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Sun Jan 1, 2017, 05:57 PM

Question for my DU friends in deep RED places. . .

First of all, I grew up in Hellsville, Redstate, a southern state that used to be solidly Democratic. But as most other southern states, evangelical christians, racists, the advent of right right wing news, etc, brought about a big change.

My parents still live there--two very liberal individuals--surrounded, and I mean SURROUNDED by red in a small town. I know the feeling It was claustrophobic and awful.

But what do you do if you can't leave?? Not everybody has the ability, the means, the desire, the job, or whatever-- to just pull up stakes.

I pity the lives my parents lead, as they either socialize with racist tRump supporters, or they don't socialize at all. It's the same small town my mother was born in which is somewhat worse, because many of these deplorables were childhood friends of hers. As a gay man, I have to say that I'm not terribly interested in anything my parents relay to me about their social life with these people, as I don't follow the activities of Nazis, and if they can't deal with me as I am, I have no use for them.

What do you do if you are the ONLY liberal in a small town? I guess there's DU, but outside of that, what???? I'm a baby boomer for what that's worth, so growing up in a small town for me was NOT what it's like today. Nonetheless, Donald J. Trump wasn't elected (or whatever) president, so it IS a new, unpleasant world, and it is NOT normal.

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question for my DU friends in deep RED places. . . (Original post)
BigDemVoter Jan 2017 OP
Horse with no Name Jan 2017 #1
BigDemVoter Jan 2017 #3
Different Drummer Jan 2017 #4
Horse with no Name Jan 2017 #6
QED Jan 2017 #9
kickitup Jan 2017 #15
Sunriser13 Jan 2017 #35
vlyons Jan 2017 #2
Cracklin Charlie Jan 2017 #5
easttexaslefty Jan 2017 #7
BigDemVoter Jan 2017 #8
Thinkingabout Jan 2017 #10
BigDemVoter Jan 2017 #11
Thinkingabout Jan 2017 #16
Docreed2003 Jan 2017 #12
Missn-Hitch Jan 2017 #19
Docreed2003 Jan 2017 #20
safeinOhio Jan 2017 #13
Missn-Hitch Jan 2017 #21
safeinOhio Jan 2017 #24
BigDemVoter Jan 2017 #23
kickitup Jan 2017 #14
LWolf Jan 2017 #17
mcar Jan 2017 #18
ileus Jan 2017 #22
LAS14 Jan 2017 #25
OhioBlue Jan 2017 #31
liberal N proud Jan 2017 #26
femmocrat Jan 2017 #27
Dawgman49 Jan 2017 #28
blue cat Jan 2017 #29
sarah FAILIN Jan 2017 #30
PoindexterOglethorpe Jan 2017 #32
AJT Jan 2017 #33
Skittles Jan 2017 #34
Gothmog Jan 2017 #36

Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:01 PM

1. you become a social recluse

Seriously.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:03 PM

3. Yeah, I think I would.

It would be very, very hard for me, as I like to spend time with friends! And I cannot be friends with somebody who enables this. . . appalling thing.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:06 PM

4. I did. n/t

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Response to Different Drummer (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:07 PM

6. me too. n/a

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:15 PM

9. Definitely that.

I keep it to myself unless I know the person has similar views. I had an anti-W bumper sticker on my car during his time in office. I was nearly run off the road and had bottles thrown at my car by a deranged W fan. Scared the crap out of me so I stay out of it.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:41 PM

15. I am a social recluse and I like it.

I say it just adds to the mystery that surrounds me, LOL.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 2, 2017, 06:54 AM

35. and you haunt DU for relief

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:02 PM

2. Are there any people of color?

Are there AAs and Hispanics in your parents' town? Or nearby? If so, maybe they should making some new friends with them. I would start with a black church.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:06 PM

5. I grew up in the same town as you.

I can only remember ever hearing of two people who claimed to be Republicans. When my mom told me one of them was a Republican, she whispered it, like she was saying "toilet paper".

Where did all these republicans come from?

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:08 PM

7. You be true to yourself.

I'm the only liberal I know of within 30 miles in any direction. ( besides my husband, son & dil). Any & everybody knows what I am.
You learn to deal with being different.

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Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:12 PM

8. I do agree with you.

My parents' friends know they are liberal, so nobody ever discusses politics during social events.

I'm 100% certain that people here on DU will concur with me in that we don't think "any" of this is "just politics." How could this topic be avoided? How could people NOT talk about it?

If I had to keep my own pie hole shut and not talk about things I care about, I would be pretty miserable. And if, indeed, that were the life I had, I would prefer to keep my OWN counsel and not associate with anybody.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:25 PM

10. I am in a family of former Democrats who are now mesmerized by

Republicans, I did not fall for the crap. I plan to be a Democrat throughout my lifetime. When they start their crap on me I can give them the truth and not the RW talking points. If they do not wish to hear the truth then they can continue to recycle the same lies told to them by RW points, and I will continue provide them the corrections.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:32 PM

11. Are there a lot of fights at the dinner table?

Luckily we're all liberals, aside from a cousin who was always known as a dim bulb.

