Anti-City Liberals

Throughout my life I’ve known many liberals. I am shocked how many of them have no desire to live in a big city, and a few even actively hate them. I’d say about a 1/3 of them.

The fact that most big cities are “blue” (I remember this by looking at maps during election times), tend to have a lot of diversity, and have more cultural insitutions…I am confused why there are liberals who would avoid living or even visiting such places. To me, it’s like being a strong Christian and hating going to church.

With this being a highly liberal site, I’m sure there are some people who fall into this category. I don’t understand the deeper motives. Can someone explain?

I know very fre liberals who DON’T live in the city, myself included. But I know few people well who live outside. However, my family live in the suburbs (conservative), and all of their friends/neighbors seem to trend conservative. Any chance you’re confusing “city” with “suburb” or “donut city”?

Well, coming at it from a political angle, there’s environmentalists who want to preserve nature. Hippies, you know?

Then there’s folk who just prefer less developed areas regardless of their political beliefs. Given a suitable income, I could probably enjoy living in NYC, but all things considered I’d rather be living in a mid-sized town in Colorado or something.

Also, care to divulge what state and/or city you’re near? If it’s Detroit, there’s a pretty good reason, and it doesn’t have much to do with their politics…

This is kind of a weird question. Everyone that identifies as liberal must be alike in all ways? Strange idea.

I’m pretty liberal, but don’t like living in cities. I love to visit big cities, but we have a lot of acreage in the country, and my future dream house will be built there. We like our space, we have lots of animals, we like to build things and grow things and spend time outdoors. That’s all.

Many - I’d imagine even a majority - of those who identify as liberals are probably in favor of cities, because suburban sprawl is pretty antithetical to most liberal ideas.

However, you do get some (IMO) wingnuts who think that human development in general is bad, and we should all go back to running around naked and hunting and grazing. Apparently this will somehow make the messes we’ve created magically go away.

I’m a lib. I generally like cities, but I tend not to like large American cities. I do enjoy large Canadian cities, like Montreal or Vancouver, or midsized American ones, such as Austin and Minneapolis.

What? Suburban sprawl might be antithetical to environmentalist ideals, but has little to nothing to do with most liberal ideals.

There are bunches of them around. Vermont is one of the most least populated states and has tons of very strong liberals but it is a very odd state politically and doesn’t fit in easily with any American mold. New Hampshire does too even though it is known for being much more conservative. The only answer to your question is that it takes all types to make this world what it is. I consider myself to be conservative/libertarian but I lived in almost complete isolation in Vermont for over a year just because it was a childhood dream. I also subscribe to the Mother Earth News magazine which is about as hippy-trippy as it gets. There are lots of liberal types that just want to get back to the basics in rural or even isolated areas and be left alone to grow apples, have a gay partner, or something similar.

I guess I’m an anti-city liberal.

Yes I’m a liberal, and spent a number of years living in Chicago. It was fun while I was there, and I enjoyed so many like-minded people around me. But now my extremely liberal ass is quite happily living in subruban Detroit.

Now when I go back to Chicago, I can’t stand all the car and pedestrian traffic, the shitty parking situations, the ridiculous cost of things, not to mention the higher crime rate than what we have in my current hometown. I have very little interest in going to any other big cities, especially New York City and Los Angeles. And don’t get me started on the city of Detroit, which I will only enter at this point for a select number of things (American Coney Island and Tigers games to name two).

So I guess, I’m a raging liberal who loves my suburban lifestyle, complete with easy parking, reasonable traffic, easily-accessible stores, relatively-low crime, and a driveway next to my house. And I actually hate the thought of having to enter the nastiness of a big city (which I still have to do quite regularly for work). I hate big cities.

Give me your small-to-medium-sized liberal suburban college towns any day of the week.

There’s a key point here: cars. Note that most of the items listed above have to do with driving. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I suspect that this (and the fear of crime) will be big factors for liberals who hate big cities. If you really, really like to drive, then big cities suck. No way around it. Me, I hate to drive, so I could care less. I’m happy to take a bus or Metro wherever I need to go - I get to catch up on my reading. I can even walk to a lot of places. But if you really want to drive, there aren’t a lot of big cities where you’ll have an easy time of it. (LA might be an exception).

Man, what is it with politics these days? You might as well ask why Christians like peanut butter over nutella, or why doctors prefer baseball to basketball. With divisive politics these days, the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have become pretty much meaningless as political terms and might as well just be called “blue team” and “red team”.

I can’t even think of what liberal politics, or anyone’s politics for that matter, would have to do with living in a big city. I tend toward the liberal side of things on many issues, and I’m rather ambivalent on living in a big city. There are things I like, and things I don’t like. The people you come across as not liking big cities probably dislike them due to reasons completely unrelated to their political views.

For myself, I can’t imagine living outside of a city. Cities are where civilization happens - film, theater, politics, music, software development, and on and on and on. If you want to see as many human ideas as possible, good and bad, at firsthand, you have to be in a city. DC, for example, is the city that gave us its Human Rights Act - probably the most progressive anti-discrimination law in the country. It also gave us Marion Barry, but you take the good with the bad.

Things happen in cities. It’s just that simple.

Hmm, you’re absolutely right. While I did love using public transit when I lived in Chicago, and I would love to see something like that come to the Detroit area, I guess I do really like to drive. I suppose that would be my Motor City roots coming through.

In addition to the environmental issues, suburban sprawl encourages, among other things, increased individual car use, big box stores, elimination of public transit, segregation of wealth, and segregation itself.

But, but, cities have people in them! <shudder>

I’m quite private and antisocial, I love to drive, love the freedom of the forests and wide-open spaces, I love seeing the whitetail deer, raccoons, and yes, even the skunks toddling around our property (just give the skunks a wide berth, leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone), the wide menagerie of birds at the feeders, heck, even the Furry Tree Rats (squirrels) are amusing

I can go down to our pond and go fishing and swimming in the warm months, ice skating in the cold months, with 50 acres of land, I have my own cross-country skiing trails just out my door

so, why would I want to voluntarily move to an overpopulated concrete jungle with a bunch of morons who can’t drive, where there’s a higher crime rate simply due to the higher saturation of people, and where I can see the air? yes it may take me 15 minutes to an hour (depending on destination) to go to a more populated area, but to me, that’s a fair trade-off to have a nice, quiet home life

Besides, when the inevitable Zombie Uprising happens (and it will :wink: ) where do you think all “them city folk” are going to try bugging out to?, no, not wally-world/costco/megalomart, no, they’ll be trying to “invade” my backyard to flee from the slouching undead hordes…

That many cities trend Democrat isn’t a real indication of true liberalism. While they do tend to be more liberal than not, some cities, like Pittsburgh, are Democratic because of their history of labor unions.

It’s not political. I like living in a city, now - because I’m near where I work, and my husband’s school, so we only need one car.

But I want to live in a suburb eventually - I want a big yard for kids & dogs to play in, and all that.

Geez. Not everything everyone likes is a result of their political leanings.

Exactly. I find the question to be a bit ridiculous.

I happen to be a liberal, and I happen to like living in the city. I also like shellfish, blondes, and classic rock. None of those things have anything to do with each other.

The draggy part for those of us who don’t dig a tense, cramped lifestyle is that these things typically happen only in very big cities. An Austin or a Portland has much to recommend it, but you are somewhat limited to existing scenes and interest groups. You need to be in a huge impersonal New York kind of place if you want to create your own interest groups.