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strawberriieee

Which is more conservative: Charlotte, NC or Columbia, SC?

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I've been living in Charlotte for several months, now, and I don't care for it. I was under the impression that Charlotte was culturally akin to the Raleigh-Durham area, but it isn't. I find most people in Charlotte to be zenophobic, sexist, and too content to not venture out of their own "racial" group; not to mention the ultra-conservative suburbs!

If I don't move to Columbia, then I'll move back to California. So.... is Columbia more or less conservative/liberal than Charlotte??

1. Do people frown on not attending church?

2. What are some of the barometers of progressiveness in attracting more downtown retail?

3. Is there much "White-flight" to neighboring communities/counties?

4. Is there much apparent censorship of entertainment venues or books, etc.?

5. Does Columbia have a "cool"/hip section of town?

6. What is the general attitude of walking or biking around town? (--in Charlotte, most people would think you're poor!)

7. lots of vegetarian eateries?

8. many people exercising along the riverfront pedestrian path?

I know that Lexington County is the conservative area in the region. However, are there enough open-minded folks in Columbia to make a move from Charlotte worthwhile??

Any info. is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Wow, give us a chance to respond. <_<

The more "liberal" places in the Carolinas are Asheville, the Triangle, and Myrtle Beach. Outside of this, it's going to be the same more or less as far as "conservative" and "liberal" go. If you're not enjoying Charlotte for those subjective reasons you've listed, you'd probably think the same thing about Columbia (although I will say that DT Columbia feels a little more "liberal" than DT Charlotte due to USC's presence).

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I find most people in Charlotte to be zenophobic, sexist, and too content to not venture out of their own "racial" group; not to mention the ultra-conservative suburbs!

I am a gay man living in an open relationship in the suburbs of Charlotte and I find everyone here to be quite accepting and inclusive towards us. I have generally found that Charlotte is full of people like this. Maybe there are other issues at work here.

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In general - the majority of the southeast is going to be exactly what you fear it to be. But depending on varying factors - southern cities can be much more tolerant if not open.

I view these as the factors:

Amount of transplants - not neccessarily from the Northeast, but the more 'different' type of people in existence, the more unlikely the local populace is to be entrenched in their acceptance of others.

College population - at least historically has been a liberalizing factor, but now I'm not sure if it is as much. This is more of a rant regarding younger generation, but college students feel less of a need to 'rebel against society'.

Arts environment - not 'corporate art', or some civic minded art support, but the more non-mainstream art community that enhances 'quirkiness'.

Lack of a regional "neo-conservative instigator", which would be some organization that through fiscal or other means strongly influences the area to promote their ideals. This could be a neo-conservative college or a mega-church.

Now - Charlotte certainly does have a large transplant population, though it lacks much of a traditional college or artist community. As for Columbia, the population is mostly local - which tends to be a negative factor, but does have a large college crowd & due to the college programs has somewhat of an artist community.

As for any comparison, I think it's a wash, you may find more like-minded 'liberals' (if that is who you identify with), but that may also be because minority groups become more entrenched in their viewpoint when they have someone to combat against. In this case it would be the local Columbia population, largely conservative (though not neccessarily neo-conservative). There is of course Five Points or the Vista & downtown, which are university oriented areas, as well as the residential neighborhoods, full of college students & ex-students (I know of many ex-USC students that have decided to stay in Cola). But Charlotte, & this may be your biggest criticism, is a very moderate city. Similar to other large sunbelt cities, they aren't going to go overboard in promoting neo-conservative ideals, so they don't "look bad". But you won't likely be attending any gay marriages within the next millenium either. (we'll all be asexual by then ;)).

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I think the more important question is: are you willing to swallow your pride, stop the crusade, and live where's there's opportunity? If you're willing, Charlotte's the place. If not, I'd still stay in Charlotte. Columbia, as a whole, is loads more Conservative, and simply doesn't have the amount of opportunity that Charlotte offers.

Then again, remember you're in the Southeast. We're a Conservative area of the country. Quite honestly, you're gonna have to deal with it & suck it up, or you will remain miserable. If you can't handle it, you can move back to Cali......

