Portland is full of weirdos. Or, at least, that’s what everyone says.
However, with all of the draws that Oregon has, it’s not unusual for every type of person to have their eye on the Beaver State.
The reputation of Oregon, and Portland, in particular, has grown to such a gargantuan level that many conservatives are a bit tentative to throw their hat into the ring.
So what is it like to live in Portland as a conservative? Should you expect all of the protests that happen to take place at your door as well? Are you going to be dragged out of your bed at night so they can dye your hair green and pierce your eyebrow?
Well, probably not. Living in Portland as a conservative might not be quite what you expect.
Living in Portland as a political conservative is very possible but you’ll likely feel a bit out of place. There are many conservatives in Portland but they are overshadowed by a very vocal majority of liberal-leaning residents. However, if you are not overt about your political leanings it is possible to live amicably around people with differing ideas. If you are overt about your conservative ideals you’ll have a tough time in the generally liberal climate.
So, if you’re looking to move to Oregon, here are my thoughts on how to make it enjoyable (or at least more bearable).
The Reality Of Oregon’s Politics
Contrary to popular belief, Oregon is quite a red state, geographically speaking. The majority of the state is full of small-town conservatives if you want to go by square miles instead of population density.
In this way, the majority of the counties can vote Republican but, in the end, the state still swings blue.
While large cities such as Portland and Eugene are very liberal, the residents become rapidly less so as you get out of the city center. In fact, many conservatives living in Portland are able to find many like-minded people living on the outskirts and suburbs of the city.
So, unless your job takes you right downtown, you’re likely to be able to enjoy the company of other conservatives in your community.
However, that doesn’t mean that you still won’t have to deal with the consequences of living in a largely liberal area, especially when you head downtown.
Is Portland Really That Liberal?
Yes, yes it is. Portland is not only liberal but it’s also populated by the extreme fringe of the democratic party. While many areas in the Pacific Northwest are liberal, Portland residents are pushy, narrow-minded (ironically), and lack tolerance for anyone else’s beliefs.
Some of the reasons that conservatives avoid Portland are:
- The extremely high population of homeless people that stem from over-generous social programs
- Abuse of welfare which is supported by unusually high taxes
- The high minimum wage makes things very difficult for small business owners
- Poor schools that push political agendas
- Liberal education from local universities
Overall, most people do not consider Portland a place to be if you want to raise a family, particularly a conservative one. However, Portland has gotten so extreme that even most liberals do not consider the city to be a place where they want to live or have children.
In my opinion, the group-think that has formed in Portland can no longer be called liberal. Instead, it’s some twisted form of hateful political extremism that no independent-thinking person can enjoy, regardless of political affiliation.
Best Places To Live In Oregon As A Conservative
If you are moving to Oregon for the natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, you probably don’t want to live in a city anyway.
However, if you’re moving for a job, your living location with largely be dictated to you.
No matter if you’re conservative or liberal I would not advise anyone to live in Portland itself.
However, if you insist, be sure to check out the worst neighborhoods in Portland before finding a house.
How To Survive As A Conservative In A Liberal City
If you’re living anywhere where you’re beliefs are out of sorts with the majority of the populace, here’s my best advice: shut your mouth and just enjoy the local food.
I have many friends with wildly different beliefs than mine. We just don’t discuss politics or issues we know will create problems. Sometimes, accepting people’s differences simply means leaving them be and not discussing them.
There is much more to people than their political beliefs. Usually.
If you are in Portland you’ll come across people who are not simply liberal, they’re anti-conservative and looking for a fight. When you meet these people, employ my first piece of advice and don’t engage. There is no “winning” here and you’ll just end up mad.
There are crappy conservatives and crappy liberals and if you wear your beliefs on your sleeve you can count on needing to stand up for them. Because Portland is such a political hotspot you can count on having political signs removed from your hard, light vandalism, etc. if you fancy yourself an activist.
Conservative Groups & Organizations In Portland
If you’re looking to be proactive and gather with like-minded people, here are a few of the organizations in and around Portland that you’ll want to look up:
- Multnomah County Republicans: The local chapter of the Republican Party, focused on promoting conservative values, policies, and candidates in Multnomah County.
- Oregon Right to Life: A pro-life organization working to protect the rights of the unborn, elderly, and disabled.
- Oregon Firearms Federation: A group dedicated to defending the Second Amendment rights of Oregonians.
- Taxpayers Association of Oregon: A non-partisan organization advocating for fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and limited government.
- Cascade Policy Institute: A free-market think tank that promotes limited government and individual liberties through research, analysis, and advocacy.
- Young Republicans of Oregon: A group for young conservatives looking to connect with like-minded individuals and promote conservative values.
- Oregonians for Immigration Reform: An organization focused on advocating for reduced immigration levels and better enforcement of existing immigration laws.
So, in summation, Portland is not really a great place to live whether you’re conservative or not. Oregon is an amazing state and there are places that are amicable to both liberals and conservatives so find where you fit in and enjoy the natural beauty!
Oh and never forget rule #1 of living in Portland as a conservative: keep your mouth shut.
If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a conservative in Portland, you can get in touch with the many Portland Conservative Groups on Facebook.