the people that are either working against the gay community or at least not working for it. Some (actually many) members of the legislature have no problem making homophobic comments, both publicly and privately, so I don't necessarily think it would be unfair to show their hypocracy. The main thing is...we don't want to claim any of them, lol. :rofl:

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There was the solicitor in Charleston who was outed and lost his next election.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As an aside, the Solicitor nearly won his race after being outed, and won within Charleston County. He lost in Berkeley County by a larger margin than his win in Charleston.

Also, an openly gay man won like 46% against state rep. John Altman in the last election (Charleston West Ashley).

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As an aside, the Solicitor nearly won his race after being outed, and won within Charleston County.  He lost in Berkeley County by a larger margin than his win in Charleston.

Also, an openly gay man won like 46% against state rep. John Altman in the last election (Charleston West Ashley).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That was Charlie Smith that ran against Altman. I wonder if he will beat him in '06 after Altman again stuck his foot in his mouth?

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