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[color=#FF0000]

Wow, give us a chance to respond. <_<

The more "liberal" places in the Carolinas are Asheville, the Triangle, and Myrtle Beach. Outside of this, it's going to be the same more or less as far as "conservative" and "liberal" go. If you're not enjoying Charlotte for those subjective reasons you've listed, you'd probably think the same thing about Columbia (although I will say that DT Columbia feels a little more "liberal" than DT Charlotte due to USC's presence).

I've been to Raliegh and Durham and I loved it!!! The people seemed educated and open-minded.

Columbia and Charlotte being equally conservative is what I was fearing. The 2004 Presidential election results maps show Columbia as a sea of blue -- that it voted Democrat. I was hoping that those results were an accurate indication of Columbia's liberal-factor. --guess I was wrong.

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I am a gay man living in an open relationship in the suburbs of Charlotte and I find everyone here to be quite accepting and inclusive towards us. I have generally found that Charlotte is full of people like this. Maybe there are other issues at work here.

What Southerners describe as moderately liberal/conservative, West Coasters would probably call very conservative. (I lived in LA for several years!)

I was born and raised in South Texas, so I am certainly no stranger to the largely Puritanical, Southern culture.

To be fair, Charlotte, proper, is not as conservative as the surrounding areas. Also, being a person of color changes the dynamics of interaction, as well. (When someone looks at you, they don't immediately know you're gay.) --I'm sorry, but most Southern metros are just not very far removed from their bigoted pasts, to have lots of people feel confident enough to significantly step outside of their "racial" comfort zones. IMO--I know it's an unpopular opinion- LOL! :):)

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In general - the majority of the southeast is going to be exactly what you fear it to be. But depending on varying factors - southern cities can be much more tolerant if not open.

I view these as the factors:

Amount of transplants - not neccessarily from the Northeast, but the more 'different' type of people in existence, the more unlikely the local populace is to be entrenched in their acceptance of others.

College population - at least historically has been a liberalizing factor, but now I'm not sure if it is as much. This is more of a rant regarding younger generation, but college students feel less of a need to 'rebel against society'.

Arts environment - not 'corporate art', or some civic minded art support, but the more non-mainstream art community that enhances 'quirkiness'.

Lack of a regional "neo-conservative instigator", which would be some organization that through fiscal or other means strongly influences the area to promote their ideals. This could be a neo-conservative college or a mega-church.

Now - Charlotte certainly does have a large transplant population, though it lacks much of a traditional college or artist community. As for Columbia, the population is mostly local - which tends to be a negative factor, but does have a large college crowd & due to the college programs has somewhat of an artist community.

As for any comparison, I think it's a wash, you may find more like-minded 'liberals' (if that is who you identify with), but that may also be because minority groups become more entrenched in their viewpoint when they have someone to combat against. In this case it would be the local Columbia population, largely conservative (though not neccessarily neo-conservative). There is of course Five Points or the Vista & downtown, which are university oriented areas, as well as the residential neighborhoods, full of college students & ex-students (I know of many ex-USC students that have decided to stay in Cola). But Charlotte, & this may be your biggest criticism, is a very moderate city. Similar to other large sunbelt cities, they aren't going to go overboard in promoting neo-conservative ideals, so they don't "look bad". But you won't likely be attending any gay marriages within the next millenium either. (we'll all be asexual by then ;)).

Yes, the presence of universities; the influx of populace from liberal areas; and the support of the arts, are all barometers of a city's liberalness, or lack thereof.

Unless I live in the Triangle, or perhaps Atlanta, I don't think the South is for me.

Would you rank Atlanta as being as liberal as the Triangle?

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I think the more important question is: are you willing to swallow your pride, stop the crusade...

Then again, remember you're in the Southeast. We're a Conservative area of the country. Quite honestly, you're gonna have to deal with it & suck it up, or you will remain miserable. If you can't handle it, you can move back to Cali......

I don't know of any "crusade" to which you're referring.

The Southeast is still very homogenous, ethnically and culturally; for example, it's still mostly a White//Black region; mostly religious, etc. (Yes, I know that the Southeast is experiencing rapid in-migration of Hispanics.) But, I like extreme ethnic diversity.