I can't recall a family dinner when we did NOT discuss politics at length.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:48 PM

16. No, when they start I give facts and then I ask if there is something I could say

Which could change their position and let them know I have a less of a chance to change me.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:35 PM

12. I similarly grew up in a southern state that has morphed from blue to deep red

I grew up on a tobacco farm in TN. My grandparents were staunch Roosevelt Democrats and extremely liberal given the time period they grew up in. As a teenager, I had witnessed the slowly creeping evangelical political movment in rural churches and watched as people who had good "common sense" became brain washed by their religious leaders and politicians. My hometown is just north of Nashville and, although I loved the area and the people dearly, I swore when I left after high school I would never come back. Until this year, I had kept that promise to myself for 20 yrs. I served time in the Navy after completing residency in General Surgery, and then moved to RI for several years. I adored my time in New England and miss that area and the more liberal/secular worldview and the culture melting pot it afforded for our family. Due to a series of events, we needed to move closer to family, my wife is from Louisiana. We were ultimately recruited by the hospital that I was born in and have settled back in the area that I swore I'd never live in. Although much is the same, the area is very different and has grown rapidly with the growth of the greater Nashville area. However, it's very...VERY red here. We're adjusting to the change, and I am very happy with my job and being able to serve the people here, especially those from the rural communities where I was raised. That being said, most of our social interactions are with either friends and family in Nashville who are like minded and active in the political/music scene or my very small group of lifelong friends who happen to live near by that also think similarly. We've learned through our kids activities that anything more than superficial interactions with other families is pretty futile for the most part. Ironically most people make it easier for you when either they immediately start throwing out RW BS in casual conversation or they ask "Where do you go to church?" Minutes after meeting them. We're very happy here, but our social activities outside our immediate family are much smaller than they ever were either in the military or in RI.

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:57 PM

19. Enjoyed your post. I can't imagine moving back to my birthplace. I have made the promise too.

I can't see any situation which would get me to move back (I live happily in the blue bubble - pacific northwest). I come from tobacco farmers as well. My blood is 100% Kentuckian but born in Indiana.

There are pockets of red EVERYWHERE. Happy New Year shipmate.

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Response to Missn-Hitch (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 07:00 PM

20. Thank You! Happy New Year to you and yours!!

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:37 PM

13. Years ago I moved to a red town.

The first thing they would ask is if I joined a church yet. Having not gone to church in 50 years, I joined the local UU church so I could tell them I had. Met the other 22 liberals in town there and boy did we stick together. Most were Athiest like myself.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 07:01 PM

21. Ugh. What is your impression of the UU church?

We tried to go - twice, but I just didn't feel it. We thought it would be the best bet to meet some friends.

I am agnostic with atheistic tendencies.

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Response to Missn-Hitch (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 08:17 PM

24. Love that one,

but each one is different

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 08:10 PM

23. I know! I had to move back down there in 2012. . . .

I made it exactly 3 years before I fled west again. I couldn't believe how obsessed people were about where I went to church. They REALLY were flabbergasted when I told them I was a secular Jew. I don't know why that should have been a shock, as my family had been part of a now defunct congregation, as any young person, Jew or otherwise, generally flees on the first opportunity. The ones who stay there are not at the top of the food chain, to say the least.

I guess what's happened down there is that people can no longer remember a time when there were other religions besides fundamentalist Christianity. They looked at me as if I had two heads. When I told some of the older ones that I was from the area and that my grandparents had had a store there, I got a puzzled look and then, "Ohhh. . . . 'those people'. . . ."

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:40 PM

14. 1500 people in my small Kentucky town. My adult sons are constantly telling us to get out.

We are in our 50's and we stayed here in our town because of my husband's parents who always had several health concerns. He wanted to help them. They're now deceased and we don't have any ties except for my family but they don't need us like his parents did.

We don't attend church so there really is no socializing for us, but that's okay as I'm a loner anyway. He works and travels so he escapes that way. I work online and have several boards I participate in so it's not like I work with the people around me. My neighbor is a liberal so I do have that. We are thinking about getting an apartment in the city sometime this next year and see if we like it.

To be honest, I am really tired. I have defended Obama and had to listen to shit when I put our Hillary sign up. Around here, they think people who would vote for a Democrat are 1) on welfare and don't want to work, or 2) godless, or 3) ignorant. I might be a bit godless, but to even argue that morality can exist outside of religion would be over their heads. If I tried, I would be labeled as an educated elitist. I am just so ready to say "fuck you all."


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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:51 PM

17. What do you do?

You live your life. You are as kind and friendly as you can be. You remember the old adage from my mom's generation that I was raised on: Politics and religion are not appropriate topics of conversation for civil social conversation. You remain true to yourself, and engage people who engage you first. You model the change you'd like to see in pov, but you don't attack, get in arguments, or burn bridges. You simply, when it becomes necessary, cordially agree to disagree. You lead by example, and you inform by example. You don't engage in hate, in identity politics, or in politics as a team sport. You stick to issues. And, most of all, you live your life: family, work, play, community, and activism. If there's no one to "act" with locally, spread out through a region. I can meet up with fellow progressives in the nearest small city, about 20 miles away, to talk, to plan, to act.

