red state blue stateJust in case you don't already know which way the political winds blow in your neighborhood, a Gallup poll shows what states have the most conservatives and the most liberals. And it seems the conservatives are either populating the U.S. at a higher rate, or fewer people are identifying with the left, as even in the most liberal states, the numbers of liberals are nowhere close to the percentages of conservatives in the blue states.

Still, there are few surprises here -- Mississippi has always leaned conservative. Except perhaps the exclusion of California as one of the most liberal states. Apparently the red areas make up for that bastion of blue surrounding Hollywood and my house. Which means I probably won't be traveling outside my neighborhood unless it's straight up the coast to the true blue San Francisco Bay area.

Yep, I'm a liberal who's afraid to be surrounded by red. So I won't be moving to any of these 10 most conservative states:

most conservative stateI grew up in the very red state of Oklahoma. But times were so different then, and the vitriol was saved for people from Texas, rather than the Democrats in the neighborhood. In fact, common ground was easy to find with my Republican neighbors. Those days are over now, as civility takes a back seat and Oklahoma legislators continue to attack the rights of women, and pretend that sharia law is a threat in the Great Plains. I simply could not live in a state that chooses to elect a majority of people who believe this way. It's against my self-interest, and that of my children.

While these top 10 liberal states have their own problems, I'd much rather find myself surrounded by like-minded people.

 

most liberal states

I used to believe that an interesting mix of views and values made for a lively discussion and a colorful neighborhood. While I still like to think this is an ideal way to live and learn, the hate-filled threats and bi-partisan nastiness make me want to retreat into my own, and never have to even talk to someone who thinks I'm lesser than him because of my gender. Or my children are, because they are half-Jewish. I don't need hate in my life, and would much rather live in a racial and religious mix than a political mix. Sadly, that's what's happening around the world as views get more and more narrow, and violent rhetoric becomes acceptable.

I realize a lot of red state folks would be appalled at the medicinal marijuana store front a few blocks from my house, just as I would be appalled at the lack of reproductive choice options or mosques in their neighborhood. While it makes me sad that the middle ground seems to be rapidly disappearing, I'm happy to be living in an area that embraces diversity, immigrants, women, and choice. So I'll stay here. And you can stay where you are.

Do you live in a liberal or a conservative state?

 

Image via Calsidyrose/Flickr