It is indeed a conservative region, and I don't see it changing any time soon, despite the large numbers of Northeasterners moving down here. Moreover, many of the Northeasterners moving here are families from the rural parts of the Northeast, anyway; they're not the hard-core, staunch Democrat, die-hard New Yorker types.

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Well I assume you will pack your bags and move back to California. If you are convinced that nothing is ever going to change in the South, and you are unhappy, then anyone with any sense isn't going to bother to convince you otherwise. You seem to have already made up your mind, and your questions here seem to be a bit disingenuous.

Since you brought up politics I will point out that NC unlike California has a Democratic governer and Charlotte was one of the few places in the country that did vote for Kerry over Bush. Frankly I think you are being a bit unfair as I see nothing that would differentiate the suburbs of CLT from RDU from Orange county California.

And you are entitled to your opinion but please read our rules again on bashing other places.

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I've been living in Charlotte for several months, now, and I don't care for it. I was under the impression that Charlotte was culturally akin to the Raleigh-Durham area, but it isn't. I find most people in Charlotte to be zenophobic, sexist, and too content to not venture out of their own "racial" group; not to mention the ultra-conservative suburbs!

If I don't move to Columbia, then I'll move back to California. So.... is Columbia more or less conservative/liberal than Charlotte??

1. Do people frown on not attending church?

2. What are some of the barometers of progressiveness in attracting more downtown retail?

3. Is there much "White-flight" to neighboring communities/counties?

4. Is there much apparent censorship of entertainment venues or books, etc.?

5. Does Columbia have a "cool"/hip section of town?

6. What is the general attitude of walking or biking around town? (--in Charlotte, most people would think you're poor!)

7. lots of vegetarian eateries?

8. many people exercising along the riverfront pedestrian path?

I know that Lexington County is the conservative area in the region. However, are there enough open-minded folks in Columbia to make a move from Charlotte worthwhile??

Any info. is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

That's funny because i'm starting to hear more people say the same thing about Charlotte.

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Strawberriee- You shouldn't decide where you want to live solely on the Bush/Kerry map. Much of rural SC voted for Kerry too. But if liberal is all you are seeking then you may indeed be best moving elsewhere. It sounds to me like you don't really know what you are looking for.

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Columbia is not an open minded city... they still fly the confederate flag downtown... and they have a cop to guard it. If it didnt offend people why would they need someone to guard it? Oh well... If your gay and seeking open minded southern Communities then you might consider Florida (if that is the real south?) They are more progressive and more open to the homosexual lifestyle. Otherwise you will be "Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, Going back to Cali"

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Again 'liberal' in the South is highly relative, and may depend on who you talk to. As the democrat party suggests, there is some division over liberal ideals - social equity, environmental protection, neutral foreign policy, or even some anti-global economic policy are not shared by all 'liberals', especially in the South. What is most common is in large cities where Blacks are the majority, you would find one aspect of liberal philosophy - but will not always represent all liberal viewpoints. But for many republicans, the moderates that are common in sunbelt cities that represent a larger cross section of society, would consider certain pro-civic policies to be 'liberal'. Of course I'm speaking of Atlanta & Charlotte - whose governments often reflect differing policies, yet in some respect, both support different liberal ideals.

But regarding classic left-wing liberalism, or Berkerly style liberalism - it is very rare in the US. You will find it in larger cities in CA, the Northwest & Northeast. But in the Midwest, Great Plains, Interior & Southeast - in areas where democrats are in power, the emphsasis is on different objectives. So it's either take your pick type of liberalism or move to the West or Northeast.

Of course the West & Northeast is known for a fluctuating economy & high cost of living.

This may have gone off topic, but sorry - if the topic doesn't interest me I sometimes make it into something I'm interested in :)

Columbia is not an open minded city... they still fly the confederate flag downtown... and they have a cop to guard it. If it didnt offend people why would they need someone to guard it? Oh well... If your gay and seeking open minded southern Communities then you might consider Florida (if that is the real south?) They are more progressive and more open to the homosexual lifestyle. Otherwise you will be "Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, Going back to Cali"

Or at least southern Florida, there is very little different between northern & parts of central FL & the rest of the southeast. But southern FL -

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Columbia is not an open minded city... they still fly the confederate flag downtown... and they have a cop to guard it. If it didnt offend people why would they need someone to guard it? Oh well... If your gay and seeking open minded southern Communities then you might consider Florida (if that is the real south?) They are more progressive and more open to the homosexual lifestyle. Otherwise you will be "Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, Going back to Cali"

There is not cop guarding the flag at the Confederate Memorial. Keep in mind that the flag is on state property, and does not reflect the wishes of the City of Columbia. But its typical for people to make the assumption that such a small piece of cloth makes any difference to the rest of the city. That flag is a much bigger deal outside of Columbia, and SC.