This is the same thing I'd be saying no matter WHO sits in the WH.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:54 PM

18. You do not talk politics

Ever. It's just not worth it.

I feel very isolated now. We're stuck here for 3 more years till SO can retire. Still, I have some good pals/exercise buddies, some of whom were HRC voters. My bestie lives about 30 minutes away and she's one of us.

I will be joining my local Dem party this year for then first time. I hope it helps.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 07:17 PM

22. You go to work, you come home...same as anywhere USA

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 08:19 PM

25. The letter from Pelosi and Shumer about Sanders'...

... assignment to go out to red states made me wonder just what the strategy would be. How do you find small but critical masses to have a meeting? I'm waiting with bated breath. I'm turning blue.

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Response to LAS14 (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 09:52 PM

31. first step, find your local party. If you don't know anyone on the central

committee, google it, ask other dems, they may advertise their meetings in the local paper. If you can't find them, contact the board of elections. One top election officials in your county should have been appointed by the local dem party and they will have contact information for you.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 08:53 PM

26. Avoid politics

If they bring it up, make an exit or try to change the subject.

Rarely does a discussion with right wing nut jobs end well.

Worst part is they all assume that everyone believes the same bullshit as they do.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 09:08 PM

27. We keep to ourselves.

We only socialize with family, who are all democrats, TG.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 09:14 PM

28. Red state survival....

Have lived in a coastal SC small town for over 30 years..wouldn't say that I'm a recluse,but have chosen be very careful about situations I put myself in socially because of the extreme conservatism.Ironically the population is mostly african american coastal "Gullah" culture and my daily social interactions are very integrated. since Nov 9 I find that i am self conscious of my late middle age whiteness and feel compelled to identify myself to them as "I'm not one of them", also assuming most white people i come in contact with , (maybe unfairly), that have voted for the creature, although high percentage here have,. and wanting to identify ,,myself as "not one of you".... I don't discuss politics at work , and fortunately work in behavioral health field so this has not been much of an issue, although usually able to find like minded souls to commiserate with in private. I have some republican , associates, friends and mutually know that politics is not discussed, though lately this is becoming less about politics and more about morality. Overall this is at best survival and am seriously giving thought to moving to a blue state..the next year will retire and making plans to explore moving to northern Cali, daughter lives there, and while the are repressive people everywhere, I find that when I am there i feel a connection to more people . I know that i have the privilege of being a senior white male and worry about what is in store for people of color, women and children, LGBTQ brothers and sisters... going to DC to march on the 21st.....So DU has become a survival skill..living in this red state...Thanks !

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 09:18 PM

29. You learn to be southern belle like

and just not bring it up. My friend invited me along with other women to her lake house for a 🍷 festival, and all the other women assume that you feel the same way about politics. There was another woman there that is my only liberal friend (from California), and we listened to their liberal bashing and neither of us said anything but we were texting each other jokes to each other about it. We were both guests is one reason that I didn't speak up, and I wanted to listen to see how far they will take it.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 09:39 PM

30. I'm in rural North Alabama

Not the place you want to be if you don't have traditional redneck values. There is not anyone in my family I still talk to. The older of my brothers and I have not talked since before Obama was elected. The rest went this summer with my other brother who was trying to get people on fb to kill Muslims. They were really horrible people that I have been happier without. I still have my husband and kids which is all I need. As far as friends, I have acquaintances at work that I am on good enough terms with to work with, but I don't share anything with them. The people I had thought I was friends with could not handle having a black POTUS.

I watch tv or surf news sites when off work and not doing household chores or things with my family. I find myself getting caught up in hobbies till I find out I suck at crochet or whatever. My pets take up a lot of my time. I've decided the quality of companionship is better than quantity when it comes to friends/leisure activities You get used to it.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 10:29 PM

32. I honestly find it hard to understand why anyone would stay.

Elderly parents you are taking care of, that I get. Otherwise, leave.

I know I'm being glib and not many people can leave very easily. I think it is a strong part of being human to want to stay in one place, or traverse the same hunting and gathering grounds with your band. We are built to have strong relationships with a relatively few number of people, and we collectively can be very suspicious of outsiders and newcomers.

I relocated at the age of 60 from a Red state in the Midwest to a reasonably Blue one in the West. I'm very glad I did so.

The one practical piece of advice I can offer is what several others have already said: do not discuss politics. Ever.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2017, 10:49 PM

33. I live in Walker,

Preibus, Ryan country.....Wisconsin. Even here there are pockets of blue. I live in Madison. Usually capital city/college towns are more liberal. If you feel the need to stay in a red state find a liberal leaning are within it.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2017, 06:30 AM

34. the beauty is

the liberal folk in the deep red areas are EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE

I *LOVE* finding them

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Response to BigDemVoter (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2017, 11:08 AM

36. You work to turn your state blue

I am deep red Texas but we are making progress. Harris County went solidly blue and we have a Democrat serving as District Attorney for the first time in 36 years.

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