I'm a conservative who moved to a liberal city, and I was surprised to see my views change on several issues
- I became a conservative while I was still in high school, and remained that way until I moved out West.
- Spending time in liberal cities like Los Angeles has given me a fresh perspective, and now I align much further to the left.
- Some elements of life in LA now make perfect sense to me, but my conservative background still makes me bristle occasionally.
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I became a Reagan Republican during the Gipper's 1979 campaign against Jimmy Carter - back when I was a plucky 14 years old.
I spent the next few decades as a dedicated ideological conservative, though my politics were admittedly always a little complicated. I'd tell people I was conservative on fiscal and foreign policy, a believer in a strong military, but more left-leaning on social policy. I put my money where my mouth was, spending a decade in the Air Force before exiting to become a writer.After hanging up my uniform, I traced a path westward, moving from Michigan to Colorado to Seattle to Los Angeles. Each city I've lived in has been a little more liberal than the one before it, and both local and national politics have served to whittle away at my right-wing positions.
Now, I suspect I'll never vote Republican again - the party doesn't seem to represent me anymore. But I still sometimes feel like an outsider, seeing Los Angeles through eyes that grew up conservative. They still occasionally roll at the ludicrousness of a city that tends to marinate in uncontested liberalism, but I see the world differently now than I did five or 10 years ago.
Here are some of the issues I've changed my views on since moving to LA, and a couple of liberal causes I can't quite get behind.