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As somone who grew up in Columbia I can speak from first hand experience and not passer-by, witch hunt, speculation that the general "vibe" of of Columbia is "live and let live". Outside of Myrtle Beach it is probablly the most liberal city in the state. The population in Richland County is very well educated 45th in the nation infact (in the Carolinas it is 3rd, only behind the "golden children" Wake, and Mecklenberg counties), with people who at least have have a bachelors degree or higher. There is good energy downtown in the Vista (more yuppie type), and 5 points (college kids), and with the development of innovista the city is economically heading down the same knowledge based path as Austin, or RDU. In fact for wht its worth Richard Florida considered Columbia the "5th most creative mid-sized city" nationally. Columbia is liberal as far as South Carolina goes. It's not San Francisco, Austin, or quite the Triangle (Carboro, Chapel Hill) but it has a chance to let itself fly that way with USC's presence and just the people there in general.

The best advice I would have for you is to check out Columbia one weekend and see for yourself!

The confederate flag is not representative of the city of Columbia. The flag is flown on the statehouse grounds which unfortunately fall in the jurisdiction of the state of SC. Columbia has fought to bring the flag down but there isn't a whole lot the city can do to reverse state legislature.

I would sugggest checking out the Columbia Freetimes to get a better feel for the area, also check out the opinion column in the state newspaper. That is how I usually guage how liberal or conservative a town is.

I wont blow smoke up your ass and pretend that it is a utopian paradise. The city has its problems but it is addressing social issues and not sweeping them under the rug, or just pretending that it has none either.

How it fairs to Charlotte can't say I haven't spent enough time there to pick up a vibe if you know what I mean, so I can't give an accurate opinion. If you have anymore questions please ask, I love to educate!

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Wow, if you can actually determine your residence on political affiliation and whether or not an area is "liberal" or "conservative", I want your job! Unfortunately, I can't locate myself and my family based on those aspects...most of us have to decide where to live based on opportunity.

I can think of plenty of areas in Charlotte that are diverse and liberal. However, this is the South, and many people hold fast to their beliefs and values here. If you're looking for a place that resembles CA (which I think is your ultimate goal), I can think of only two places in this region: Miami and New Orleans. Miami could resemble an Atlantic-side LA, and New Orleans has alot of very liberal areas with diverse ethnic backgrounds and ample amounts of tolerance.

I've lived here in Columbia for 2 years, and to be honest, it's OK, but I prefer to live somewhere else. Cola is, IMO, a little too liberal for my tastes, believe it or not. But then again, I am a staunch conservative. There is a healthy amount of people throughout the metro area that go to church, but Richland County votes Democratic usually, and the liberalness of the city (along with USC) makes me a little uncomfortable.

If you want liberal, you'd be better in staying in Richland County. Lexington County is indeed heavily conservative in the metro area.

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But wouldn't one attribute Cola's "liberal" lean more to the large black population, and less to the presence of USC?

Conversely, could we not attribute LexCo's Conservative lean as a result of "white flight"?

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But wouldn't one attribute Cola's "liberal" lean more to the large black population, and less to the presence of USC?

Conversely, could we not attribute LexCo's Conservative lean as a result of "white flight"?

I'm currently getting my masters in health admin at USC, and I have to say that at least 2 of my professors in 4 classes are hands down liberal. USC has many professors and influences that are liberal. True, it might be more of the large black population, and LexCo could definitely represent what is known as "white flight". The funny thing is that I don't have many friends in LexCo, even though we supposedly share the same values and morals. One of many anomalies I guess.... :wacko:

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In my humble opinion, I do think Charlotte is very conservative, but sometimes in a good way instead of the "bible thumping, liberal hating, etc) way. Charlotte has some conservative business mindsets that don't really care about social issues. But it sure does have a lot of the other. I lived in Charleston for several years and not sure about Columbia, but I don't think it has had the influx that Charlotte and the Triangle have had.

