I'm a liberal who moved to a conservative town - here are the most shocking things I discovered about how conservatives see the world
- I'm a liberal, and my first job out of college was working in a small, conservative town in Georgia.
- Many of my political views were challenged during my time there, and I was shocked to discover certain aspects of life in a conservative town.
- I came to understand where conservatives were coming from on hot-button issues like guns, abortion, and healthcare, even though I disagreed with many of their views.
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I still vividly remember the political "conflict" my household experienced during the 2007 Democratic presidential primary season.
I loved Barack Obama, my dad liked John Edwards, and my mom adored Hillary Clinton.This dispute was indicative of my upbringing: I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, an urban, blue district within a purple state, and in a hyper-liberal household to boot.
So it was with much hesitation that I accepted my first job out of college as a newspaper reporter in Hall County, Georgia, one of the reddest counties within a red state - and not because of rampant University of Georgia fandom.
As the hometown of former two-term GOP governor Nathan Deal, Hall County is a particularly interesting slice of red state politics, especially because of its growing diversity.
During my time there, I found my views challenged in a number of ways, and I was shocked by some of the aspects of the political culture there. By the end, I understood where conservatives are coming from on divisive issues like guns and healthcare, even if I didn't agree with them.
These were the things I learned as a political junkie cast from a liberal haven to an uber-conservative small town in Georgia.