I live in the Triangle and agree, we have our "conservative" drum beaters, but the overall feeling is more low key. One reason, is the Triangle is really 4 cities with multiple suburbs and each city is different with, yes universities, all connected by Research Triangle Park. But there is so much more to the Triangle.

It just has a base of "coolness" and respect for others while the people work to succeed. Durham is the most odd city of them all as the murder capital and some the most unique people you would ever meet. Raleigh is mix of all. The Triangle is just a good base of well-read, educated, self-educated, and hard working group that has a great music scene (yes that really makes a difference).

I do think the educated factor counts, but it also has more to do with not always trying to be something instead of just being !!

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I'm currently getting my masters in health admin at USC, and I have to say that at least 2 of my professors in 4 classes are hands down liberal. USC has many professors and influences that are liberal. True, it might be more of the large black population, and LexCo could definitely represent what is known as "white flight". The funny thing is that I don't have many friends in LexCo, even though we supposedly share the same values and morals. One of many anomalies I guess.... :wacko:

I went to MBA school and most of professors were convervative, so much, they tried to sway the votes to right. Enjoyed it, but did not swallow it whole. So you take what you can from both sides and decide on your own. Coming into contact, even in an educational concept, is not a bad thing. I see it as a good thing.....

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Well I assume you will pack your bags and move back to California. If you are convinced that nothing is ever going to change in the South, and you are unhappy, then anyone with any sense isn't going to bother to convince you otherwise. You seem to have already made up your mind, and your questions here seem to be a bit disingenuous.

Since you brought up politics I will point out that NC unlike California has a Democratic governer and Charlotte was one of the few places in the country that did vote for Kerry over Bush. Frankly I think you are being a bit unfair as I see nothing that would differentiate the suburbs of CLT from RDU from Orange county California.

And you are entitled to your opinion but please read our rules again on bashing other places.

Change is always possible, but sometimes it's slow coming. I never said that California doesn't have its own conservative areas, such as the following: Orange County, San Diego, Bakersfield, to name a few.

I can only rely on my own experiences to gadge whether or not I like a city. The questions I've asked were to geniunely determine consensus of Charlotte/Columbia. I sincerely hope that I haven't offended anyone. My goodness, I could fill a stadium with the volumes of people that dislike California!!! -- but I wouldn't ever take someone else's opinion of a region personally.

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Again 'liberal' in the South is highly relative, and may depend on who you talk to. As the democrat party suggests, there is some division over liberal ideals - social equity, environmental protection, neutral foreign policy, or even some anti-global economic policy are not shared by all 'liberals', especially in the South. What is most common is in large cities where Blacks are the majority, you would find one aspect of liberal philosophy - but will not always represent all liberal viewpoints. But for many republicans, the moderates that are common in sunbelt cities that represent a larger cross section of society, would consider certain pro-civic policies to be 'liberal'. Of course I'm speaking of Atlanta & Charlotte - whose governments often reflect differing policies, yet in some respect, both support different liberal ideals.

But regarding classic left-wing liberalism, or Berkerly style liberalism - it is very rare in the US. You will find it in larger cities in CA, the Northwest & Northeast. But in the Midwest, Great Plains, Interior & Southeast - in areas where democrats are in power, the emphsasis is on different objectives. So it's either take your pick type of liberalism or move to the West or Northeast.

Of course the West & Northeast is known for a fluctuating economy & high cost of living.

This may have gone off topic, but sorry - if the topic doesn't interest me I sometimes make it into something I'm interested in :)

Or at least southern Florida, there is very little different between northern & parts of central FL & the rest of the southeast. But southern FL -

Great post! You made some excellent points.

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I sincerely hope that I haven't offended anyone. My goodness, I could fill a stadium with the volumes of people that dislike California!!! -- but I wouldn't ever take someone else's opinion of a region personally.

None taken. I am only pointing out the restrictions we have here at UrbanPlanet on expressions of opinion so that we maintain peaceful discussions here.

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